Step 3: Compromising Just a Little
We act on the next step to comfort ourselves. We’re all tempted by something. And the thing we covet, our own evil desire will chase after (James 1:14-15). There are many ways we can be tempted to walk toward sin. Sometimes it appears like something good for us. But maybe it doesn’t line up with the vision God has for our life. We might be enticed by flattery or pride. Still, it begins in our thoughts, when we stopped thinking about God and thought more about ourselves. Ideas battle in our minds. We imagine it. We talk about it. It becomes so natural to us, and our desire is so strong we are drawn away with no thought to the consequences we could face. We surrender, like sheep being led to slaughter, into tempting situations. We go to that party, or to that place where we have no business being. We rationalize why it’s okay for us. How God’s rules might be a bit old-fashioned for society.
We compromise by trading moral behaviors for bad ones (Galatians 5:19-26). But the Scriptures are clear: those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh. If we live by the Spirit, we must keep in step with the Spirit.
We’ve crossed the bridge the moment we compromise. God’s Word is clear that temptation leads to a trap, and harmful desires will lead us to ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9).
Step 4: Believing the Lies of Insatiable Desire
We’ve all bought into the lies. The lies that tell us we aren’t good enough unless we have this or achieve that. Once we are focused on ourselves and unable to do or have the things we believe define us, we are standing on the crosswalk of sin. Think of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). Each deals with an evil that started with selfishness. When we take our eyes off God, there is an entire army of gods ready for us to bow to. We magnify our importance. The more important we become, the more minor others become.
Whatever we desire, we may sense it’s not right, but we rehearse the lie. We want to believe that our desires are good, and God has given them to us. Why else would we want it so strongly?
It could be something very benign in appearance; modern traditions that seem okay. Something so innocent we think little about it. But when we look back, we see that that step led us to a horrible road. Yet during the desire, we told ourselves the lie repeatedly.
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Those who are part of the deception told us the lie we wanted to hear. We may have even looked for the person willing to lie.
If the desire that draws us does not align with the Word, it cannot be from God. Romans 1:25 reminds us that when we sin, we are exchanging God’s truth for a lie. We are worshiping and serving created things rather than our Creator.
If we “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4.
When headed for this step, we need an accountability partner to help us see the truth. Our fellow believers can help us be strong when we are weak (Proverbs 27:17).