13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
I am reminded of a powerful story that John Bevere tells about a man who became a Christian and found himself in love with Jesus. Many of his old habits went away and he loved the Lord very much. However, he couldn’t seem to let go of cigarette smoking. He wanted to. He knew the Lord would have him not destroy his body with cigarette smoke. So he prayed and fasted. He asked people to pray for him. He went to healing services. He cried out to God to take this from him. He did everything he could but years later he still couldn’t seem to shake the habit.
One day he invited a lost friend to church. This friend ended up accepting the Lord as his Savior at that service and God took away his smoking habit – just like that. The first man was very frustrated and crying out to God, he asked, “Why have I been struggling so much for the past two years, asking You to take this from me, then instantly You take it from my friend?” The first man heard God whisper, “Because you still like it.”
Do we really hate our sin as sister wisdom calls us to? Do we hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech? Do we understand the fear of the Lord to the point we hate our sin? Or, do we simply regret that we get caught? Do we regret that we can’t boast about how we’ve overcome our sin, yet still cling on to our sin because we really like it deep down?
Clearly the Lord would not have us walk around bound to sin. He would take our sins away if we chose to give them up. But He loves us too much to override our free will. He would love for us to voluntarily give up all our bad habits and choose to serve Him only, but He doesn’t want robots to follow Him out of pre-programmed responses. He wants us to fear Him and love Him so much that all our old habits simply disappear due to our infatuation with our Savior and Lord.
I’ve seen the daily reading of God’s Word change a man. So if you struggle with some kind of sin, keep in His Word. It’s living and powerful enough to change you for good. Invite Him to increase your hunger for His Word. Get in daily and drink it in. Fear God and love Him. Seek Him first, then everything else will just fall into place (Matt. 6:33).