“Bring insect repellent.”
This exhortation has been included on every tour description we have taken over the past 7 years in Peru. But I have never experienced the need for the repellent. Apparently, mosquitoes can’t live in the higher altitudes.
This year’s tour description was no exception to the rule. But I failed to pack the repellent. I brushed off the oversight, reasoning that I wouldn’t need it anyway since I had never used it before.
At the prep rally, two days before the tour, the tour guide warned us that one of the stops where we would be getting out of the van was at a lower altitude. He stressed that there would be mosquitoes. He stressed that we needed insect repellent. Once again, I brushed off the warning.
When we arrived at the touring site, there were some “gnats” flying around, but I didn’t see any mosquitoes, so I thought I was safe.
Later, when we stopped for lunch, these same “gnats” hovered around us. I swatted one on my arm. It was filled with blood. These were the mosquitoes we had been warned about. I checked my arms and they were covered with bites. The bites did not hurt when the gnats had made them, nor did they ever itch or hurt. But I had definitely been attacked by blood suckers.
Spiritually, God warns us about the presence, prevalence, and dangers of sin. He tells us that sin will be around us wherever we go. He exhorts us to resist sin by drawing near him. He warns us that if we do not draw near him, sin will infest our lives.
We look around us and think that we really don’t need God’s help; that we have made it through life pretty good on our own, and we really haven’t encountered any “sin”. We see actions occurring all around us which appear to be nuisances and aggravations, but not harmful sin. These actions don’t look like our concept of sin. So, we put up with them, thinking the whole time that we are not being affected.
Then one day, after it is too late, we realize that these nuisances are filled with blood; our blood. We realize that these are the sins God warned us about. And, they have silently and stealthily been attacking us, biting us, affecting us, until we find ourselves “eat up” with the sin.
May we always listen to God’s exhortations, striving to use his power to resist the sin of this world, so as not to become secretly and silently infected by it.
“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13) ESV
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