Entering the backdoor of the church building last week, I walked into a spider web that stretched across the full width of the entry way. I instantaneously lurched backward, thrashed my head from side-to-side, spun around, flailed my arms about spasmodically, and barked out an incomprehensible utterance. Fortunately, no one was around to view this display of manliness and control. Still, I had the feeling that something was crawling on my hair for several hours until I finally brushed the last of the arachnid silk from my hair. I was careful not to repeat the experience when entering and leaving the building for the rest of the week.
Consider how different life would be if sin felt like having a spider web drawn across the face. If sin startled and shocked our spiritual system like the web does our skin, would we not pull away and fervently seek its removal? If the residue of previous sin left an uncomfortable, creeping feeling, would we not seek to cleanse ourselves of its grasps? If sin made us do things that were embarrassing, would we not seek to avoid the contact on the next occasion? The answer to these question would seem to be obvious.
The problem is that sin does not feel like walking into a spider web. In fact, sin can often feel like a cool breeze gently kissing the skin on a hot summer day that offers pleasant relief. It can also be like a soft, warm blanket when the night is cold and the air has a stinging bite, offering a soothing comfort. It can even feel like the comforting embrace of a dear loved one that conveys a sense of security and love.
Hebrews 11:25 “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin…” Moses chose God’s way, but not because of comfort. James 1:14 tells us, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.” One is lured by the enticing feeling of sin. Proverbs 7:21-23 “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield, with her flattering lips she seduced him…he did not know it would cost his life.” The pleasure of sin is seducing and alluring.
Since sin does not feel like a spider web, we must condition ourselves to reject the enticement of sin. This is not an unconscious, repulsing reaction, but rather it is a purposeful and prepared response. We can know the will of God and thus we can know what is against God’s will. We can condition ourselves to pull away from sin because of intellect and not because of a feeling.