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Can You Smell A Rat?

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

There’s a wretched stench above our pantry. And every day it’s getting worse. After leaving baits for a family of rats living in our ceiling, one of them died directly above the kitchen pantry. The smell can’t be concealed with air freshener and trying to diffuse the smell by leaving the fans on, just makes it worse. There is only one answer to the problem. Remove the rat.

Sin is just like that rat. Its stench lingers and clings, becoming so toxic that it can’t be ignored any longer. We may try to pretend it’s not there, or disguise it with excuses or lies, but in the end it’s just too overwhelming. It has to go.

Like Paul, we have a dilemma that will not leave us till we leave this earth and meet our Savior. Sin will always be there waiting to tempt us. When we want to do good, evil is right there with us. We delight to do God’s laws, but the temptation to give in to sin can be so strong. Thus, like Paul, we can say, what I do is not the good I want to do; but the evil I do not want to do I keep on doing. Another law is at work with in us: the law of sin and death, causing us to be the people we do not want to be.

Romans 7:20 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

This law at work in our body is waging war against the work the Spirit is doing within us. Galatians 5:17 reminds us that the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, causing us to do what we do not want to.

Like the foul stench emulating from our pantry, the sin that struggles with our new nature in Christ, must be dealt with. Sooner rather than later. If we try to deal with our sin in our own efforts, we will fail. Our only way to freedom from our evil desires is through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

The Holy Spirit reminds us that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the old body of sin was done away with and so we no longer need give into and become slaves to sin. As we have died with Christ, we are free from being slaves to sin any longer. We have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness instead (Romans 6:18).

Moreover, the Holy Spirit helps us in our times of weakness when we are tempted by sin.

As the Spirit, who in awesome power raised Jesus Christ from the dead, lives in us, that same Spirit will give us the power to overcome temptation when we call upon Him to help us. With the Spirit’s power in us we can ‘put to death’ the sinful nature that tries to control us. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory!

Our part is clear. With the Spirit’s help, we must identify the stench of sin in our lives and resolve to be free of it, rather than letting it linger and cling to us. Like the ugly smell of the decaying rat that was beginning to seep through our entire kitchen, sin unchecked will begin to work its way through our entire lives. Let’s come quickly before the Father to confess our sin and ask for His help to be rid of it, lest it consumes our lives.

Confession and dependence upon the Spirit doesn’t necessarily mean that we will never see traces of sin again. Whilst there is breath in our body, we still have the capacity to sin, but we have been set free from sin’s power over us and no longer have to give in to it. We must daily commit our sinful tendencies to God’s control, daily crucify them and moment be moment draw upon the Spirit’s power to overcome them.

“Heavenly Father, You have revealed to me where I am harboring sin in my life. Please forgive me for entertaining what separates me from You. Father, help me by the power of Your Spirit to resist this evil and overcome temptations that at times consume me. Thank You for the victory I have in You. Amen.”

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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3 comments

  1. Excellent article on the ability for sin to decay one’s soul. Your reminder to us all, of the importance and need to confess and turn from sin before it erodes our entire countenance and being.

    The segue about the rats decaying was a perfect depiction and powerful way to get to the scriptures you’ve provided.

    Wonderful job!

    God Bless~

  2. We have heard the saying that something around here stinks to high Heaven.
    When I think about the passage in the scripture about what sin is to God. He is of purer eyes than to behold sin (Habakkuk 1:13), so sin is the cause that keeps us out of fellowship with Him.
    We get the point between sin and death from your example of presenting a vivid picture of the poison of sin leading to the reason we stink spiritually and die physically.
    Thank the Lord; He is the cure!

  3. We all inherit that old sin nature, but Praise God, when we accept Christ as Savior, we receive a new nature, the new man. We are now new creations in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away and all things are become new. We no longer have to obey the old sin nature. We can now yield our bodies as instruments of righteousness. Thank you for so ably demonstrating this with the verses you used and explained.

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