Have you ever considered what comes before sin? I’m sure most of you think the answer to that question is easy. Before sin comes temptation. Yes, temptation does come before sin. Unfortunately, by the time most of us are feeling that temptation, we are so far into the thought or act of sinning that it feels impossible to turn from it. Although it might seem like sin is inevitable, God is with us even when our focus is not on Him. Far before the pull of temptation comes signs from God that we have most likely ignored. Along the way, God gives us reminders to help us walk through our struggles. When we want what we want, we often don’t turn to God at the first sign that the enemy is near and potential sin is present.
Before giving up and giving into sin, ask God to help you recognize danger ahead. Here are a few of the ways He warns us.
God’s Warning Signs
- Restless sleep and distracted thoughts that make it difficult for me to pray and study the Word.
- A need to seek agreement from others instead of taking my struggle to God and trusting Him to intervene.
- Attempt to justify the cause or course of the thoughts or actions I’m considering.
- Self-indulgent, inward thoughts and actions instead of reaching out to help others.
- Doubt, guilt, anxiety, and depression. A loss of inner joy and peace.
As I began recognizing the signs God was giving me, I could turn over my struggles sooner and trust God to intervene. God enabled me to recognize the enemy’s approach, his tactics, and strategies. The enemy no longer had the advantage of a surprise attack. It should not surprise us when we enter a tempting situation because most have intentionally put themselves there. We know the dangers of being in the company of those with whom we’ve previously sinned. We are familiar with a particular location or activity that led us into sin in the past. God has even given us that little voice in our head that makes us question our thoughts and actions, yet still, we often ignore it all. Why? Well, the answer to that question is easy too. We ignore those warnings because we want what we want now and refuse to think of the consequences of our sins.
God often reminds me how much He loves me. He loves me so much that He sacrificed His only Son. That’s a love that is difficult to ignore. We’re all familiar with John 3:16 NIV, which reads, For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. The power of God’s love gives me the strength I need to battle the enemy’s attacks. His love brings me to my knees in prayer and thanksgiving.
I challenge you to look for God’s warning signs and tell yourself to repent (turn from) sin and run to God. He is always there for us. God awaits with open arms, ready to forgive and fill us with His peace and joy. What’s lovely is that He brings an army of angels to guard us against all future struggles. Psalm 91:11-12NIV says For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Nothing can separate us from God when we spend time with Him. There is nothing we cannot overcome when God is in control of our futures.