Dr. Donald M. Joy writes in his book, The Holy Spirit and You, about sin being a thief. His analogy equates the principle of sin to an armed robber in one’s home, an outlaw in the heart. This is not far-fetched: John 10:10 tells us “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”
Imagine yourself arriving home late one evening and discovering that an invader was inside your home and holding your child at gunpoint. As you wait in fear outside your home, you have to make a decision. You must do something. But what?
Should you simply ignore the problem and hope the criminal would decide to do no harm, quietly exit your home and go away?
Should you slowly enter your home, careful not to frighten the outlaw, and try to negotiate with him? Perhaps he would promise to steal only one item per day if you let him live in your home!
Or, maybe, you should rush into your home, tackle the would-be robber, throw him to the floor and hold him down so he could not use his gun. But then would you sit on him day after day suppressing his evil intent until one day you grew fatigued and he overpowered you?
As Dr. Joy clearly explains, in your own strength you cannot destroy the intruder. The only real solution is to call for help from someone who has the authority and ability to remove the thief.
Are you catching the parallels? Many of us minimize the destructive capabilities of sin. But it steals our joy, kills our relationships, and destroys our lives. If we ignore it, the problem grows worse. Negotiating with it leads us astray as well (remember Adam, Eve, and the serpent?). Trying to restrain it under our own power leaves us worn out and ultimately defeated. Is this not the description of many Christians’ sad existence?!
The only way to remove the intruder is to call on a higher, more powerful authority. Dr. Joy finishes his reflection exclaiming: “Hallelujah! God has made provision in Christ to cleanse our hearts from all sin!” Hallelujah, indeed!
So, what are you waiting for? The robber has been present long enough!
“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24-25)