I discovered that braking on black ice is like riding a bobsled. This southern California boy moved east to attend Seminary in Philadelphia. On my way to school one chilly morning I jammed the brake to prevent hitting the car that had incomprehensibly stopped in the middle of the intersection. What I learned later was that the train tressel just above had been dripping water on the roadway below all night long. And that roadway was freezing that water into a large, invisible lake of ice ("black ice"). I swear the car accelerated, and I ran into the car ahead. Had to total it out and shop for another car, but that's another story.
My point is simply this: that scary moment when I realized I was not in control of this car. There are moments in our lives when we must admit that awkward or dangerous truth: I can't stop this immanent calamity.
Fast forward 10 years or so. A special musical group was singing at our church. We had invited the community. I met a young man who told me how he had become a Christian. It seems that the lead female singer in this group had been a long time friend of this guy. After a few years during which their paths went different directions, they met again. Only everything was different. She was now singing for the Lord, but he was still doing drugs. He told me that he decided to give up the drug scene and straighten out his life, but terror struck when he found he couldn't do it. All along he thought he was taking drugs and alcohol as a matter of choice which he could quit whenever he chose. It really spooked him that he was not really in control. He asked his long time friend how she dumped the drug scene, and she simply told him that Jesus turned her around.
Just one of many accounts of the terrifying power of sin in our lives. The girl who develops an obsession with her figure. She wants to be slim, and so refuses to eat. It becomes a fixation which is out of her control. We call it anorexia, but it has the power to kill. It begins with a prideful obsession with her appearance. Okay, you may want to argue the point, but it is still an illustration of how we lose control.
One who is managing money for others and finds himself in serious financial need may cross the line and "borrow" some of that money which will never be missed. But as the conscience grows a callous, he finds the second and third time a little easier until he is overwhelmed and finally uncovered as a thief.
The managing of the half truth is an art with many people. Instead of having a concern for the truth, this person finds verbal spin to work for social advantage. It gains friends and influences people. He doesn't see himself as the inveterate liar he has become.
It is so easy to view or read porn with just a little search. No one needs to know, so why not a little indulgence. No harm, no foul. But we hear of those who wake up to realize this is an addiction which they are powerless to control. "Having eyes full off adultery and that cannot cease from sin" (II Peter 2:14).
There is a point when we decide to play with sin, but it is like opening the door for a malicious giant who pins you to the floor. At this point, try as we might, we cannot get up. To use another analogy, sin is like a virus within us. I keep seeing the commercial encouraging me to get my shingles shot. They remind me that if I have had chicken pox, I already have the virus in me. Even so when sin is triggered by a little "indulgence" we set off powers that overwhelm us, and the virus of sin is fatal.
The fallen condition of human nature is no joke. Scripture tells us that Joseph's brothers were not able to speak kindly to him. They had become controlled by jealousy and hatred that it was not possible for them to break the cycle.
The good news about Jesus is that He died to deliver us from sin. He paid the penalty, yes, but He also rose again to break the power of sin. He is the only real "higher power" that can deliver the 12 step alcoholic. He can throw that giant that has you pinned. He is the great physician who can cure that virus.
Oh dear reader, come to Christ today!
"But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life." (Romans 6:22)