It has been said that there are two ways to boil a live frog. The first way involves heating the water until it boils and then throwing the frog into the pot. The effectiveness of this method is unpredictable since it is very likely that the frog will feel the heat and jump out. I know I would. The second way works the majority of the time because it is much sneakier. This method involves putting the frog in a pot of cold water and then slowly heating up the water until it boils. Frogs are cold blooded, which means that their body temperature changes to match that of their environment. In this case, the slow increase in water temperature causes the frog to change its body temperature little by little. Conforming internally with its external environment enables the frog to tolerate the heat. Unfortunately for the frog, by the time it realizes the water is dangerously hot, it is already boiling to death.
OK. Let’s say you are the frog. The water represents a cesspool of things that you can fall into. The temperature represents the degree of your involvement in those things. The difference between you and the frog, however, is that the frog doesn’t choose to get in hot water.
You see, the deadly power of sin is that it can kill us one degree at a time. Our bad choices worsen in direct relation to the deadening of our conscience. We get involved in what society considers normal and we stop feeling ashamed of our wrong behavior. Before we realize what has happened, ever-so-slowly, one bad choice followed by another, we are trapped in a lifestyle that is opposed to what God considers right. Sin is defined as ‘missing the mark’ that God sets as our target. Some people think that God is trying to keep them from enjoying their lives by commanding us to obey Him. They consider submission to God a limitation of their free will. The exact opposite is actually the case. God never forces us to obey Him, He simply sets boundaries to keep us safe from harm.
What can we do to avoid the pitfalls? First and foremost we each need to come to a decision about who God is and what He wants of us individually. Why is this first? Because the choices we make are not always wise ones. Wisdom to make good choices comes from God, through our spiritual connection with Jesus. We were designed by our Creator with a mind capable of gathering and processing information, and with the ability to choose what to do with the information that we’ve obtained. Unfortunately, without this vital connection we are powerless over temptation, slaves to the devil and to our own carnal nature. We will find ourselves prisoners to self-gratification and doomed to do wrong.
When Christians choose to get involved in the things that are Biblically wrong we distance ourselves from God and will end up feeling lost and alone. Although God never forsakes us He will allow us to do as we please and to suffer the consequences of our decisions. And, when we choose to remain in an ungodly lifestyle we cut ourselves off from our only source of spiritual life, and disconnection from God always equals spiritual demise. Trading off temporary pleasures for eternal bliss is not a good choice. But, it is a personal choice that each of us must make for ourselves. No one can force us to do anything we don’t want to do. Not people. Not the devil. Not even God. But, you say, “I have the right to do anything I want.” Yes, you do. But there are some things that are not beneficial. (1 Corinthians 6:12) On the other hand, obedience to God brings blessings from God. Just as an earthly father passes down an inheritance to his children, so does God. Christians are God’s children and He promises to bless us when we obey Him. But, if we choose to follow the devil, we have made a choice to be adopted by him and we will reap those rewards instead. Let’s not blame God for the consequences we reap from doing what we’ve been warned not to do.
God gives us a very big hint of what we should do to be blessed in the book of Exodus, Chapter 30:11-20. He says: “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand or perform… “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death. I have commanded you today to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, laws, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and become a great nation, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed…Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the LORD your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Christians are the descendants spoken of in the Bible.
The promised blessings are meant to be ours. Life or Death. Blessings or Curses. The choice is up to you.