Kelly Kapic describes sin as a two step process “Turning and Taking”. Sometimes, when we’re having discipleship conversations, the subject of a particular sin recently committed comes to mind. From this point forward, I hope we are able to deconstruct the incident in these simple terms: “What made you turn from God and what did you take?”
The first question God ever asks is “Adam, where are you?” Rest assured that when God asks a question in scripture, it is not because He does not know the answer. Rather, it is because He is demanding that we come face to face with the answer. Adam had taken not only the apple, but the lie “surely, you will not die”, and held it in his heart. This is a turning of the heart, a rejection of God’s sovereignty and Word.
One of God’s greatest desires is that we are ever connected to Him – “abiding” in the vine. But, in our broken world and thanks to sin, we turn from Him and take what He has not intended for us to have. Therefore, in preaching the gospel to unbelievers and believers alike the first command we must heed is “repent” – turn away from our sin, back to God. The second, I believe, is “surrender” – though these are really just two aspects of the same command. We cannot hold onto God while clinging to that which we have taken – goods, control, an idol, etc. cannot remain in our hands or our heart if we have truly “turned” from them.
So, what are you holding in your hands? What’s in your heart? Is it something God did not intend you to have?
What are the things you have taken that God did not intend for you to have?
We take money from others when we don’t do our job as if God is our boss. How much time are you spending on Facebook while you’re at work?
We take control when we violate the speed limit – turning from trust that God will get us there at His appointed time rather than ours.
We take purity from our spouse (or our intended future spouse, if we’re single) when we look at images