I’m always amused when I turn on the light in the garage and see a cockroach running off seeking a place to hide. I have often thought about how it reminds me of our sins. See if you agree with me.
Roaches operate in the dark, sins are deeds of darkness. Roaches run from the light, so do we when we engage in sinful behavior. Roaches multiply fast unless they are killed off, so do sins. Roaches thrive in the dirt, as do sins. Roaches prosper in garbage, sin does too. Roaches invade our lives through small cracks in our defenses; that is how sin gets in. After hiding the roaches come out again when we are not paying attention, sin does this too. We deny roaches live in our homes; we deny sin hides secretly inside us. No matter how much we treat for roaches, they keep on coming, and no matter how much we destroy sin in our lives we always seem to be discovering new, or previously hidden, sin in our lives. Roaches are ugly, so is sin. Little roaches grow into big ones, little sins get larger too. When the roach colony gets large it seems to take over a house, when sins get large they take over our spiritual house, the soul.
I’m guessing you get the picture. Our sins are like internal roaches, just waiting for darkness to breed and multiply and finally overtake us until we have a massive spiritual infestation. Here is what God said to the first character presented in scripture who allowed this to happen:
Gen 4:6-7 – Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” NASU
Cain’s roach or his sin was not the anger or the fallen countenance. (This fallen countenance can be thought of as sulking or having a sense of low self-esteem or feeling unaccepted, it is a state of mind or better put, an attitude.) It was the combination of being angry, and holding on to it, and also having this ungodly attitude that caused God to tell Cain, “Sin is crouching at your door”. God gave Cain some timeless advice, and I’ll paraphrase using the roach concept:
- If you don’t deal with the baby roaches of lingering anger and ungodly attitudes, they will breed and take over your soul.
In this simple story we can see some basics on making sure we don’t get overrun by sin in our lives, making sure the roaches don’t gain the upper hand. Just like dealing with and killing off a roach infestation we must get to work and treat the sin or potential sin infestation of our souls. Scripture calls this “sanctification” and this is my favorite sets of verses on this:
Rom 12:1-2 – Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. NASU
Phil 2:12-13 – So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. NASU
It is clear from reading these two sets of verses, and God’s message to Cain, that God expects us to do our part in dealing with the roaches in our lives. When the roaches are just eggs we can easily deal with them. So it is with sin. When we carry ungodly attitudes or difficult emotions, the things that often grow up or develop into sin; we have a much better shot at avoiding an infestation if we deal with them quickly. This is what the Scriptures means when it says to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” and “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”.
If you are reading this and connect with the idea of being overrun by roaches, sins, in your life, do not let it get you depressed, because God has some answers for us. This is how we can all treat a sin infestation:
- Confess to God. (1 Jn 1:9)
- Confess to others. (Jas 5:16)
- Learn what scripture says about how sins develop.
- Do what scripture says.
Let’s look at the 1 John scripture above in more detail.
1 John 1:5-10 – This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. NASU
In this we see the very basic message that we need to follow in dealing with our spiritual roaches. Go to God, He is Light, and when He shines His light on the spiritual roaches they flee. Sin causes us to hide in the darkness of secrecy, but when our spiritual roaches are shown light or truth through either God or men, they become exposed, and can no longer be hidden, and we then will fall into shame; and God is the only one who can remove our shame. God will help us see the spiritual roaches of our lives, the sins, but also help us overcome them.
My message here is simple. Don’t let the spiritual roaches take over your spiritual house. Treat for the eggs of sin and treat any infestation of spiritual roaches by knowing and applying God’s word.
My parting thought is this; our inability to deal with the spiritual roaches in our lives without God proves we have a need for a savior, so every time you see a roach thank God for Jesus!