I updated a few weeks ago on the topic of temptation, and the freedom from sin I feel. Although I closed by discussed personal responsibility in reaction to temptation, I don't think I did a good enough job emphasizing this. It was presented brilliantly in church this morning. I, of course, didn't take coherent notes and therefore will try to piece together something logical here and edit when the sermon audio is available online.
The heart is the most fertile place on earth. What seeds fall into the heart will manifest there - be it good seed or bad. Although I don't believe I am responsible for the temptation that presents itself to me, I am responsible for whether I entertain this temptation. Matthew 5:27-30 (the "I tell you that anyone wo looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" verses) makes it pretty clear that entertaining the idea of sin is introducing the sin to yourself. As that idea takes seed in your fertile heart, it is bound to grow like wildfire. Why is it that weeds are so hard to kill and blooms are so hard to keep alive? The important message from this morning is that sin is more than the moment of relapse - it is more than the instant gratification and then repentance that sometimes follows. Sin is allowing the darkness of the enemy to take root in your heart and spread. Guard your heart. Protect it and weed it and fertilize it so it can be pure.