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by | Aug 18, 2023 | Deliverance, Sin, Temptation

It was tick season in Southern Ontario, Canada.

And had been tick season for quite some time! In fact, it seemed that this tick season was longer lasting and more ferocious than some…

You’d think I would have learned after the first outing in long underbrush. One of our hiking party brushed several off his legs and socks before getting in the car to go home. Another went home with a tick that she later found embedded along her waistline…

Yes, we should have learned. But a few days later, hubby and I were again in long underbrush. I found a tick crawling on his pant leg later that evening, and horror of horrors, when I went to pull off my socks for the night, there was a tick deeply embedded in my ankle. Hubby — and tweezers! — to the rescue!

And then, just a few days later I was out in the underbrush again, and later that day, while driving down the road, I noticed a tick crawling on my forearm… Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic, because I’m not sure I checked my blind spots as I pulled over into the emergency lane and opened the door to flick off the pesky bug.

Then on Father’s day, we again found ourselves hiking in long underbrush. Again one of our party picked off three or four from his pants and socks. We all checked each other over thoroughly after this, and once home, hubby even showered. But he didn’t think to put his pants in the wash; rather, he laid them over the foot of the bed. Guess what I found between the sheets on his side the following morning when I was doing that weekly sheet-changing task… Yup! A live tick…

Well we must really be slow studies, because a few days later we once again found ourselves in the long underbrush. I did have sense enough to do a tick check before getting in the car and we knocked three of the pesky bugs off our clothes and socks. Once back home, something told me we needed to strip off our pants and socks and put them immediately in the wash. Imagine my horror to find a live tick crawling up hubby’s bare leg… And even more horrendous, to find one embedded in my ankle…

As I think about this, it reminds me a lot of my walk with the Lord. I want to be “tick” free — I want to stop sinning. But it seems like every time I turn around, I see a “tick” — a pet sin — rearing it’s ugly head. Sometimes I see these in advance, when they are just in the temptation stage. If you can catch them at this point, you are home free, for James tells us that the temptation itself isn’t the sin; but rather, when we allow the temptation to entice us and drag us in. Check it out: “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15 NLT). When I recognize the temptation, I then have a choice: Do I give in and let that little “tick” of temptation bite me? Or do I flick it away, squish it or flush it down the toilet?

There is one sure way to avoid ticks, even here in tick-infested Southern Ontario, Canada; and that is to avoid the woods and the long grasses and underbrush. It’s pretty rare to pick up ticks if you stay on the beaten path! In much the same way, we can also go a long way towards avoiding temptation completely by not allowing ourselves to go where temptation breeds and flourishes. We all know what our weaknesses are. If you’ve been delivered from an addiction, for example, you can’t allow yourself to be in places where that particular temptation flourishes!

Unfortunately, however, temptation doesn’t always appear as awful as a real tick, and it can be easy enough to ignore. When we do, however, we allow it to entice us and drag us away. This gives birth to the sinful actions, which can give birth to death! Wow, that’s a lot more serious than allowing a real tick to bite!

And just like it is important to inspect your legs and clothing when you’ve been in a tick-infested area, it is vital that we are continually doing “tick” — sin — checks in our lives as well! Sin, like real ticks, likes to hide, and if it hides and you don’t recognize it, it becomes easier for it to “bite” — to draw you into the sin!

So what is the sure-fire “tick” — sin — check?

Prayer! Pray daily and ask God to reveal to you where you are weak, and ask Him to bring temptation immediately to your attention so that you can “flick it away” — renounce it in His name. The good news is that even if we do find we’ve been “bitten” — we’ve fallen into sin — God’s Spirit is also there to reveal this to us: “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin” (John 16:8a NLT); Jesus gives us the power to overcome: “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 NLT); and God’s grace covers our fall: “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.” (Titus 2:11 NLT).

Lord, help us to abhor sin in the same way we abhor physical ticks. We rely on You to reveal temptation to us and to give us the strength to overcome. We rely on You to help us when we have fallen into sin, and we thank You from the bottom of our hearts for Your grace that covers our sin!

Praise God for sending Jesus! Amen?

In His love,

Lynona Gordon Chaffart
Moderator, Associate Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries