I have a grandson who is allergic to raw shellfish. His whole face puffs up; his eyes swell … he looks so pitifully horrible and it scares me to death. I’d seen that effect before though with my oldest son. He is allergic to aspirin and his face would puff up like a frog’s. Needless to say, after discovering the allergy, we keep my grandson (as I kept my son) away from those things. We have witnessed and they’ve experienced the consequences and know the danger in doing so in the future.
As a Christian, I wonder how many of us would absolute welcome an allergy to sin. You know what I mean? Sometimes it’s absolutely nuts how I can do the same thing over and over and know full well the consequences. There have been areas of my life where I was purely baffled by this desire to be obedient, but the amnesia I clearly faced at times about what the consequences of disobedience are.
At times such as these in my life, I thank God for another of his gifts, a “spiritual” allergic reaction to sin, if you will. He has given us His precious Holy Spirit as One who convicts us of sin (meaning, and I’ll just make it personal, I now know because of the Holy Spirit’s prompting, that disobedience has dire consequences. In fact, not only does the Holy Spirit make me conscious of the dangers of sin, God gives me the desire and power to do what pleases Him. He said so in His Word:
Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:12-13 NLT
I’ll also take the analogy a step further: just like my grandson liked shellfish and just like my son NEEDED something like aspirin to help take pain away doesn’t and didn’t mean that either had to ever again boldly go where they shouldn’t and then suffer the consequences. There are some things you and I like, and there are also some things you and I do to try to take care of our own pain. But I thank my Father in Heaven that through His Son’s death, burial and resurrection; and my belief and acceptance of same and desire to follow Christ, I now have an indwelling Presence (His Holy Spirit) who allows me to have my own personal allergic reaction to disobedience; and thus, I do not have to suffer the pitifully horrible consequences of same. Just like the person who suffers an allergic reaction can choose to take part in the things that cause the reaction, so can you and I when it comes to disobedience. By no means are you and I perfect, but God is and His Spirit resides in us and gives us the power to resist those dangers if we so choose.