Have you ever contemplated why we have locks on our doors?
Let me phrase that a better way: Have you ever stood outside your car door, beating your fists against the doorframe and window, checking the handle again as if beating on the door magically unlocked it, all while watching the keys dangling in the ignition?
Now, we’ve set the scene.
At that moment, did you scream and ask yourself, “Why in the blankety-blanking bleepety-bleep did I lock the door?”
Well, I have. I’ve been there, several years ago, luckily. It hasn’t happened to me in awhile.
After a few enraged minutes, mostly enraged at myself although displaying it outwardly, I thought to myself: Why do they even put locks on doors? Why do we even need locks at all?
Like a burst of intelligence, God answered me with one word: “Sin!”
Think about it. If there were no sin – that is, if sin didn’t exist on Earth – there would be no reason to lock your doors. There would be no reason to shut your windows other than it being cold outside. Your wallet, purse or your kid’s Nintendo DS would be safe in plain sight between your car seats.
As a kid, I remember hearing adults’ comments of, “Lock your doors and windows, so-and-so got out of jail.”
For that matter, if it wasn’t for sin, so-and-so wouldn’t have a jail to go to, because there wouldn’t be a crime committed by a so-and-so. Even further, the rest of us wouldn’t be gossiping or watching the news about the so-and-sos, if not for the existence of sin in our world.
“For every living soul belongs to Me, the father as well as the son, both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die,” – Ezekiel 18:4 (New International Version)
Some religious groups have begun an inner-crusade against preaching that mentions “sin.” Some can’t handle the pastor talking about Hell – aka the devil’s home address, aka the place where sin was crafted before it was introduced to humans here on Earth.
Someone very close to me recently told me, “That’s why I don’t go to church, because as soon as you walk in the door, they start preaching at you.”
Well…. They don’t call him a preacher because he paints fences.
If a discussion about sin and the mention that God can forgive your sin makes your feet feel hot – let me tell you, man – the heat your feeling is the heat coming from 666 Satan’s Lane (I don’t know his real address, just guessing here). It means that things are not “ok” with you and God.
If a man, who happens to not be a fence painter, mentions sin and you get twitchy. That’s your soul – your spirit – hemorrhaging as it is trying to leap back to where it belongs, which is near God’s side.
Now to those who need to come closer to God and ask for forgiveness of your sin, which is given through the free grace of Jesus Christ, I want you to know that I’m not “preaching at you.” But you should understand that I’m not painting a fence either! I am concerned about your soul and where you will be when your earthly flesh gives out.
Back to my question: Why do we have locks? It’s because we have sin. Sin keeps us from being able to grab both door handles, jerk the church doors open and step into the full love and grace and fellowship of God.
“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine,” — ! Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV).
If not for sin, we wouldn’t need locks, or laws, or jails. But you cannot guard yourself from the sin of others, nor should you allow the sin of others to interfere with your relationship with the One who made you – God. Do not let someone else’s choices “bring you down.” Do not let someone else influence you to “do as they do.”
In the words of your mother – and all mothers, “If so-and-so jumped off a bridge would you?”
It doesn’t take a burst of intelligence to know right from wrong, and it doesn’t take a Wiseman to follow the guidance God puts before us.
If all were righteous, there would be no fear of leaving our doors unlocked. Sin may find its way into your home and steal your DVD player. Sin doesn’t care about locks, because sin has no regard for anything but sin itself. Sin doesn’t care about locks because it has a crowbar. Sin doesn’t care about locks, because it will smash your car windows to get your stereo, or your innocent child’s video game.
But there is one lock that sin can’t break. There is one lock that sin always tries to get around – one lock that sin wants to pry open with a crowbar.
That is the lock God puts on your heart when you accept Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that can only come from Him.
“Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” – Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).
That verse isn’t talking about eating a fat-free diet. It isn’t talking about lowering your cholesterol by eating Cheerios.
That verse is a warning to all of us to “above all else,” guard your heart from sin.
We pray to God to forgive our sin and ask Him to lock sin out of our hearts and lives. We pray God that you will help us to not allow sin to pry its way back into our hearts. Guard our hearts, Jesus, and protect our “wellspring of life.” For without our wellspring, we have no connection to you Lord. Amen!