Did you shake hands with someone today?
If you answer “Yes”, let me ask you a disturbing question: Do you know what that hand touched before it touched you?
Here’s a scientific fact: The hand you held probably contained millions of germs. I’m not joking. What kind of germs? The kind of germs that kills human beings. Every square inch of that hand was probably covered with layers upon layers of germs.
Here’s my question: Why aren’t you dying? Why aren’t you even getting sick? Everyday, you shake hands with people—and you seem to be okay.
Here’s the truth: Germs don’t cause sickness. (Germs are everywhere!)
I know that’s a controversial statement, but it’s the truth.
So if germs don’t cause sickness, what does?
A weak immune system.
I’m sharing this to you today to make you understand what cases us to sin…
Don’t Go After The Symptoms
Just like germs, temptations are everywhere.
Let me shock you: Temptations don’t cause you sin.
That bottle of gin didn’t cause you to sin. That casino didn’t cause you to sin. That girl in a miniskirt and plunging neckline didn’t cause you to sin. That annoying, rude, and obnoxious officemate that tests your patience didn’t cause you to sin.
Instead, a weak spiritual immune system caused you to sin.
No, I’m not referring to your lack of religiosity.
There are religious people whose schedules are filled to the brim with religious activities—going to Mass daily, attending prayer meetings daily, reading the Bible daily, praying the rosary daily, and wearing 16 scapulars around their neck–but they’re rampant sinners. And they also have the gall to be highly judgmental and critical of others too.
A strong spiritual immune system isn’t about religion but about relationships. Specifically, loving relationships. It’s about whether you have a loving relationship with yourself, with others, and with God. In other words, your spiritual immune system is how much love you have in your heart.
Let me put it in another way. To make your physical immune system strong, you need nourishingfood. To make your spiritual immune system strong, you need nourishing love.
And when your spiritual immune system is strong, it’ll be a little bit more difficult to fall into repeated sin.
The Outer Environment
But you still need to look at your outer environment.
Yes, a strong physical immune system is the basis of health. But no matter how strong my physical immune system is, I can still die young. How?
If a 10-wheeler truck hits me on the road, I’m dead.
I don’t care how healthy I am on the inside, the truck won’t care. The truck won’t care if I eat my vegetables everyday, if I do my Tai Chi everyday, or if I drink 8 glasses of water everyday. It I get hit by 10-wheeler truck, I’ll be as dead as a flattened frog on the road, its greenish entrails splattered on the pavement.
In the same way, taking care of my inner environment is crucial for my spiritual health. But taking care of my outer environment is important too.
And this is what I want to share with you today.
Learning How David Fell
Let me tell you a Bible story.
One day, King David was in his palace “at a time when king’s go to war” (2 Samuel 11). Instead of going to war, he took a siesta. And when he woke up, he walked on the roof of his palace. And from his high vantage point, he saw a woman bathing in her house. He noticed that she was very beautiful.
This is how sin starts. It starts with our thoughts.
“Wowowee,” David said when he saw Bathsheeba.
Inside his head, his conscience said, “Stop!”
But David justified and answered back, “Hey, what’s wrong? I’m just looking. There’s no harm in looking, is there? I just want to appreciate art.”
One day, a guy asked me, “Bo, when you see a beautiful girl walk by in a miniskirt, and the miniskirt is so mini that it looks more like an oversized belt…do you look?”
I told him, “I’ll look. I won’t be human if I don’t look. But when I look too long, and the thoughts linger in my mind, that’s when I know I’m in trouble.”
Because that’s what happened to David.
He Takes Another Step Towards The Edge
He calls his servant and asks, “Who is that woman?”
His conscience was telling him again, “Why bother?” But he answers back, “Hey, what’s wrong with asking for her name?”
The servant checks Facebook and tells David, “Her name is Bathsheeba, your highness. She’s married to Uriah, one of your army officers.
“Hmm, her name fits her,” David said. “No wonder she likes taking a bath.”
He invites her for coffee. I’m sure Mr. conscience spoke up again and says, “You’re crazy! She’s married!”
And David answered, “I’m not doing anything wrong. What’s wrong with coffee? I just want to chit chat.”
Bathsheeba comes and they have coffee. After coffee, they had dinner. And after dinner, they had drinks. After drinks, something happened that shouldn’t have happened…
David probably told himself, “Oops, sorry Lord. This will never happen again.”
But a month later, Bathsheeba sends a text message to David: “I’m delayed.”
What was David’s response? He wanted to cover up the entire thing. He calls for her husband Uriah—who was a soldier fighting in the battlefield—to come home right away. Why? So that Uriah can sleep with his wife and presume that the baby was his.
But when Uriah came home, he never slept with his wife—out of loyalty to his fellow soldiers who were in the battlefield.
So David chose Plan B. He sends back Uriah to war. He calls General Joab on his cellphone and asks, “How’s the war, Joab? Great? Fantastic. Hey, I need you to do a little favor for me. Do you know this Uriah guy? Can you put him in the frontlines? The very front. And when you see he’s busy fighting, can you tell all the other soldiers to run away. What did you say? Uriah will die? Well yes, perhaps that will happen, but you know, soldiers die everyday…”
Not only did David commit adultery, David murdered Uriah.
Please know: This was the same David who won over Goliath. This was the same David who wrote some of the beautiful psalms. This was the same David who the Bible says was a “man whose heart was after the heart of God.”
Yet he still fell into a terrible sin.
How could this thing happen?
Because he was in a “perfect set-up for sin”.
Let me describe it this way. If sin were an airplane, David built a first-class, top-of-the-line, international airport—with a giant runway—for the plane to land.
Today, I’ll describe to you this “perfect set-up for sin” and what we should do when we find ourselves in it.
Perfect Set-Up For Sin
Today, you need to learn how to change the environment of the battle. When you see a “perfect set-up for sin”, find a way to avoid it. And if you can’t avoid it, be alert.
This “perfect set-up for sin” includes two elements.
1. When you’re Absent
2. When you’re Alone
1.Be Alert When You’re Absent From Service
The Bible says that “at a time when kings go to war”, David stayed home.
In other words, he was absent from service.
He should have been deep in the battlefield. His feet should have been muddy, his arms should have been sweaty, and his blade should have been bloody—but that wasn’t the case. On that day, his feet were clean, his arms were perfumed, and his blade was rusty.
On that fateful afternoon, the Bible says he just had a nap. Before the nap, he probably had a massage. Before the massage, he probably had a big royal lunch—perhaps a juicy steak and chocolate cake for dessert. Before lunch, he probably had a haircut and manicure and pedicure—and whatever luxuries they do for kings.
So be forewarned.
When you’re absent from service, be alert.
Yes, you can take a vacation from your Ministry but you can’t take a vacation from the Master of your Ministry.
Let me tell you a true story…
Only One Difference Between Steve And Arnold
Steve and Arnold (not their real names) were taking drugs. These two young men dropped out from college because it interfered with their shabuhabit. Soon, they were already stealing to support their vice.
Their parents would cry to me, asking for prayers for their sons.
But one day, God answered their prayer.
Steve and Arnold joined the Feast (that’s what we call our prayer meeting on steroids) and the Light of Jesus Family and their lives were changed. They kicked drugs out of their life and went back to college. Their parents were thrilled with joy.
Steve joined our music ministry. Three to four times a week, he played the guitar in our prayer meetings. He took his responsibilities for God seriously. Later on, Steve became a Caring Group head and was leading other young guys closer to God.
Arnold however didn’t volunteer. He just remained an attendee. He continued showing up for the prayer meetings. At least for awhile.
But soon, we noticed Arnold started missing the meetings. He said he was busy. Soon, he dropped out altogether. And we didn’t see him again.
Years later, Steve has remained drug-free. He’s still serving God, involved in ministry work. He has a nice business and is about to get married.
Arnold, we heard, is back taking drugs.
One basic difference between them: Steve served. Arnold attended. The difference between “serving” and “attending” is gigantic.
The Two Rooms At The Feast
I want you to know that the Feast has two “figurative” rooms—the dining room and the kitchen. Guests stay in the dining room. Servants stay in the kitchen. These are the people who serve in the various ministries at the Feast: Awesome Kids, Ushers, Greeters, Music, Counseling, Lay Ministers, Creative Ministry, Media Ministry…
People who attend the Feast are blown away by how incredible it is. But let me tell you that what they experience is just the dining room. Wait till they go inside the kitchen. Because it’s always more exciting in the kitchen.
My personal invitation to you: Come and serve God with me. Love others. Serve others. Give your life to God’s people.
Join the Feast and volunteer in ministry. (Or any other organization or community in your area that needs your service!)
The best defense against sin is offense. Be busy in your service for God. Be engaged. Be involved. Be immersed.
And you’ll receive more protection.
2.Be Alert When You’re Alone
This is the second set-up for sin.
When David fell, he wasn’t only absent, he was also alone. Because he sent General Joab and all his friends to fight the battle for him.
You need good friends around you to protect you from temptation. When you’re alone, away from good friends, be on guard. Because you’re more susceptible to the enemy.
The Devil Prowls Like A Roaring Lion
Animals know this. It’s instinct. That’s why deer and antelope and giraffes and zebras and even triceratops travel in herds. That’s not just because they like each other. That’s because in a herd, they’re protected against lions and tigers and T-Rexes.
Here’s the rule of the jungle: If you’re alone, you’re dead. Your days are numbered. If you’re alone, you might as well lie down on a large plate and pour catsup all over your body. Because you’re going to be eaten alive.
Unless a lion is really hungry, it’ll ponder a hundred times before attacking a herd. But if you’re all alone, the lion won’t even think. He’ll just attack.
That means that if you’re alone, you’re multiplying your chances of falling by a hundred times.
The Bible is very realistic. In one passage, it warns, Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (Peter 5:8)
If you’re alone, I suggest you join a herd.
There are three kinds of aloneness in this world.
1st Type Of Aloneness:
No Inspiring Friends
God designed the spiritual journey to be taken as a family.
No solo travellers allowed.
For almost four decades, I’ve been serving God. Why? One humongous reason is that I’ve always had fantastic, awesome, wonderful friends around me who also serve God.
Never once in my spiritual journey was there a time when I didn’t have great friends around me.
That’s why the Feast is here. And that’s why theCaring Groups (that’s what we call our small groups) are here. And that’s why we have one-to-one discipleship.
We’re here for you. We want to be your spiritual family.
2nd Type Of Aloneness:
No Intentional Friends
This is the second type of aloneness.
It may be possible that you’ve got many good friends around you, but your relationships are shallow.
Usually, it’s because everyone has become busy.
For relationships to be life giving, you’ve got to beintentional in your relationships.
Relationships are like plants. If you don’t water the plant, it’ll die. If you don’t water your relationships with time and effort, your relationships will remain shallow.
That’s why small groups (like our Caring Groups) are very important to your spiritual growth. One of the most powerful things a group like this provides for you is accountability. One of the ways I got over my addiction was confessing my sin to my friends. Sin grows in darkness but it shrivels up when it’s brought out in the light.
Don’t be alone when you fight your sin. Ask help.
Are You Alone In Your Marriage?
This works in marriages too.
I’ve talked to a hundreds of married people who were having affairs. And here’s what I found out. Most adultery happens to married people when they were alone, either physically or emotionally.
Adultery happened when they were physically alone. When the husband or wife was working abroad. Or when the salesman was on a provincial assignment.
Adultery happened when they were emotionally alone. Though living with their spouse under one roof, there was no real connection in the marriage anymore.
Be intentional about your marriage. Don’t settle for an “okay” marriage. Invest time, effort, and energy to make it a fantastic marriage.
3rd Type Of Aloneness:
No Infinite Friend
God has to be your Infinite Friend.
Then you will never be alone.
David was a prayerful man. When he saw Bathsheeba bathing at the roof of her house, did he pray against temptation?
I don’t know.
But I believe that if you have a deep relationship with God, you’ll be stronger against temptation.
I’m not talking about multiplying religious activities. I’m talking about deepening your personal connection with God. I’m talking about allowing God to fill your heart with His love.
Yes, pray everyday. Jesus said, Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation. (Matthew 26:21)
And chew on God’s Word everyday. Listen to spiritual messages like this one. Join the Feast. The Bible says, Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against you. (Psalms 119:11)
Last Word: Don’t Fight Alone
Remember Andres Bonifacio?
One of his followers asked him, “Andy, how can we defeat the Spanish army? They’re taller and we’re shorter. They have guns and we have bolos.” That was when Bonifacio picked up a walis tingting…
Let me translate for non-Filipinos. A walis tingtingis a broom made of tingting. (Sometimes, I’m overwhelmed by my own brilliance.)
Bonifacio said, “Alone, we’re easily broken. But together, no force can defeat us.”
So what did the Filipinos do? Misunderstanding what Bonifacio said, they attacked the Spaniards using their walis tingting. (Just kidding.)
Friend, look for your walis tingting.
Look for a spiritual family around you with whom you can serve and grow together.
Just in case you don’t have one, join the Feastnearest you. (Email Annie email@example.com for info on the nearest Feast in your area.) You can also go towww.KerygmaFamily.com and check the right column for a partial list of our Feasts.)
We will be here for you.
You don’t have to be alone.
You don’t have to fight alone.
May your dreams come true,