Patterns of Self-Indulgence

How many of my readers have heard the song "Slow Fade" (Casting Crowns) before?  I know I've posted about the song before, but I feel the need to reiterate something God has been teaching me lately, and it's related to the message of that song.

I've noticed in my life a pattern of self-indulgence that often leads to me falling into sin in a big way.  It's in the little, subtle decisions I make that I make the descent towards these "bigger sins."

I'll give an example from my life.  Often times I get into the habit of pulling out my iPod Touch whenever I have nothing to do.  There's this feeling within me that I want to please myself by playing this game.  This mindset causes me to want to please myself in more and more areas, because I'm never satisfied...

Is playing with my iPod Touch a bad thing?  Or is doing anything because it's fun a bad thing?  No, not necessarily.  These things can be good, but when they take over my life, and steal my affections...they pull me away from God, and inevitably cause me to indulge in sinful practices.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24, ESV)

God designed me to only be able to serve one thing at a time.  I have a choice...will I serve myself and my own desires, or will I serve the one and only God of the universe?

I need to keep a close watch on my life.  I need to pay close attention to what I'm serving.  Do I greatly desire my God and His Word, or do I desire to please myself?

This can be a hard thing to see...because the world, the flesh and the devil are subtle in their tricks.  We need to keep a watchful eye on our life, and seek to serve the God of the Universe rather than "lesser lights and fleeting shadows."