As many outdoorsmen know there are some great life lessons learned through hunting. The majority of what we learn is what NOT to do or how NOT to act, especially with our attitude to sin. We think as we are about to shoot that deer or duck, "haha I fooled you..." In reality we have all acted the same. Let me give you an analogy of how we can act in regards to duck hunting.
Psalm 1:1 says: “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers!”
Psalms 1:1 HCSB
When you are hunting ducks there are some things that you look for:
1. You want to see if a duck is looking at your blind.
2. You want to see how a duck is responding to your decoys
3. You want to see a duck cup its wings and commit.
Each one of these can represent the stages of how we approach sin which can lead us to the path of joining sinners as is shared in Psalm 1:1.
Let's talk about this as though we are the ducks.
1. The duck begins to circle a blind. What is this duck doing? He is looking at this place and seeing if it is ok to get closer to. When he is far off he may hear a call that sounds like everything is ok or I really want you to be here with us other ducks. As he gets closer the call changes that says everything is good here. You will be just fine here with us.
Now we need to remember there will always be the places that will try to draw us in. There will always be sin at your feet and you may desire to look and think there are no consequences. Be careful because the next step is closer than you realize.
From looking there comes the place where the duck begins to justify.
2. The duck begins to look at your decoys.
There are some decoys that are meant to catch your eye from afar. There are some though that draws ducks in as they get closer. So once you have that duck that is flying around the blind that duck is going to start looking for two things: other ducks like himself and a place to land. What is the duck doing? He is trying to justify coming to this duck blind. He doesn't know it's a blind that the ducks are fake and that his life is at stake and yet he still justifies. We do the same thing with sin. As we start to draw closer we start to look for others like us. We start to justify and say things like: oh that doesn't look that bad. Everything will be fine. No one will even notice me there since there are others. I belong here like everyone else. So we start to find a place for us to land which leads to the next step.
Where just seconds before we were only looking, now we are justifying sin in our life.
The next step is critical and deadly.
3. We commit to our choices. For a duck hunter there is nothing more exciting than seeing a duck cup its wings and commit to land in your hole. For the devil there is nothing more exciting than seeing a Christian "cup" his wings and begin to descend to find a place of comfort in sin. Both situations communicate commitment. The duck is committed to land and the person is committed to sin. Everything has worked to this point for both the hunter and the devil. Now comes the moment to finish them off.
This is where the analogy breaks down.
Have you ever seen a duck commit and then change its mind? If they do they have to flap their wings very hard and there is a moment when they are even suspended because try are trying to change their momentum and direction. We can often think that we are to be like those ducks. That when sin enters our life it is up to us to change course and work our way completely out. We may get wounded along the way but it is our job completely.
For the Christian though it is different. We may be wounded by the effects of sin but because of Christ and Christ alone we will never receive the death blow. This doesn't mean that we should just keep wallering in sin. It means that when we do repent and seek to fly away, we are doing so under the hand of the grace of God that protects and guides us to safety. It's a grace that is given to us not by how much we flap but by how much we surrender daily to Christ.
Psalm 1:2 says How happy is the man...“his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.”
He is truly seeking to listen to God instead of the calls of sin. When he begins to justify sin, he knows the truth because he has been meditating in God's Word and is able to see that the decoys of sin are not real or worth it. And when he commits he can repent and be forgiven by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Where are you today in your life?
Have you been circling sin looking at it?
Have you been justifying sin in your life?
Have you committed to it where it is your life now?
Don't flap harder to work your way out, confess, repent, and trust in God and He will lift you up.