Based on the best-selling series of books, Game of Thrones (GoT) has returned with its 7th season and is taking the world by storm.
For those who’ve managed to escape its reach on social media, the series is set in medieval times, where royal families fight violently to lay claim to the Iron Throne and assume sovereignty over Westeros and its Seven Kingdoms.
Just from the synopsis, the story sounds pretty exciting – because it is. As a result, it took me a whole 4 seasons of GoT before I was finally convicted to stop watching it.
THE SIN THAT SO EASILY ENTANGLES
The truth is, despite how grown-up I think I should be, my heart is extremely susceptible to sexual temptation. Those who know me, my past and my lifelong struggle with sexual immorality will attest to this.
The media and fellow fans defend GoT – they say this isn’t pornography. To them, sex scenes are just part of dramas for adults. And that’s true to an extent.
But we have to be honest with ourselves – especially if we profess to pursue purity as Christians – the series has a lot of soft porn in it.
“Our hearts are too prone to wander, and we’re too prone to justify what we want.”
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not writing this to stop people from watching GoT. I’m more interested in talking about the slyness of sin – how we should never trust our own hearts when it comes to knowing wrong from right. The black, the white and the many shades of grey.
The Bible talks about the relationship between sin and the human heart vividly:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
When we want something, we are so quick to rationalise or explain away inconvenient truths. Marshall Segal writes in his book “Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating”: “Our hearts are too prone to wander, and we’re too prone to justify what we want”.
What’s your heart behind watching GoT? And how’s your heart, when you have to defend that decision to others who ask?
THE PLACE OF SIN
Everyone knows the story of David and Bathsheba: it was possibly David’s biggest mistake. And this was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
However, I’d like to suggest that David’s sin did not come out of the blue – it was set up when his guard was down.
Reading 2 Samuel 11, we see that David remained in Jerusalem during the time when kings went out to war. He was not where he was supposed to be – in battle. Instead, he was idling at home in the palace, neglecting his kingly duties.
In his complacency, he became spiritually vulnerable. Jerusalem, his own home, became his place of sin.
Where is our place of sin?
One of my places of sin is watching movies and TV series that stumble me. I forbid myself from watching movies like Wedding Crashers, even if they’re some of my favourite comedies.
The sanctity of my walk with God takes priority. I refuse to let anything influence my standard of sex and love apart from the Bible.
Not everyone may be convicted the way I am, but personally, I know I need to take extreme measures so that I don’t end up in places of sin where I am most vulnerable to stumbling.
Men, sin is hot on our heels.
It’s a small thing to give up in comparison to Christ’s sacrifice for us.
We have to figure out for ourselves where sin entangles us and flee from it (1 Cor 6:18, 2 Tim 2:22).
Flee – literally. If it means pulling out the power cable from your PC when you come across an inappropriate picture, you do it. You flee.
Men, sin is hot on our heels.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
Marshall Segal goes on to describe the insidiousness of sin this way, “Mountain lions detect vulnerabilities in their prey and attack the weakest— the young, the sick, the injured. It’s how the mountain lion lives, following the scent of suffering and feasting on whatever he finds. The enemy of our hope and happiness hunts with a mountain lion’s instinct, with a cold-hearted and ruthless hunger for disappointed or hurting.”
Don’t play with sin. It’s a game you cannot win. So keep yourself from your place of sin. For me, that means refusing to watch shows with sex scenes.
What about you?
THE COST OF SIN
The story of Esau and Jacob tells the perfect story of the cost of sin (Genesis 25:29-34).
We are all familiar with how Esau sold his divine birthright for some dinner just because he was hungry. In that moment he craved instant gratification, a bowl of stew that would satisfy him for a night. It’s a picture of us when it comes to sin.
We go for the temporal at the expense of eternity.
We desperately need to see the treasure of Christ as too valuable to be compromised. In light of Him who gave it all for us, there should be nothing that holds us back – nothing we can’t give up.
Ask the Holy Spirit to convict us of the sins we rationalise away. Fear Him and flee. God desires that we fight sin to the death.
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)
THE KING OF MY HEART
We need to give up the sins that entangle us. But we will never be able to do it unless Christ is our treasure.
Unless it becomes your truth that Christ is fully worthy for you to make these sacrifices, you will not be able to give it up. Our response reveals our relationship with God.
My mentor shared a quote with me when I first came to know the Lord and it’s stuck with me since then: if Jesus is not Lord of all, He’s not Lord at all.
Unless the King of your heart has full authority in your life, there will be a constant war for sovereignty in your heart. The vying powers of lust, money and deception are fighting over you.
Only one Person fights for you. And when the true King is on the throne, every other power will fall.