It began in December of last year when a 2-year-old boy in Guinea, West Africa, fell ill and died just a few days later. A week later, the boy’s mother died of the same sickness. Then his 3-year-old sister. Then his grandmother. Then two mourners who had come from another village for the grandmother’s funeral.
From there, the virus spread like wildfire. But it wasn’t until March that this epidemic was recognized as the deadly Ebola virus. By this time, dozens in Guinea were dead, and the virus had begun to spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leon.
The virus has since spread to more than seven countries, infecting more than 10,141 people, and claiming more than 4,922 lives as of Oct. 24, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Widespread panic about the virus has ensued. In response to the Ebola virus, flights are being canceled, countries are closing their borders and a 30-member U.S. military team is being trained to respond to new cases. In reality, though, the chance of contracting Ebola is only one in 13.3 million, at least in America, according to NPR.
As devastating as Ebola is, there is an inherent disease among us, even more harmful and dangerous, that all of us are susceptible to: sin. Many Christians have the mistaken idea that once they accept Christ as their savior, they will no longer struggle with sin. But we still have an adversary, the devil, who prowls the earth seeking to cause us to stumble and render us ineffective for Christ.
In 1 Peter 5:8, the apostle Peter warns the members of the churches in Asia Minor to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
We should be constantly watchful and alert so as not to be caught off-guard by Satan’s attacks. But what happens when we do fall? Are we stuck in our failure like a debilitating disease that has no cure?
No! We still have hope. The same God who brought us healing at salvation provides us restoration when we fall.
I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And that forgiveness and cleansing applies to us today the same as it did when we first trusted Christ.
But how do we guard ourselves against sin on a daily basis?
We counter sin through Christ’s forgiveness, which allows us to walk in the Spirit. As we’ve been learning in this semester’s study on Galatians 5, it is only through the power of the Spirit that we can hope to live a righteous, victorious Christian life.
Researchers are still working to develop a vaccination for the Ebola virus. But we already have the cure for debilitating sin. So why not take advantage of it? Submit yourself to the healing control of God’s Spirit by meditating on His Word.