A Thousand Times...NO!Ever notice that you can say "no" a thousand times, but all those nos are canceled by one "yes"? "No, you can't have a cookie, can't have a cookie, can't have a cookie! Okay, yes!" The cookie will be eaten! To concede and fail you don't have to say yes as many times as you must say no to remain steadfast and succeed.
A thousand nos to fornication are deleted by one yes that robs one of his virtue and virginity. A thousand nos to adultery are swept away by a yes that destroys family, home and soul. A thousand nos to drugs are erased by a yes that opens the door to all kinds of destruction and excess. A thousand no's to stealing are forgotten by a yes on our record when we stand before the law. A thousand nos to pornography are overwhelmed by a yes that writes indelible images in the mind. It applies across the board to all sin.
While it is certainly true that forgiveness in Christ is available for any sinful yes decision we make, this must not be seen as license to make that errant decision even once. We are called to completely die to sin (Rom. 6) — it is to have no part in us, or us in it.
Parents often tire of the "May I have a cookie?" question and finally concede with a yes. Kids know this. Satan knows this. We tire of saying no and looking different from others. We tire of our "no" answer causing abstinence from activities that appear pleasurable and fun. We tire of always being the one to say no. In time, sin nags us to the point where we finally want to say, "Okay, yes just this time." How much more can God expect us to resist — how many more times must we say no?
The Hebrew writer reminds us, "You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin" (Heb. 12:4). We're not just talking about saying no to the point of alienation and missing out on some of life's pleasures. Resisting "to bloodshed, striving against sin" means saying no to sin until it kills us! That means a thousand times no to the sin that tempts us from within and from without. And when we have said no a thousand times it is then time to say it a thousand and one times, and more!