“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 NIV)
Human beings have a predisposition, a tendency, to be drawn to do that which is not God’s will. Here I will mention the word sin. The Hebrew and Greek words most frequently translated by the English word sin mean to “stray from the path” or to “miss the mark.” The path is God’s path. The mark is God’s will for humankind. Human beings, even the best of us, have something within us that draws us to stray from the path. This is sometimes called the “sin nature.”
The story of Adam and Eve is illustrative and defining. Adam and Eve know the path God wants them to take -- “Don’t eat the fruit of the tree” -- but they find themselves drawn to examine the fruit. A serpent whispers to them, beckoning them to eat the fruit. They convince themselves that it is beautiful and that God did not really mean for them to miss out on such a lovely fruit. They rationalize sin and then eat of the fruit of the tree and paradise is lost.
What I love about this story is that it is so powerfully captures what happens in my life on nearly a daily basis. I hear the serpent beckoning me to do what I know I should not do or convincing me that it’s okay not to do what I should do. I have to decide each day, often many times in a day, whether I will follow God’s way or the path of the serpent. And when I choose the serpent’s path, inevitably some part of God’s paradise in my life is lost.
-- Adam Hamilton in Why?: Making Sense of God’s Will