In today’s world of Christianity, what we hear so much of is simply that God wants to bless us. We hear how we are highly favored of the Lord. We hear things like ‘this is your best life now’ or ‘this is your year of breakthrough’ or ‘God wants to bless you’. Blessing, blessing, blessing. Now don’t get me wrong. I like blessings from God just as much as the next guy (and maybe more!) but there is another side to this. Let’s divulge shall we…
Sin separates. Sin corrupts. Sin lies. Basically sin is just plain bad, there is really no other way around it. God hates sin and praise the Lord He has provided a relief for our sin. He has provided a cure for our sickness-that cure is Jesus Christ. All we have to do to receive the cure is to receive Jesus as our Lord and savior.
Now in Christ, we are the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21), we are partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet 1:3), we have received all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph 1:3), all these wonderful things. As time goes on and we live our lives, some of us get to a place where we don’t feel like we are being ‘blessed’. We wonder what’s going on. In a blog I posted yesterday, I touched on the fact that sometimes it’s just not all about us. It’s not. God is up to bigger things many times than just making sure we have everything we want and think we need in life. With that said, there is another issue in play here…and it is simply this-sin.
Sin separates and deludes. It fools us into thinking everything is okay when in reality,it is not.
Yes, once we have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and have received the Holy Spirit we are born again and righteous in His eyes. The problem is not with our righteousness before God-that has already been accomplished in Christ. The problem is our relationship WITH God. Sin hinders that relationship. It severs the ties of open communication. (Now I could really get into an entirely other message on communicating with God-be it through our spirit and so on, but not doing that in this blog. I’m assuming this message from the stance of a born again Christian.) Sin blinds us and deafens our ears-our spiritual ears so we can longer see what God is doing in our lives and we can no longer hear what God wants us to do in our lives. Sin leaves us stranded on the island of confusion and we know that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). He simply does not work that way. He works in harmony, in peace, in clarity and exact purpose. The problem is usually on our end-being sure we correctly receive the transmission from Him! Sin kinda breaks our spiritual antenna!
We must have our hearts sensitive to what the Holy Spirit would be speaking to us-not just when it comes to blessing but also when it comes to us dealing with sin in our lives. Sin only hurts us. It may seem pleasurable or enjoyable at the moment-maybe even for a prolonged period but it always catches up to us. And the bigger problem is it deadens our communication with God and as that sin prolongs, we are not even aware we have lost communication from our spiritual source. We are then left to our own understanding, our own minds, our own intellect. I don’t care how smart one is or how many degrees one has-there is no human substitute for the voice of God. We are finite and limited, even in the grandest of intellectual individuals. The Word of God tells us that ‘God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s wisdom’ (1 Cor 1:2) and that as high as the heavens are above the Earth, are His thoughts above our thoughts and His ways above our ways (Isa 55:9).
This brings me to the crux of this message. We know sin separates us from God (I mean isn’t this the whole reason Jesus came anyways). We know as Christians we should not have sin in our lives. God has delivered us and forgiven us, and through His strength we should be walking free of sin. But reality is sin is still there many times. It’s time to deal with it. God wants us to deal with it. He has given us the tools to deal with it AND overcome it. But in order to do so we have to fess up and be honest with ourselves. Can’t fix a problem if we won’t admit we have one. God has given us this wonderful promise in the Word of God-it’s in 1 John 1:9. It says,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins AND cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This is awesome! We have continual forgiveness in Christ. But here is another aspect of this whole thing. Sin is messy. It’s destructive and in order for us to receive that forgiveness we should have a repentant heart. Basically, we should be sorrowful for our sin. It should upset us that we have sin in our lives. I mean isn’t sin what separated man from God in the first place? As a spiritually born-again Christian, having God’s nature inside of us, sin should grieve us. It grieves God. Granted our ability to try and be holy is not what gives us right standing with God-Christ has already accomplished that but, as mentioned earlier, sin separates us from God relationally.
The Apostle Paul makes the following statement in 2 Corinthians 7:8-11:
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern,what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
Godly sorrow produces in us repentance-a change of heart which leads to salvation. Life. Repentance brings life. Another scripture comes to mind which is in this same vein of thought and it’s found in James 4:8-10:
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
As we come before God with honest hearts, repentant and sorrowful for our sin, guess what happens? We are restored. Restored to right ‘relationship’ with God. Now I’m not talking about losing one’s salvation and then regaining it. Our salvation in Christ is not so fragile as to come and go like that. I’m talking about being able to hear from God again. Being able to see what God has for us again. I’m talking about restoring the love relationship with our God and savior Jesus Christ and as a believer, this is the most important thing we can do.
Search your hearts today. Be open to the Holy Spirt and be honest with yourself. Don’t let sin hide in the crevices of your heart, wreaking havoc in your life. Don’t let it deceive you into thinking that everything is ok. Confess it. Repent of it. And watch the glorious power of our God work mightily on your behalf.