“What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood
of Jesus. What can make me whole again?
nothing but the blood of Jesus. Oh precious is the flow
that makes me white as snow, No other fount I know
nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Sin. The topic that everyone loves to talk about. Whether you are beating a bible in someone’s face or avoiding any and all confrontation on the subject, we are all talking about it. Under such a broad umbrella of choices, even among the Christian groups, we have trouble agreeing on it. What is a sin? Are some sins worse than others? If you still sin, are you really saved? Can Christ really take mine away?
Just to assure you of my credibility on the matter I would like to inform you that, I am a sinner. I am of the worst kind of sinner because I have met Jesus and still don’t always choose Him.Every day, I commit some heinous act against the One that loves me most. I break a “rule” and then I beat myself up for it, onlydriving the knife further in and thus denying the grace I’ve been given. I fall into the same disgusting patterns that I know havetainted my life before and run so fast away from the narrowpath, because sometimes it seems scarier to repent and face Him.It is a never ending cycle that is always bringing me back to arms open wide and love pouring out, sometimes with more wounds than before.
I want you to understand how much I love Jesus. I can’t really explain the desire for Him that I have, because sometimes it makes no sense to me. My soul has borne witness to his incredible love and mercy among the streets of Madison County, to the jungles of the Philippines. I know my God lives. But I also want you to understand my flesh loves sin. The war between my soul and my flesh is a battle that can sometimes leave me exhausted and begging for His return. Luckily I’m not the only one. A great disciple of the faith, Paul, had similar struggles. I hate that I do not do what I want to do, but I do what I don’t want (Romans 7:19). Paul got it. He knew there was nothing about him that was inherently good. I mean he used to kill people because he thought he was doing the right thing. He grasped the idea that in order for him to accomplish anything of goodness that God must be around. We fog up this reality with our rule following attitude that puts God in a box, and not in our hearts.
“For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law.
But I see a different law in the parts of my body.
Waging war against the law of my mind and taking me
prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body.”
Is it a fight for you? Do you feel the struggle between your flesh and your spirit on a daily basis? If so, GOOD! That means the Holy Spirit is alive and working in you. Your struggle is evidence of your salvation because believe it or not, nothing about Christianity was supposed to be a walk in the park. We are in a spiritual battle for our souls and the souls of men (Ephesians 6:12). I mean the one we call our savior died at a young agebleeding on a cross and bearing the sins of the world. Then we say we are called to be more like him and assume that means no suffering? We are so delusional.
Sin is what keeps us separate from God. From the first time in the garden to the second you read this, sin is has been around. We know it in many forms. You can point out one sin over another but they are all a symptom of the problem. We are trying to fill some void in our lives that was meant for one thing, intimacy with God. So in our feeble attempt to replicate what that intimacy will bring, we search after all sorts of things. Thus only widening the gap between ourselves and our Maker. He stays the same but we run away.
“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become
accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,”
also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder,
you have become a transgressor of the law.”
You see it’s all the same. From the luster to the liar and the murderer to the prideful, all sin creates a gap. Your sin is no bigger or scarier to God than someone else’s. He can still cover it and He has.
Our adversary is clever. He knows the way to our sinful hearts, because it is his mission. As a follower of Christ, satan has no claim to my soul any longer but he can divert my course so that Imay be as ineffective for the Kingdom as possible. He uses sin to do most of his bidding. He starts off with a small “harmless” taste that my flesh quickly attaches too and then slowly drags me down until I’m drowning beneath the weight of those few “harmless” choices. In the midst of that ocean of mistakes,things look hopeless. God seems so far away and I believe the lies that I’m too damaged to be useable.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me. You’re rod
And your staff they comfort me.”
You are not alone in your turmoil. You are not too broken and bruised to be redeemed. This does not have to be the way your story is written. There is victory for you, but the road may not bean easy one. Sin is an addiction for your body and with any addiction the period of withdrawal can often lead someone back into the problem. There are times when Christ chooses to instantly and miraculously take your struggle away, but more times than not your steps back to the narrow path are filled with jagged rocks and slippery ledges. But it is worth it.
“Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease,
they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and washed my hands in innocence.”
Repentance is a big part of what makes our sin “as far as the east is from the west.” While the struggle is real, fervently seeking after righteousness must be constant. If you’ve encountered Christ, prayed a prayer, been dunked in the water, however you like to say it, there MUST be a difference. There must be conviction. If you’re traveling along in the same cycle you might want to ask yourself which master you’re really serving.
I know most of this, because I’m asking myself the samequestions right now. Don’t worry; I’m not trying to point out the speck in your eye while I ignore the plank in mine. Some of my “addictions” have been circling me for years and it is a constant struggle to fight them. I know where I am, and what battles I am allowing the enemy to win. I know a God that loves me and is urging me to move closer to him. . What does scripture say? Something about “that which is done in secret will one day be brought to light.” I guess talking about the problem of sin is the best way I know to deal with it personally As if this blog post provides some form of accountability.
So what’s the take away: You can never run so far that God can’t go further. As far as sin goes, we are all on an equal playing field to the Righteous Judge. The emptiness is meant to be filled with Jesus. Rejoice in your conviction, the Holy Spirit is speaking to you. Repentance is key to running from the enemy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness”
1 John 1:9
Always looking for the beauty in the ashes,