Romans 7:21-26 (The Message)
It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Sin. Yikes! Not so easy to examine closely if it’s your own… To be honest, I have sometimes tried to "camouflage" the ugliness of my sins with a coating of "my good intentions" or "my weaknesses" when confessing them to God. Too often I've looked at my sin through my eyes...not God's. WOW... let me tell you...there is a BIG difference in what sin looks like when I do that!
Several weeks ago while reading my One Year Chronological Bible...which happened to be in the middle of 3 books; Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Lamentations...I was thinking, triple yikes! For weeks...I had been asking God what He wanted me to know or understand about Him through these very difficult Scriptures. They describe God's fierce anger and the relentless punishment that He decreed against His people of Jerusalem who had sinned greatly by turning to pagan worship and sacrifice to other gods… they had forsaken the One true God! I even confessed that morning to the Lord before beginning my devotion time that I could hardly wait until "I'm out of this part of the Word!" It’s a tough read...
Anyway, at the same time I'm reading my daily Bible Scriptures I was also involved in completing an in-depth Bible study lesson on the life of David. Yup…you guessed it... I was reading about God's fierce anger towards David's sin. The Lord had my attention!
God had lavished David (as He did His people of Jerusalem), with His abundance of love and provisions withholding nothing! God exceeded any and all expectations David may of had for what is good and beautiful and plenty. David would only need to ask of God ~ and he would have received it ~ according to the Scriptures. Yet,in the midst of this abundance David's eyes and heart sought "something more"... something not of God. David desired something evil in the sight of God and he sinned.
So, I had to stop there...and asked myself..."Have I not done the same Lord? Have I not sat in your abundance and looked around for "something more in life and instead of seeking You...and in doing that, sought something evil?" So I prayed; "Forgive me Lord ~ for every time I have taken my eyes and my thoughts off of you. I have looked for satisfaction and fulfillment where You are not there! I look around me right now...what abundance! ~ all from You ~ all is Yours. Thank you Lord... Thank you! Yet of all the "things" I possess Father, none of it has greater worth than my relationship with Jesus. Without Your presence Lord~ Your faithfulness ~ Your love and promises ~ I would be hopeless... empty... and doomed. Give me your eyes Lord so I see my sin as you do. Break my heart Lord with what breaks Yours. Guide me, so that when I move, I walk with You on the path You have laid out for my feet. I have only to look to You to find all ~ more than I will ever need. I love you Jesus."
You know...we cannot "camouflage” our sin from God's eyes or think that He will "wink" at our sin. He is not willing to "bless our mess" when we sin...how often in the past have I asked that very thing! So, do not look at your sin with your eyes...look at sin with God's eyes. Scripture tells us exactly how God feels about sin.
God is patient with us. Praise the Lord! Our God is full of mercy, grace and love. Oh~ how He deserves our obedience and love... for we have been redeemed and there is nothing of greater worth than this!
With repentance comes forgiveness…and in the process we are being refined by the Hand of God to produce purity...fitting for a King!