Sin Stained Hearts
I drafted this blog in April 2018. In case you haven't looked at a calendar recently, it's October 1st, 2019. It's been simmering in my heart over the last several months. There have been moments I've looked at this post and wanted to 'trash it' but God said don't do it. Delayed obedience is disobedience and it's something I'm working on right now.
Sin breaks the heart of God. I've broken the heart of God more times than I can count, but here's the thing--the more we grow in relationship with God, the more He likens us unto himself. It's the beautiful work of sanctification! Jentezen Franklin said, "grace isn't the means to continue in sin, but it's the power to overcome it."
Consider Romans 6:1-2 , "Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?"
Is it possible to look more like Jesus tomorrow? It is. In fact, that's what should happen in all of our lives as believers. Paul states in Philippians 2:12 NLT, "...Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear." We didn't earn our salvation--that was free; but, we are called to walk in it and to work it out.
Back in Georgia, we had a ranch home on a fully finished basement. I would escape to the basement during the early morning hours to have my quiet time. It was one of my favorite parts of our house. I definitely miss having a basement. I should also add it's where we kept our pup-Buddy.
During one spring day in April, I ran down to the basement to grab something only to notice a red stain the size of a golf ball that jumped out on my beige carpet. I.was.livid. The remnants of a magenta ink cartridge, about twenty feet away, solidified the source of the stain.
However, the culprit was no where to be found until I yelled, "BUDDDDDYYYYYY!"
Peeking his head around the corner, with a red smeared snout, there he stood. Buddy came to me, wagging his tail (how dare he), looking up at my not so happy face as if a treat awaited his red faced grin. I popped his nose and sent him outside while I stared at the stain wondering how to remove it.
I gathered some cleaning supplies, a cup of water, and our rainbow vacuum cleaner-- Trey had told me about a time he removed red kool aid from someone's carpet with said vacuum cleaner and so I assumed it would do the trick this time around, too.
Well, as you can see below, my solution didn't remove the stain; it made it worse. I needed a miracle at this point, so I turned to the all knowing source that is Google. Google informed me that if I had googled the situation first, then I would have removed the stain. However, my poor judgement left us with a now, softball-size, magenta-ink-stained nightmare and ruined carpet, that ended up costing us $1200.00 to replace. Needless to say, Buddy and I ended up in the dog house!
Here is where I am headed: sin that isn't dealt with properly will only lead to more sin and a bigger mess. However, when we seek out the right Source, we are offered a solution that cleans up our mess-forgiveness and healing. If we want forgiveness, we have to seek out the Forgiver; in doing so, He removes our sin. When we bring our sin-stained hearts to the Light, He covers up our darkness and it no longer is visible in His sight. He doesn't count it against us; rather, He removes it as far as the east is from the west, and the stain of our sin is washed completely away by Him and Him alone. We must be willing to examine our hearts AND then confess with our mouths the depths of our sin.
There are two instances in the New Testament when Jesus states, "go and sin no more" --once Jesus said this to the invalid at the Pool of Bethesda and the other to the woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus knew sinless perfection was impossible for them; even so, He was warning them against a return to a lifestyle of sin. I do believe there is a point in each of our lives where God opens our eyes to the depravity of our sinful nature and from that place we live in grace to please God, not our flesh.
God can't heal what we conceal. Our sins don't just need forgiving; they need healing, too. I don't know about you, but some of my worst sins were in need of some deep inner healing.
I am all for counseling--it's a way to unveil our hurts and hangups without feeling judged. In turn, we expect practical ways to heal and to move on from those things that keep tripping us up.
As heirs of God, we can live life to the full, but, when we remain in sin, we are living at poverty level. Hear me, there are plenty of Christians who are living in sin who make a lot of money. Please don't equate God's standard of abundance with the world's--they are not the same. Living to the full means we live from a place of victory over our secrets, sin, and shame, and not in them.
I will close with this verse, and at the very least, I hope we would heed God's Word and do a little open heart surgery.
Psalm 139:23 NLT, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."