Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Problem with Sin

God has given me the awesome privilege to counsel and mentor ladies in our community and in our church.

The honor to pray for others and walk beside them is precious to me.  

Just recently I was discussing the only biblical answer to sexual sin with a sweet gal.  I think she may have been shocked by my answer but it could not line up more with God's Word.  

When in a precarious situation the best thing to do is RUN. (2 Timothy 2:22)



God doesn't tell us to get down and pray about it.
He doesn't tell us to try to explain our position and get everyone to agree.

He says....GET OUT OF THERE.


Because our flesh wants to sin.

Here is the problem with my sin.

I don't want to think of it as sin. 

That seems entirely too harsh.  Too heavy.  Too dirty.  

I would prefer to think of it as an issue.  A hardship.  A struggle.  A problem.

Those words seems to clean it up a bit.

Unfortunately I can call it whatever I want to but the One that matters calls it sin.  So SIN it must be.

In recent days as our surrounding culture falls prey to more and more moral decline it is essential that I not lose sight of my own part in this.

2 Chronicles 7:14 has become the go-to verse for perilous times.  

"Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."

Somehow we buy into the lie that becoming a Christian means we are no longer going to sin.


We even act like we can hang out with whoever we want, listen to whatever we want, watch whatever we want and somehow be immune from the temptations of this world.


If we do not recognize our capacity to sin then we certainly won't recognize our need for the Holy Spirit.  

The struggle against sin is life long.  
We don't get the luxury of a break until we are called home to heaven.

But victory is ours for the taking.

As badly as I may want to sin.....I don't have to.  

I am not a slave to sin any longer.

So here is what the Holy Spirit has been preaching to me.

" are called by My Name.  Walk humbly. We both know that you are capable of horrible things. Give me credit for everything.  Any good trait you exhibit is from ME.  Trust Me and not your desires.  Seek Me constantly for your heart will lead you astray.  Turn away...RUN from your wicked ways."

As I stare at these words my flesh wants to recoil.

Who is God to speak to me like that?  
I am a good person.

These thoughts and more can begin take root if I give them any chance to.  

But I know better.

This is pride.  

This is SIN.

See how quickly it happens?!?

Oh Lord forgive me.

His Words are truth and life.  We can make a profound influence around us by admitting our part in wickedness and turning from it.

When others see a real Christian admitting real sin it does something.  It speaks.  It points to our Savior.

When we are prideful.  Admit it. Repent. Turn.
When we are arrogant.  Admit it. Repent. Turn.
When we cheat. Admit it. Repent. Turn.
When we lie. Admit it. Repent. Turn.
When we lose our temper. Admit it. Repent. Turn.

This is daily.  
Maybe even hourly.  

He will hear us when we do. He will come and heal and restore.  

What better thing is there?

If I will get serious about my own sin and humbly walk before God and seek Him~ the world can't help but notice.

He is contagious.
He is better than any sin that tempts me.

The world wants to see authentic faith.  

Dealing with sin is a part of that.

Be a breath of fresh air to the world around you.  

Be real about your sin and brag on Jesus.  

Friday, July 3, 2015


This was a favorite hymn to sing at the conclusion of our Sunday sermons.

I can remember thinking how appropriate the lyrics were for this time in the service.  

The words seem to beckon a prodigal down the aisle toward repentance.

The truth is...I have always associated this song with salvation.  

Last night that changed a little bit.

The spiritual blahs had descended upon me with suffocating fullness.

It seemed as though I was looking for anything and everything to set me off.

And when I am looking for a's funny...I usually find one.

For me embracing the blahs means becoming consumed with myself.

Tunnel vision.

In addition to nauseating self-thoughts I also become angry at God.  I allow my mind become a dump heap of doubt and fear and self-pity.


The things I hate and despise I gladly embrace when my mind is in a bad place.

For me a walk by faith requires intentional thought and deed.  

Spiraling downward requires letting down that guard.  I simply quit being intentional about my walk.  
It is fascinating.

You would think that it would take a long time to spiral down.  

It doesn't.

For me it can be moments.

When I simply think on myself.  
My wants.
My doubts.
My worries.
My fears.
My comparisons.
My insecurities.
My questions.
My issues.

The capacity I had to focus on God becomes filled with me.

He hasn't left me.

I have shifted my focus...and left Him.

Here is another fascinating point. 

The more I continued to focus on myself the more justified I felt in my anger.

Isn't this so true?

My chest filled with indignation against God.  My fists raised in the air in angst and frustration.

And this is how He found me.

I decided to run a bath because there seems to be no better place to drown self-pity.  Getting still in the water with a racing angry mind I heard these words~

Just as I am without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidst me come to thee
Oh Lamb of God I come.  I come.

Just as I am tho tossed about
With many a conflict many a doubt
Fightings within and fears without
O Lamb of God I come. I come.

There was no sermon.
I didn't need for my soul to be saved.

But I was being invited to come.



Running to Him on a spiritual high is glorious.
Running to Him when I am sad is sweet.

But anger and hurt is different somehow.

Not only do I not want to come....I don't even think I can approach His throne with my anger and hurt bubbling out.

But He invited it.

He welcomed me.

He was bidding me to come.

That song took on an additional meaning to me.  As sure as He delighted to save me from hell, He wants to save me from me.

The enemy cannot have my soul.  But he knows how to attack my mind with defeated thoughts.  He knows that my salvation is sure but my faith is shaky.

His chief aim is to make me question the character of God.

Today I have purposely and intentionally focused on my blessings.  All given from a loving God.

Hope comes back and just as quickly I begin climbing out of the hole from night.

On this eve of Independence Day may I be ever mindful of the freedom I have in Jesus Christ.

He freed my soul on Calvary when He died.
He frees me every day from the sin that so easily entangles...when I allow Him to.

When I come to Him JUST AS I AM.

Galatians 5:16-18
 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.  The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.  But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law."