Sometimes, we prance like pigs through the slop in our lives and proudly proclaim, “I’m the worst—there’s no WAY God could love a sinner like me, after all, look what I’ve done!”
Wallowing in our sins, examining each failure over and over again until we’ve worn the memories thin, gives us perverse pleasure. We chant, in lugubrious voice, “God can’t love me or forgive me, for look what I’VE done.” Often times, our only offense amounts to small moral failures—eating a whole box of crackers at one sitting; cutting a driver off in a fit of anger; failing to forgive a friend; cheating on a test. But we take each stain to heart and rub more dirt into it in an attempt to make ourselves feel better about our state of dirtiness.
But, dear friend, that’s NOT the way we should confront sin and failure in our lives.
Where in the Bible does it say that we should wade around in our sinful state, flinging filth at ourselves and opening our arms (and minds) to the accusations of the evil one? (click to tweet)
“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 (NIV). Wallowing, self-accusation and self-imposed penance play no part in God’s purification process.
In 2 Chronicles 7:17, God speaks to Solomon and says, “If you live in my presence as your father David lived, pure in heart and action, living the life I’ve set out for you, attentively obedient to my guidance and judgments, then I’ll back your kingly rule over Israel…” (The Message).
Wait a minute! God holds up David? David—liar, cheat, thief, adulterer and murderer as an example of someone who is beloved by God? Does God not understand how far David fell? Does God not understand that David had a lot of problems? Of course he does.
But the important words in this verse are found in what David did. He ‘lived the life’ God set out for him. David accepted God’s call (to go from the life of a younger son and simple shepherd to kingship. What call has God placed on your life? Do you think you’re not qualified? David didn’t feel particularly qualified to jump from herding sheep to ruling a nation. But David OBEYED.
Does your unhappiness with life stem from your lack of obedience? Do you feel the call of God on your life but think you don’t have the necessary qualifications? Don’t drown out the still, small voice that encourages you to try hard things. Know that God will equip you. (click to tweet) Your obedience matters to God.
When God sent the prophet Nathan to point out the enormity of the sin that David had cherished (seducing his friend’s wife and sending his friend to battle to die in order to cover up his sin of seduction), David was ‘attentively obedient’ to God’s ‘guidance and judgments.’ David paid the consequences for his sin. Yes, our sins have consequences—but we shouldn’t fear to confess them to God because we’re afraid of the consequences. (click to tweet)
God values obedience and accepting his judgment and guidance—not OUR perfection or good works. Friend, that’s good news indeed!
My prayer for you today? Ignore the voice of the accuser who constantly berates us and desires nothing more than our inaction. Listen for the voice of God, instead—that voice that calls us from the pit where we so willingly wallow.
Take baby steps of obedience and keep on taking them. Refuse to find pleasure in your pain—just keep on reaching out in obedience. See yourself though the eyes of God—beloved, precious, worthy of the ultimate sacrifice. (click to tweet)