Sunday, June 29, 2014

So much controversy over sin ... what constitutes sin, which ones are worst, whether it even exists. All that aside, sometimes the weight of things we have done—even of who we are, the constant bent to put ourselves before others, to grasp for recognition or comfort, or even just to sit in a corner and feel sorry for ourselves—is too much to bear.

It doesn’t even have to be the “big” sins, which I’m convinced fall into one of two categories:  those more properly termed indulgences of the flesh, which get a lot of press as “evil” because they are the visible expressions of our human needs and desires, run wild; or what Scripture refers to as “iniquity”—wicked acts, which may or may not be criminal, but spring from the invisible sins of our heart and spirit.

The good news is ... there’s a remedy. There is relief.

Psalm 32 (NKJV)

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Which begs the question ... do we come clean about our wrongdoings, or do we try to squirrel out of admitting we are, indeed, sinners?

When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

There are those who charge “the God of the Old Testament” with being cold and distant, even cruel, unmoved by the frailty of humankind. I say ... they don’t know Him. He only presses upon us to bring us to the truth—to make us face who we really are, and our need for Him. And once we surrender to that, sweet release follows.

For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

Those who are His understand the peace and joy of knowing Him ... of being hidden in the center of any storm, the eye of the hurricane, where over the winds, His voice sings of His nearness and promises that all trouble has an end.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

God urges us to not be stubborn, but to let ourselves be led. I confess, I’m one of the most stubborn people I know. I say I want to follow, then I find myself choosing comfort or personal dignity or whatever, over what I feel Him whispering in my spirit is the right way. And then, like a wayward horse, He has to tug me back to the path, with methods that are often less than gentle.

How much better it would be to just keep my eyes on Him, and go where He leads, every time.

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Regardless of the troubles that come, or even what sin wells in my heart, this one thing is true. Mercy surrounds me.

His mercy.

Completely surrounds.

Even me.


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