Last week I shared some straightforward thoughts on dealing with habitual sin. A major side effect of sin is guilt. Shame. In our flawed human logic, it seems safer to us to run from God when we are presented with how wicked and wretched our hearts can be (Genesis 3:7-8). Huh. In re-reading my own sentence, I find myself groaning at the twisted irony of sin! It’s like running away from a free buffet when we are starving.
Tim Keller had this to say in his book “Counterfeit Gods”:
“When people say, ‘I know God forgives me, but I can’t forgive myself,’ they mean that they have failed an idol, whose approval is more important to them than God’s.”
See, here’s the thing. In our sin, we are intimidated by a God who is perfect and terrifyingly holy. But what we so easily fail to recognize is that our beautiful Jesus relates to us. Check out the beautiful poetry of Hebrews 2:17-18 (AMP):
…It was essential that He be made like [us] in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people’s sins. For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].
This brings tears to my eyes every time! Jesus expresses such unreasonable mercy toward us because He understands our plight, that we are but brittle man. And look – He immediately runs to the cry of those who are suffering, be it from temptation or otherwise.
Dear friends, when the devil brings you face to face with your sin, don’t hunker down in guilt and fear! Train yourself to run to Jesus! He is ever praying for you, ever reaching for you.. He is closer than can be defined. Your sins and failures don’t push Him away. Take heart! He understands you and is supremely quick to display mercy!