Have you noticed that sometimes the culture of our world creeps into our beliefs in Jesus and creeps into our understanding of the hard lines the Bible tows?
I am not saying all aspects of culture are bad, because there is some great stuff that every culture owns.
However, I think there a parts of every culture that should never be placed in ones Biblical mindset.
American culture has a tendency towards selfish-ness, blame shifting and excuse making. This aspect of life has definitely creeped into my life with Christ in such a deep way, that when I did it, I could justify it, I would think that what I was doing was right in the eyes of God. Thank you Lord for your Word!
What am I talking about? Here’s what I noticed about myself: When I sin…I don’t own my junk. Why is confession so hard? Because I’m not owning up to my stuff. Why do I feel as though I’m prayed up and don’t have sin in my life on a certain week? Because I’ve convinced myself it wasn’t my fault and I make excuses for my sins so they don’t feel so weighty.
I’ve been talking a lot about authentic living and confession of sin, yet this week after reading a Word from God I never took my sins as seriously as I should’ve…I never owned them as truly as I am called to.
Here’s what I say when I sin (or something similar): “Satan is to blame. He is the one who tricked me. He is the one who brought about these sinful feelings. I didn’t sin that bad, just thought about sinning, that’s all. That tricky little devil…got me again!”
I treat my temptation as something that is purely owned by the Devil. However, here’s what smacked me.
James1:13-15, God says: “13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Did you catch it? The evil desire is inside of ME, inside of YOU. There is something in us that is yet to be given to Christ, yet to have Him Lord of within our hearts. Satan finds that weak point and utilizes it, yes, but it is OUR EVIL DESIRE that lures us!
We still (at times) choose sin over Christ. We go back to those chains and say (like the Israelites) “These are better for me. I remember things were nice here…a bit of a challenge at times, but oh it felt better”. When in reality those are freakin CHAINS, we desire CHAINS over FREEDOM…yet, we don’t see it that way. We blame shift and selfishly make excuses so we don’t look so bad.
I’ve read this Scripture before and understood it then, but the Holy Spirit challenged me to see it as well as FEEL it this time and man does it hurt to realize that the blame can’t be shifted. Confessing sins goes deeper than simply saying: “I’m sorry Satan duped me, forgive me please”. It goes down to saying: “I chose death over life. I spit on the cross that saved me. I ignored the lure of the Holy Spirit and allowed my sinful desire to help me choose sin over you. I pray that you will forgive my wrongdoing and my bad choice. I desire your Holy Spirit to fill me up and help me to turn from this desire. I choose your arms, not those chains. Amen.”
Gomer, Hosea’s wife chose the arms of other men over her loving, caring, enduring husband. She cheated over and over again…by choice mind you. When we sin, we are doing the very same thing…choosing the bed of the enemy over the bed of our Lord who actually loves us, who actually desires the best for us.
That is sin, the flesh and reality. Praise God He is like Hosea, loving, forgiving and accepting when we truly return to His embrace and choose Him over the chains of the enemy.