For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation...
- 2 Corinthians 7:10a (NLT) |
I’ve spoken about this before…how about three years ago, at the turn of the New Year, God put a word on my heart with the understanding that it was going to be the theme (I thought) of the coming year. Although I’ve sought other words in the past two years, I keep on coming back to the first word he gave me…and now, I know that this word is going to characterize my remaining years of this life.
The word? “Blameless."
I have committed some heinous sins in my past—and I guess we all have things we are ashamed of and sorry for—but somehow my heart resounds with the cry of the Apostle Paul “I am the chief of all sinners.” And, thus, began a quest to purify my heart before God. Yes, Jesus died for ALL my sin but I know that, were I to appear at heaven’s threshold wearing all this stinking, unconfessed sin, it would negatively impact my enjoyment of what Eternity holds for me. I’ve been extremely close to death’s door multiple times…I would say at least 4 times in my life, my doctors pretty much threw up their hands and acknowledged their inability to determine the outcome or whether I would survive.
And each time, against all odds, I came through it. I must admit, that each time, I regretfully turned my back on heaven and went back to the life God has given me on this earth. And I asked God “WHY??? Why do you keep me coming back to a life that is filled with pain and difficulty?” I think now, I know the answer. It is because I have not come to the place where I can call myself “Blameless” before God and man.
Throughout the past three years God has taken me from the obvious sins, which I dutifully confessed and repented of before God with many tears, to the more obscure memories buried in time and by the enemy deep in my heart and away from the scrutiny of my conscious searching. However, the scalpel operated by God’s Spirit, has made these things come up a bit at a time, regurgitated by a soul no longer willing to house them. And I must say that I have been appalled by the depths of my depravity. And it astonishes me that I ever could have felt as intimate with God as I thought I was in the past. How could God ever look beyond those wicked deeds and thoughts and call me His “Beloved”?
There is a passage in Scripture in one of the writings of the Prophets, that talks about God encountering His people on a road, covered in birthing blood and filth, finding us abandoned and ready to die. It describes Him lovingly washing and clothing us and holding us close to Him, adopting us as His own.
I feel that this was God’s relationship to me. He found me dead in my filth and He is lovingly holding me and restoring me to life, not just any life, but life as the beloved child of God, the King of the Universe. He looked beyond my filth and loved the person He found there; the person He created for intimacy with Himself. And although, by now, recognizing that I am far from sinless; I understand that God is keeping me here in this process of my repulsion of my sin, my sorrow over it, and my handing it back to Him for Him to bury in the depths of the deepest ocean for a purpose. And as always, God’s plans are perfect and His ways are just. He wants me to have the best of what Heaven will hold for me…and that just would not have been accessible to me had this muck not been raked and shoveled out of my soul.
So, I stand before you, Blameless and becoming Blameless. There continues to be sin generated by my fleshly self and as it rises to my consciousness, I deal with it before the Father, covering it and obliterating it by the blood of Jesus. And occasionally a new –freshly unearthed pile of sin is revealed to me from my past—and my heart breaks anew,
Never in my life have I appreciated so deeply the cleansing power of Christ’s blood and the brutality He faced on the cross. Do you ever wonder why He had to suffer so greatly? It’s because it is what I DESERVED and it was only by Him drinking the full cup of God’s wrath at that sin, that I could be freed from God’s righteous wrath toward it. My heart breaks from this knowledge and I will never go a day without being grateful for what He did for me there.