The Struggle (3)
It seems to me that our sin struggle has the potential to throw us off balance. While it would be very wrong of us to play our sin off as though it were a trifle, it is also very dangerous for us to focus continually on it. The Devil is persuasive. He wants to convince us that in order for us to take sin seriously we must keep looking at it and letting it take its toll on our hearts and lives. That is exactly wrong. It is out of balance and out of focus. It kills the souls of men and women. It is vital that we take sin seriously, but how do we do that? We are to view sin, our own and the sins of others, from the perspective of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Sin should get to our hearts. But it should be something like this. Sin…my sin…all sin…put Jesus my Savior on the Cross. That breaks my heart, and I am willing for it to be broken. For that honors Christ. Sin took its toll on Him. And I must allow that to be true for me too. Judas’ problem was not that he didn’t take sin seriously. He did. He took it so seriously that he killed himself over his own sin. But that was a victory for the Devil, not for God.
Taking sin seriously does not mean we should inflict harm upon ourselves. That course undervalues the sacrifice of our Lord on the Tree. We end up not being willing for Him to be our sin offering. We determine ourselves to be unqualified for God’s purposes by our terrible sin. We allow the Cross to go for naught as far as we are concerned. Now that is truly tragic. That is not what Jesus wants. We are to have regret and remorse over our sin (2 Corinthians 7:10a). We are to understand, as best we can, the darkness of sin. However, seeing the terrible ugliness of our sin is not all there is to taking sin seriously. There’s another and most important part. We are to see how great is our Savior’s sacrifice and the love of God Who would have us all come home to Him.
Do you remember when Nathan came to David to charge him with his terrible, terrible sins? David responded, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And immediately, bless God, the prophet said, “The Lord has put away your sin.” So I say it is very, very dangerous for us to come face to face with our sin, and how evil, ugly and damning it really is, without also and soon coming face to face with the beauty, power and mercy of our Savior. A vital part of our spiritual struggle is to face our daily sin issues by faith. All our brokenness comes back to us time and time again with every fresh sin we commit. We must, by faith, let Jesus’ sacrifice be enough for us. When our nerves are set on edge because of our own failings…when we weep over our sins as sometimes we must…when we loathe ourselves because of our part in the Cross of Christ and for how our sins hurt Him and those we love…even then, we must not give place to the Devil. Don’t let him use your sin and the grief you have over it to stop you from a single act of service for Christ or to keep you from praying and worshipping your Lord. The wonderful servants of God in the Bible were not sinless people. They were forgiven people. Forgiven daily. Do you remember what Psalm 126:5-6 says? “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Here is our magnificent struggle—We will serve the God Who has saved us and Who keeps us forgiven, even though it be in tears over our sins and the sins of others. We will not quit. We won’t allow the Devil to win. Saints! Struggle on!