Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

How Do You Go On?

   There are so many terrible aspects to sin and sinning that it is an affront to the mind to try to figure out why we give ourselves over to it so often and so willingly.

   King David, as a result of his desolate walk through the valley of sin’s aftermath, exclaimed to God, “Against You, You only have I sinned!” In this statement, David is not at all denying the countless number of others against whom he had also sinned, but he is teaching us that the most basic wrong inherent in sin is its offense to God. We need to remember this and act accordingly.

   However, among the many dire results of sin, is this…how does one, who has involved himself in sins that are so hurtful to others…so degrading…so irreversible…so inexplicable…how does one begin again in life? How do you make it through a day? In Psalm 51:3, David described the misery his sins represented to him this way, “My sin is ever before me.” It didn’t matter which way he looked, there were his terrible evils staring him down. It didn’t matter what he did, whenever he finished what he was focused on for a time, there, again, were his sins looking him in the eye. They greeted him every morning when he arose. He saw them every time one of his fellow citizens looked at him with a frown and shook their heads in disgust. Was he ever able to be in the presence of his wife, Bathsheba, without remembering the dark deeds surrounding their coming together…the betrayal, the adultery, the murderous cover-up, the death of the baby? It was all before him. He could never forget. Tell me, how did David go on with such a haunting apparition ever before him? How do we go on?

   I have no easy or glib answer to the deep, heartfelt regrets our sins have inflicted upon us. We are not built so as to be able to literally forget about our wrongs and their results. So what can we do? I think part of the answer comes from a statement David made in Psalm 16. There is a way for us to put one foot in front of another, even when there are plenty of older brothers who don’t want us to recover. David admitted that his sin was ever before his face, but there was another vision that enabled him to stay at his post. “I have set the Lord always before me.” (Psalm 16:8a) Even if everyone else wanted David to pay the full price for his evil, the Lord had “put away” his sin. Even if others would demand the  “pound of flesh,” God had told David, “You shall not die.” Even if the vast majority, including David himself, thought he should no longer be on Israel’s throne, God kept him there for His own purposes. And David had a deep belief that one should never go against God’s anointed king, whether that was King Saul or himself.

   I’m convinced the only way a person of tender conscience and with a heart like God’s own heart can go on with such shameful deeds burned into their memory appearing ever before them, is to focus, not on the evil, but on the gracious God Whom they also cannot, will not ever forget. Of course we remember our sins, but over against that dreadful memory, we will live in constant relationship with our forgiving God Who still has purposes to accomplish in us.

   Sister, brother, I urge all of us to do as David did. Keep Father God ever before you, even over and above the past sin and shame that would stifle your life and blight all your future. This is the only way I know of to go on day by day. Don’t give up! God is good!

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6 thoughts on “How Do You Go On?

  1. I have to remember this … thank you so much for the reminder. Around here we often talk about taking our thoughts captive. The illustration has been made that we actually capture that thought, drag it over to Jesus, and let Him deal with it. I think of the illustration as being about temptations or thoughts of things that haunt me … but for some reason, I’ve never applied it to helping me clear my vision so I can see God more clearly. I try to keep the thought of my loving, merciful, forgiving God always before me. But when I can’t, and that vision gets clouded by my sins and shameful behavior … I can capture those thoughts … drag them over to Jesus and let Him deal with them … as I get my eyes back on the Father.

    • oakesclan on said:

      The weight of my guilt and shame is so oppressive that at times it feels over-powering. Intellectually, I understand that I haven’t sinned to the same extent or with as tragic human fallout as, say, King David or Saul of Tarsus. But that fact doesn’t relieve me of my own inner struggle with my unworthiness. When I consider the advantages God has given me…a wonderful family, tremendous faith examples, really good Bible instruction, and etc.,…I feel my shortcomings so keenly. But, while this vision of our unworthiness plays an important part in our salvation, I need to respond to God’s call to me to get my eyes off myself, ultimately, and to focus on Him…and what He can do, even through a “cracked pot.” Since every sin I commit tends to bring to mind the entire load of evil, I find that I am in a daily struggle…a spiritual struggle…to listen to the right voice…to focus on the true Lord…to engage more in Kingdom work while spending less time being stuck in my own darkness. So, as you said, Paige, I have to remember this. Thanks for sharing the resolve of your life…to submit all to King Jesus and let Him keep your ship righted and moving forward. God bless you.

  2. I remember my sin…it is ever before me. I am ashamed before God and I still ask His forgiveness. I know full well He has granted that. But I ask for it still.

    You are right that the only way to get thru the day is to set the Lord before us. I agree with Him when He says I belong to Him and He has plans for me. I agree with Him when He says I am good, and precious and beloved. I don’t feel it. But I agree to let Him win that argument. I can’t manage to get my heart to feel it often, but I surrender to Him. I look for His good in others. I look for His good being done around me and even, surprisingly, through me.

    • oakesclan on said:

      Yes, Sherry, every time we remember our sin, let’s make sure to remember our Lord Who deals with it for us. In this way, we can keep on keeping on. I like your resolve to agree with the Lord. I like your “good looks”- looking to see His good in others…looking to see His good in yourself. I can’t help but think God rewards such intention to focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. So keep your “good looks,” okay? Thanks for checking in here and for sharing. I hope the coming Spring will be a time of great blessing for you and yours.

  3. Sis Gail on said:

    Sometimes in my life I’m able to think that God does understand my sinning and I can put it to rest. Other time I do struggle with things. Maybe this sounds too simple or like I’m not showing God enough loyalty or respect. Or maybe it is my getting older and knowing that God really does understand me and my sin struggle. I should not make sinning my goal. But though that is true, since we are weak and frail in the human flesh we are going to sin. As much as I wish it were not so, I will sin against God more before I leave this earth, but this only serves to make me SO THANKFUL FOR JESUS who God sent on my behalf to take care of my Sins and the sins of everyone who will obey God. God just makes me feel like he totally understands me and (all of us) if we will try to listen to and obey him and even though we yet fail often in this life. I have some days that I just know I have not set my best foot forward as a Christian but GOD TRULY UNDERSTANDS ME. I know Adrian always would say to me that some Christians are going to be surprised with who gets to Heaven because God can truly forgive sinners for all their sins. God can forgive people whose hearts can turn toward God, and only God knows about the heart of a person.

    Gail

  4. oakesclan on said:

    Yes…in the final analysis, we do need to allow God to be God. Only God is able to take into account everything that should be taken into account as He deals with each of us sinners. We can depend on Him to do this properly, flawlessly. Whenever humans start playing God, someone is going to be needlessly hurt.
    I am thankful for His grace in Jesus Christ, without which we would have no hope of goodness. God bless you, sister Gai. I love you.

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