Friday, October 22, 2010

Mount Sinai or Mount Calvary?

In 1 John 1:9 we read the following statement in regards to how a Christian is to deal with sin in their lives, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I have come to realize over the years that the times in my life when I feel the most distant from the Lord or my prayers seem like they are rising no higher than my ceiling, are the very moments when I have unconfessed sin. This may seem rudimentary, but for a long time in my Christian walk I used to try to fill my life during “spiritual dry times” with more spiritual things or activities in an attempt to feel closer to God when in reality I needed to confess and repent of sin.

It is the sin battle that so often defeats us in our walk but John gives us the solution – just confess. Seems simple on the surface, doesn’t it? I have found that to practically live this verse is the most challenging aspect of my Christian life.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss in her profound book on revival called Seeking Him says that when we sin we immediately have two choices. We can go to Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments and try to live by the law in our own strength and self-righteousness or we can come to Mount Calvary and bring our sin to the foot of the cross and receive the forgiveness and victory over sin that is ours in Christ.

The Bible tells us that after Jesus rose from the grave He went and sat down at the right hand of the Father and is there today making intercession for us when we confess our sins (Romans 8:27). This is an amazing thought to comprehend. Jesus Christ is actively working on our behalf to apply his blood atonement sacrifice to our sins. All we have to do is confess them and repent or turn from our sinful behavior. Jesus Himself has already bore the penalty and the judgment for our sins. What a wonderful spiritual reality to contemplate and allow to shape our walk!

I heard a preacher once say that the key to a victorious Christian life is to keep short sin accounts with God. In other words, when we sin is the best time to confess our sin. I think the frustrating part is so often as soon as we confess the sin, we are committing it again. But still the scripture urges us to keep confessing because I believe the very act of coming before God and agreeing with Him that we have trespassed against His law is the only way we can achieve victory even if it takes time for the sin to be completely removed from our lives. This is why the confession part is the most critical.

When David sinned with Bathsheba in 2 Samuel chapter 11, and then basically ordered to have her husband killed in the war by putting him on the front lines, he never confessed these sins before God. In fact, if not for the prophet Nathan coming to tell David that God was extremely upset over his sin, there is no reason to believe David would have ever confessed. This is a sobering thought given the scriptures tell us that David was a man who was after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). This is a prime example of the deadliness of unconfessed sin.

We have to always be on guard in our lives to ensure we are not deceived about sin and the best way to do this - the only way to do this - is to confess our sins daily before the Lord.

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” - George MacDonald

No comments: