Response to the Topic of Knowing the Depth of Our Sin (Oct23 CSLI)

A Monthly Reflection

“Sin is a fundamental relationship— it is not wrong doing, but wrong being— it is deliberate and determined independence from G-d.”

Oswald Chambers

Sin sucks.

It is everything that pulls us away from our Holy Father.   A breaking of shalom.  True peace and more shattered by death, despair, deception, and debauchery.  It is the root of all evil and persists in (almost) everything within the physical world.  And the best (worst) part is we can’t escape it in time and space – only when we pass from this world to the next.

At best we have to learn it, understand it, reflect and pray to overcome it.  We battle it daily through submission to Christ all along fighting in the trenches during the rough seasons.

Sin is death – placed upon us prematurely.

Sin is a parasite (quoting Plantiga) that infects and destroys.

Sin is anti-G-d, anti-love, anti-holiness.

Sin gets in and affects the batch of our lives and pulls us along for the ride.

Sin causes effects of sickness, wars, strife, anger, hatred, lust and the other deadly sins and outcomes.  Nothing good can come from it, now or ever, and only produces suffering.

While we read this month quite a few resources – the clear message to me is that the human race is in quite a predicament.  We, as the Bible says, are dead in our transgressions.  We don’t have hope; we don’t have a future.  We also don’t have enough strength, will power, intelligence, or other human aptitude to get us out of this mess.  We are permanently stained.

I say permanent because unless we surrender to G-d – there is no hope.

With G-d all things are possible and we can have that stained removed.  Only He has the ultimate “magic eraser” to wash us clean.

The enemy wants to devour us, to take us down – to strip us away from grace.  His own pride (sin) has caused his own downfall and thus is himself hurt and wants to destroy us and G-d.

The world is accepting of this as our natural, primal nature wants to be in charge.  We like our own authority and our own desires.  We want to be King, even though we can’t even be king.  We think we know better and are dis-illusioned that we can achieve this ourselves or that we are already sitting in the Master’s chair.

The truth is that we are not at the head of the table, we need to take our rightful place in the high-chair.  We need to be innocent like infants sitting next to our Heavenly Father while he cares for us and leads us to be the person, He has us to be for Him.

The problem is that we try to determine our own lives.  Truth be told even when we surrender one day while praying, we might the next day (or even the next hour) try to pick up the reins again of our lives.  It is just too easy.

We need to be restored to shalom.  Only through our L-rd can this happen.  All other sinful roads will never reach what should have been.  Are you feeling empty?  Angry?  Lost?  Or that something is missing?  If we are honest with ourselves the answer is yes.  Are you honest?

The solution – recognition!

A daily reminder, or perhaps hour-by-hour from the Holy Spirit can guide us for that moment of surrender when our thoughts go evil or selfish.

From John D. Barry:

“Now as for their names, the older was Oholah, and Oholibah was her sister. And they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters, and their names are Samaria for Oholah, and Jerusalem for Oholibah. And Oholah prostituted herself while she was still mine [being Yahweh’s], and she lusted for her lovers, for Assyria who was nearby.… Therefore, I gave her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians after whom she lusted” (Ezek 23:4–5, 9).

There is a firm rebuke in Yahweh’s words spoken through Ezekiel—the sin becomes the punishment. But this sad picture also reveals Yahweh’s perspective and the pain that He feels when we walk away from Him.

Ezekiel’s words should prompt us to ask questions. How often have we been blinded by our lust for “greener grasses”? How often have we sacrificed G-d’s plan and potential for our lives at the altar of selfish desires? How often has “want” controlled us to the point of betraying the G-d who created us?

Our remorse should guide us into making better choices. We can walk away from the pursuit of our own desires and walk into the life that Yahweh offers us. The “two witnesses” in Rev 11:1–14 make this very decision. Appalled by the horrifying scene of their generation (e.g., Rev 9:13–21), they find hope and power in seeking Yahweh. Rather than allowing the evil of their generation to control or change them, they seek Yahweh. For doing so, they inherit power to do His work (Rev 11:2–6).

Restoration comes through:

  1. Denying ourselves (our will) and the narrative of our generation
  2. Submitting our lives to Him daily and asking His help to overcome sin and temptation.
  3. Reflecting often on the condition of ourselves, humanity vs His grace and love
  4. Repeat steps 1-3

Last month, I mentioned the below four “we need”.

We need to pray for growth in love towards Him and others. 

We need to be reminded that He is our L-rd and King – we are His servants.

We need to appreciate Him more often and tell Him about it.

And we need to show ourselves approved by surrender, submission, study, service, and sacrifice.

These fall in line with this month.  That fear I mentioned beforehand is what should help us to remember our real sin predicament vs a holy and just G-d and that we need His sovereign grace to help us overcome sin in our lives.

“Seeing, then, that man fell through pride, He restored him through humility. We were ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent; we are set free by the foolishness of G-d.”

Augustine of Hippo

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