The Most Impossible Thing
I love the topic of mortifying sin. But lets be honest, I usually think about it in the context of other people’s lives, how so and so will really benefit from hearing about this and could really apply this to their sinful lives. Quite arrogant of me, I realize. In preparation for this blog, I asked my best friend what I should write about, and she asked me to think about a particular sin I was struggling with, and to write about that. I thought about it for a few minutes, and my mind was blank. For someone whose mind is always running, it was quite ridiculous that I couldn’t come up with a single sin I was struggling with. Seriously, I couldn’t think of anything. After that, I concluded that “I must just be awesome! I’m not struggling with any sin.”
When you are that much of an idiot, God knocks you off your high horse in a hurry. Around 3am the next morning, He gifted me with a nasty stomach virus that landed me in bed for the next 24 hours. I almost started wishing we had a TV to keep me occupied, but with not much else to do but stare at the wall all day between trips to the bathroom, I began to do a little soul searching, and this verse came to mind:
Psalsm 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
So, I asked God to search my heart. Not like I really had anything better to do anyway. And when you ask God to do something like that, He will definitely answer you. He began to show me the sin that was entangling my heart, the things I was living in slavery and bondage to. I saw the idols in my life, the things I was turning to over and over again, expecting them to bring me joy and peace, and watching them fail me every single time. He showed me the critical nature of my heart, a heart that is quick to judge and belittle people. He showed me my anger and insecurity, a heart that is anxious and unsettled. He showed me my bitterness, a heart that is expecting perfection from others instead of trusting in the forgiveness of the cross. He showed me my fear of man, a heart that is living for affirmation and approval of others, with a huge need to be “right”. He showed me my pride and arrogance, a heart that is puffed up with conceit. He showed me my manipulative nature, a heart that is divisive and willing to do and say things to find a false victory. He showed me my lack of gratitude, a heart that is choked with discontentment. He showed me my lack of compassion, a heart that is haughty and more concerned with furthering my own kingdom than the kingdom of God.
Being made aware of your sin is painful. It hurts. It makes you feel like a failure, like you suck at this whole Christianity thing, like God is going to demote you from Varsity Christian to JV Christian, that maybe if people really knew what was going on in your heart, they wouldn’t respect you or want to be friends with you. But you know what is so absolutely beautiful about realizing your sin? When you realize and understand your depravity before God, you better understand His beauty, perfection, glory, and great love for you. The cross of Jesus becomes bigger and we become smaller. He purges the sin that is so deeply rooted in our hearts. He died for our sin, and through Him, we are able to walk in forgiveness and have freedom in this life. He changes me, grows me, and molds me. I start to look less like my old self and more like Him. And there is nothing more wonderful than that.
So here is my challenge for you: Ask God to search your heart. We are often so aware of others sin, yet completely blind to our own. I know that is true of me. For a sin to be mortified or put to death, it must first be realized. Often times, the most deceptive and controlling sins in our lives are the ones that we can’t even see. Ask God to show your sin to you. He will. And after He shows you, He will lovingly walk you to the light and freedom. The goal is sanctification, also known as becoming more like Jesus. In the process of putting your sin to death, you will fall and fail many times. Refuse discouragement; get back up and keep walking it out. Keep your eyes fixed on the cross. It is so worth it.
Ephesians 5:8-11 “Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
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