Tuesday, March 5, 2013

the most destructive sin in my life right now.

Last week I saw this quote by Tim Keller on Pinterest and it cut me straight to the heart:

source: pinterest
Almost instantly, I wanted to put away the whole idea for another day, but that night I found myself really thinking about which sin it was for me {I have lots to choose from!}.

I had one sin that came to mind almost instantly when I saw it, but it turns out I was just looking on the surface. God had a deeper sin surgery in mind for me, and He was taking me through it that very week. Ahhh, it was rough.

You know, the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I feel the difference of what sin does in my heart compared to being in His presence.

When sin seeps into my heart, it starts to feels like a poison to my soul. I can go from full of joy and lightness to heavy burning and turmoil in my heart in no time at all. I hate it.

It's such a noticeable change- but it's not because I know it with my mind {I mean, I used to love that sin feeling, and would let it brew}. I think it's only because God is working on making me a new creation- giving me a new heart that doesn't like sin anymore.

Seeing sin in my heart, for me, is like working out but so much worse. Identifying sin is like taking your heart through so much work and pain you want to die, but it feels so good when it's over. You feel so much better and lighter when it's done, and you grow stronger.

I don't know if that makes sense at all, but as much as my flesh doesn't want to be shown my sin, God makes my heart want to be shown my sin so I can grow and get healthier. And I have started to hate the sin more because I can't stand taking the poison- it tastes so bad- so nasty- when you have had the living water.

When sin enters your heart, you know it's poisonous to you, and you have to cry out to the only Healer you know to keep it from overtaking your body.

What I thought was a simple sin when I first saw the picture, God later revealed at it's root.

My worst sin? The one I am most defensive about? The one I won't even admit to most of the time?

I think it's pride.

Whether I'm not trusting God, or I'm fearing for the future, or I'm holding something against somebody,  it always comes back to this one issue- pride.

It's the life sucker, the joy stealer, and the anger and sin initiator in me.

When I think I have rights, when I think I deserve more credit, when I think I have control, when I am offended- it's because I feel I'm worth more than I really am. I'm placing myself higher than others.

When I worry- I'm telling God His plan isn't good enough for me to trust in.

When I think I should be in control- I'm saying my own opinion is worth more than His {or anyone else's}.

When I am offended- I feel my "due" rights and feelings have been violated, and it angers or upsets me.

When sin enters my heart, the gateway continually seems to be pride.

I always think I deserve more.

And that at its very root is what caused the fall of Lucifer, and the fall of all mankind in the very beginning.

Wanting to elevate ourselves above God is the ultimate sin, and it causes us endless pain, suffering and misery, and a life apart from God for eternity.

Wanting to elevate ourselves above other people causes us very much the same in the temporary world- we only end up in pain and misery and separate ourselves from others.

Saying in our hearts, "I should be allowed to, or I deserve more than...." is a sin that causes us so much anguish and turmoil in our hearts, and we don't even realize it.

Placing ourselves higher than God and others brings us not only pain, but punishment too.

What does God say about pride?

He hates it:
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.  Proverbs 8:13

He will punish it:

I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. Isaiah 13:11

Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12

The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. Isaiah 2:11

It will only cause our own destruction and humiliation in the end:

A man of wrath stirs up strife,and one given to anger causes much transgression.
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:22-23
For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11
You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down. 2 Samuel 22:28
In Leviticus, God details all the laws He gives for the people so that they will be set apart from the world- so that He could be in a covenant with them and be their God. In chapter 26, He tells them what will happen if they abhor - if they hate from their soul with pride in their hearts- the laws He has given them, and disobey them. This is how much God detests their pride:

4“But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you. 18And if in spite of this you will not listen to me, then I will discipline you again sevenfold for your sins, 19and I will break the pride of your power, and I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. 20And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.

And He goes on to detail what will happen if they continue to be prideful against Him... and it's not pretty.

God hates pride.

He disciplines us, His people whom He loves- so we will be broken, so we will be humbled, and know He is God and we are not.

In my own eyes, I don't sin, but God knows my heart.

I justify myself, but in doing so, I'm committing the very sin God hates.

It's so hard to write- it's awful. I am so full of pride and self-love every single day, and it comes out over and over and over again. Ahhhh.

I want to kill it. I can't come before God with this poison in my heart.

It hurts me in so many ways.

I cannot be holy, I cannot awake in His likeness if my heart is full of pride.

My heart needs Jesus to the very core, and I know I can't do it on my own. To think I could be good enough would be pride itself.

That's why what Jesus did is so crazy.

I was full of sin and pride and didn't even have the sense to realize it on my own, when He rescued me and paid my ransom so that I could be His own.

He had such great mercy on me to show me favor when I reared my ugly head in pride against Him and sinned.

I deserve the punishment of Leviticus 26 and MORE. Who am I to stand before a Holy God with such sin in my heart??

I'm not worthy. Only Jesus is worthy, because He was righteous and without sin- and He had so much love for me, He brought my punishment on Himself.

And knowing what He did- that He did that for me- makes sinning now even worse to me.

How could I bring such an attitude now, when I know what Christ has done?

It's hideous.

But God shows me this pride now, and He does it because He loves me so much He cannot leave me where I was before. He wants to discipline my heart because I am His child.

He is doing surgery on me, because He loves me enough to put me through that pain so that I can live.

Sin is my cancer, and He's removing each and every tumor one by one, because that's how much He loves me.

It's so painful at the moment, but He reminds me:
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

And what does He tell me? He is doing it because He loves me, and He gives me instruction:

 19Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.

If you hear His voice- if He is calling you to repent- don't deny Him today. Don't keep the door shut.

He loves you, and He promises you a great reward for opening the door to your heart.

It's painful at the moment, but it's so worth it in the end. 

Jesus died so that we could live- and live more abundantly- not less. There is such freedom in leaving sin behind. I can tell you that firsthand.

You are so loved by an awesome God, my friend. He is worthy of all of you- don't be afraid to turn to Him and show Him all of your heart.

He knows you from the very depths of your soul, and nothing will surprise Him, I promise. Give Him your heart- confess your sin. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Oh, thank you Jesus for allowing us to live and for killing sin in our hearts. Please don't let us to ourselves- we need you in every thought, to put down any pride or anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of you. Thank you for your sacrifice, and for your mercy toward sinners, for it is GREAT. We love you Jesus. Change our hearts. Tear us apart until we don't even look like ourselves, and we awake in your likeness.

How have you seen Jesus working in your heart against sin lately?

Have you found that it bothers you more too?

How has He changed you recently?

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