Dispel the fog and gloom of your Christian life by throwing open the shutters of your heart. William Gurnall advised, “Go and ransack thy heart, Christian, from one end to the other, find out thy wants, acquaint thyself with all thy weaknesses, and set them before the Almighty, as the widow her empty vessels before the prophet; hadst thou more than thou canst bring, thou mayest have them all filled.” Air out your dry and dusty soul. “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” (Is. 44:3) Sit and be still and bask in the sunshine of His presence. Be in awe of the ease with which you may boldly come unto Him. Stand amazed at His unconditional love for you.
Repentance brings the sin to the table. Confession looks at your sin through the eyes of God: nothing new yet horribly offensive to Him. Your sin, no matter what the size or shape, is against Him and yet we read, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Faith sees the desire of God and His ability to make you the overcomer in your sin-struggle. Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
In the book of Leviticus sin is very blatantly spoken of. Descriptions of it are embarrassing. I blush when I read passages and wonder why must this be so? Why openly discuss it? Why have it out plain for all to read? Why? Sin is a fact. Call it what it is. Stand it up in the presence of God and discuss it frankly. It comes as no surprise to Him. He has been present at the worst of the worst of sin. He is your Helper, the One who deigns to call you His beloved and desires to set you free from all that binds you. 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Hear the wonderful truth in Psalm 147:11, “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy…(v.3) He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Psalm 145:8, “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”
Jesus went into the midst of the sinners and their sin. He talked with them, walked with them and ate with them. He taught them, touched them and tended to their deepest needs. He came to deal in real and practical ways with this problem of sin. The Pharisees didn’t like Jesus to go traveling about where “that kind of sin” was. They were angered that He didn’t act as they thought He should. With Jesus life is dealt with as it is, not as we have made it to appear or as we wish it to be.
Struggling Christian, invite Him in! Ask Him to sit down with you right now, right where you are struggling, right in the midst of your sin. Beg Him to! He asks you to show Him your wounds and then He can heal them. Show Him your wounds and then show Him your faith, however small it may be, and be honest before Him. Now, and only now, can you get something done! Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” Read Psalm 51 and find that it is a full, whole-hearted, hold-nothing-back confession.
Cowering in the fearful darkness of soul the Christian believes, “This sin is too great, too imbedded, too ugly; God could part the Red Sea and free two million people from Egypt, but He can’t free me from this sin-pattern that I’ve allowed to have control in my life.” Child, all is light with God. There are no dark places of your heart or life where God is not. There is not a thought running through your head that is not heard by Him. We hold our tongues before our husbands, children and friends, not realizing that in our self-talk a steady dialogue of complaints, harsh words, unbelief and sheer anger continually assaults the ear of our All-hearing and Ever-present God. He knoweth all and He heareth all.
Satan would have us remain in that darkness of soul believing defeat. With Christ, have courage to allow the light of God’s Truth to illuminate your sin for what it is and, using God’s Word, put it in its rightful place: in submission to Him. Sin only has the power over us that we allow it to have over us. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” (Is. 55:7-8)
Have the courage to come forth and be set free. Have the persistence to confess your desire to be set free again and again and again until God be pleased to break open those prison doors. Stay on it, woman! Keep on persisting with God to have Him heal you. Chase Him down if you must with your embarrassing sin. Stay on it though the winds hurl and the thunder deafens and you want to rush back into that cave and hide from the spectacle of your life and trial. Stay on it until you hear that still small voice of God, speaking truth and love and forgiveness to you.
Spurgeon said, “Have us nearer He will.” Whether drawn through affliction or drawn through love, His plan is to conform you to the image of Christ. The events of your life are designed to do just that. Nothing has come upon you that has not been passed first through the boundaries of God’s love for you and His perfect plan for your life. The songwriter beautifully wrote, “No power of Hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand; till He returns or calls me home. Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.” Temptations are real and our failures remind us of our weaknesses. But these are exactly the things God desires to use for our good and for His glory. As mighty Job said, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Keeping up appearances and not dealing with sin is not a godly response to life and it is not living honestly before God and man. Speak openly to Him in your soul pain of sin and hear His words of great comfort and hope. Psalm 143:8, “Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” He knoweth thy downsitting and thine uprising. Walk honestly before Him in dependence upon His marvelous grace. And then, dear Christian, be a dispenser of that marvelous grace to those who are struggling around you.
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Three of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife for over 30 years.