Saturday, November 10, 2007

When the Going Gets Good the Good Get Guilt

Outside of God, sin and the devils influence and hold on us is the greatest power in the world today.

One day this summer I was running errands and having a rather great day, listening to the local christian radio station, my kids were at VBS, I had just found an incredible deal on formula, life in my little Christian bubble was going pretty good. Then as I walked into WalMart walking out was a classmate of mine from high school. I no longer live even in the same state as where I grew up. But there he was with his wife and children. Come to find out, his parents had moved to this small town. This is the 2nd family I have known to move here from my home town. I wonder if it in some small way was to help keep me humble or for the devil to bring up my past.

At the time I 1st moved here there used to be a large billboard posted as you entered the city gates that read, "Where Jesus Is Lord". Now we do have some trouble here, but there is a lot of influence for God at every angle. It is a dry county, the streets except WalMart and fast food roll up at 6pm, there are more churches here per capita than anywhere else in the US. There is a huge homeschool community and most everyone I know is actively involved or at least has God in there top 3 most important things in their life, it is rare to have a conversation with someone when it doesn't somewhere turn to referencing the Bible. There is a Christian College here, and DaySpring Christian Cards plant is here in town. The City's slogan is "The City of Beauty and Progress". We still have movies in the park, craft festivals, farmers market, the community building is highly used. Boring? I would say fulfilling and peaceful.

But all this is not who I was when I moved here. I have a lot to be thankful about. I have known Christ all my life, but there was a season of about 10 years when I did my own thing. One time during that rebellious phase, I committed a sin, a rather embarrassing one for me and this guy that was staring at me in WalMart this summer knew about it. Now I knew many he had committed also, but that one sin, that was committed one time, just immediately surfaced and almost choked me. I wanted to blurt out, "Hi, how are you? I have changed! What is your wife's name? Cute kids." I didn't think once of his sins, but the devil had the perfect opportunity to throw in my face the fact that no matter the life I am living now, there is always that ugly past that was his.

I can honestly remember during those years thinking at times, "I know this is wrong, Lord forgive me, I won't do it again after this time" Before I had actually committed the sin. Thinking that once an act was over, I'd ask forgiveness and move on. The power of sin is not the sin itself, felt just in that moment, but what satan can build or destroy out of that sin. This is why we should run, flee from sin, this is why God provides us with an escape, because the devil can easily put us under the thumb of quilt and condemnation. We may commit the sin only once, yet we will have to live with that memory and that shadow of darkness for the rest of our lives.

I wonder if that is why some young Christians with rough pasts, sometimes don't make it. One of the most powerful ways the devil keeps his hands in our lives is through quilt. If the devil puts so much guilt in their lives when God is shining the light on their sins, that the condemnation feels so much worse after accepting God, that it is easier to accept the sin as something that is ok, that is truth, rather than turning from it. God does forgive and casts it far away once we have truly repented, but we as humans find that much harder to do.

After I ran into this guy, I have relived my stupidity many times, and each time I have had to remind myself, I'm forgiven, and literally tell the devil to leave me alone. The devil puts little thoughts in my head...Why would should you be leading a women's bible study? Why should you be in the Christian homeschool group? Why should you be speaking at the mom's group? Don't they all know you're not that great? What if they all find out your past?

I've heard it once said the God can even use an atheist to have His plans succeed. I'm sure God can continue to use me too. I wish I didn't have such a worn coat that I have to wear, but that is the consequences of my decisions. Those who have much to be forgiven for have much to be thankful for. The answer is God's grace. First he sheds light on our sins, because what we cannot see we cannot deal with. This gives us conviction, condemnation is from satan. Conviction gives us a desire for true repentance. Then He washes us clean. Once we repent of our sins, we can let Him have it. We can even have peace with the problems in our lives that have we are facing because of the sins we have committed.

When God's grace covers us, even if the process is painful, He is still big enough to handle the side effects of our decisions for His ultimate plan and our ultimate good.

1 comment:

WendyJanelle said...

It's funny. Jerri an dI were just talking about this. How our pasts can come back to haunt us. It's the devil's plan... and we fall for it so easily. At least we can hold hands and pull each other up when an attack hits. We ARE different people now. Christ IS in us. We are His.

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