Monday, February 12, 2018

Beat Down

Beat Down
I recently had the opportunity to confront what one might call a personal shortcoming, a momentary lapse in judgment, an oversight, or perhaps even an indiscretion.  God has another word for this behavior, He calls it sin.  Of the many problems with sin, one of them is the way that it can eat a believer up from the inside out.  In Psalm 38, David gets quite graphic about how he is a physical and emotional wreck because of his sin.   I was able to empathize with many of his feelings in my recent confrontation with sin. 

Psalm 38:18
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.

Things to think about:
·      For about the past three weeks I have been dogged by a confession I needed to make to a brother.  As much as I tried to rationalize, minimize and otherwise trivialize what had happened, there was a constant cloud hanging over me.  Without addressing it directly (with no excuses), the situation was not going to get better.
o   To describe his misery, David uses words like sick, hurting, guilt, heavy burden, bowed down, pain, weak, anguish of heart, light gone from his eyes
o   Have you experienced this heaviness of guilt that just won’t go away?
o   Are you living with this burden now?
·      For me, the “good news” in all of this was that God loves me too much to let me get away with it
o   Every morning it was the first thing I’d think about
o   It created a major barrier to Bible study, church, and praying
o   How can guilt some times be a good thing?
·      In Matthew 5:23-24 - “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
o   We cannot have fellowship with God if we do not have fellowship with His children
·      1 Corinthians 11:31-32 – “But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”
o   God loves us too much to let us go on in sin
·      So what’s the cure?
o   Psalm 38:18 – “I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin”
§  As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I was deeply troubled by my sin. It wasn’t much fun and the separation from God was not worth the price of my foolish pride.
§  Step one was confession to God
·      1 John 1:9-10 - If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 
§  Step two was calling my friend to confess and ask for his forgiveness
·      James 5:16a - Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. 
·      Psalm 38:21-22 – Lord do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God.  Come quickly to help me, my God and my Savior.
o   Psalm 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
§  Even trouble of our doing!
·      Are you carrying a ton of bricks today that is sapping your strength, breaking your back, causing you great pain?  Do you miss the closeness of being with God?  Is your heart about to give out from anguish?
o   Today is the day, now is the acceptable time
o   2 Corinthians 6:2 - “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
·      Stand up, do what needs to be done, and let Him breathe new life into your body and soul.  It was important enough to Him to suffer for your sin so you don’t have to!

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