Do you ever catch yourself drifting during a sermon? Do you think to yourself "I can’t remember the last time I prayed"? Sometimes that dryness comes because of sin in our lives. We’re letting something in that we should not. Think about David in I Samuel 11. David, when confronted by Nathan, must have wondered “How did I get here?”. Have you ever asked yourself that question? How did David go from being reliant on God as Saul sought to kill him to now falling into deep and developed sin? What compromises did he make? What mental denials had he rationalized in his mind? What drifting away had happened? He went from writing so many of the Psalms to being caught in adultery and murder. How do you and I spiritually drift in our lives? It could be letting something in that we should be shutting out; saying no to what we have been saying yes to.
Personal revival comes when we start facing sin in our lives. God calls us to be holy. But our sin hinders us so in so many ways. To grow in personal revival I need to see sin in my life as God sees my sin. Think of it this way - sin is like an umbrella - God’s blessing falls all around me but my sin hinders God's blessing in my life. I need to deal with sin God’s way. Sin is failing to conform to God’s standards. Sin literally means ‘missing the mark’. It is a constant companion that demands attention and energy. Think about some of these statements and passages:
- Sin will pursue you - Gen 4:7,11-12
- Sin will disappoint you - Heb 11:25
- Sin will trip you up - Heb 12:2
- Sin will enslave you - Rom 6:16
- Sin will be exposed in you - Prov 28:13, Num 32:23
If it were not for Christ we would be hopelessly lost in our sin. We would be bound for an eternity of punishment, forever separated from God. But God allowed us to make a choice. You can choose self, sin, guilt and shame - or you can choose Christ and ask Him for forgiveness.
To contemplate sin in your life consider what I call the downward spiral of sin. Does this describe you?
Four steps in turning from God
- I want _________ (You fill in the blank with your sin of choice) no matter the consequences. (ignoring God’s design - Rom 1:24-25 - this results in shame and guilt)
- I want more, I'm not satisfied by what I did yesterday. Romans 1:26 - the law of diminishing returns, what used to satisfy no longer does.
- I am stuck, I've moved from wanting to wanting more. My heart has turned from God to focus on filling my sin.
- I want to surround myself with others who will help me with my guilt, to make me feel better about myself.
Sin is a task master that drives and controls its slaves. Why do I dabble with sin; why do I ignore sin; why do I excuse sin; why do I rationalize sin? If that is you - it’s time for you to repent of sin. Revival will never come to your soul while you are holding patterns of developed sin. Simply repent, confess your sin to God, and ask Him to help you turn from sin and make a different choice. Think about this verse. I John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".
We will develop this more next week, God-willing.