Hard to Digest

Care to wander down a bit of a road with me today? This morning I was going through my e-mail.  Typical morning endeavor.  There is a lot of junk mail in my email folder and I keep saying I'm going to clean it up so I only receive the stuff I really want to read but being a bit of a procrastinator, it turns out there is still a lot of wading through the weeds to get to the good stuff.

My attention this morning was caught by the subject line and title of the daily devotional I receive from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It read:  "Do You Hate Sin/Encouragement for Today/Proverbs 31 Ministries".

That first question had me squirming in my seat a bit.  I knew there was some conviction coming and there was a lot of nervousness as to just how much.

See...I know I've been lazy.  I've allowed my relationship with God to "cool."  I have spent months and months sleeping in instead of getting up and waking up with God's Word.  This week I started getting up that 1/2 hour earlier again but that lasted for 3 days.  Today it was 15 minutes because I overslept....

How I love God and His timing.

The verse for the reading was Psalm 36:2.  After reading the devotional, I went and picked up the verse before and the few after it.  They read:

An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:
There is no fear of God before his eyes.

For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin.

The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good.

Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.

Psalm 36:1-5

Psalm 36:2 is hard enough:  The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and do good.  Toss in the other four and I am hanging my head, sorrowed to the point of tears for the pain I know I am causing God and what I am doing to myself and those around me.

It is my own pride that has stepped in the way, it is that which is running my life and it is that which will keep me from God.  Unwise is too gentle a word for what I am doing.  I am being foolish.

The story today's devotional writer tied to the verse was an attention-getter, too.  Especially is discussing the honest reflection of one of the young women present during the conversation.  It makes me wonder at the instantaneous of understanding.  That flash of knowledge that tells you you have strayed SO far...but God wants you BACK.  At His feet.  Turning your life - ALL of your life - over to Him.  Hating sin as much as He does.

Hating sin.

What does that look like?  We're taught and told and in today's climate, we're almost ordered to be gentle, "live and let live" and above all, practice tolerance.

You can't practice tolerance and hate sin.  It can't be done.  People don't care for "black and white" - they like their gray and I have to admit, for someone who lives most of the time in the black & white, a little gray is OH so easy and comfortable. 

But then...when I slide into that gray area, I do not live what I know to be the truth.  All that comes from the Word of God.  People think it might need some re-writing, some updating but I tremble at the horror of that thought.

Scripture is God breathed.  Updating it is not.  Take a look at our planet, governments, the populations of our prisons...  We prove over and over and over again that humans mess things up.  Colossally.

Hating sin, as God hates sin, is a mandate from Him.  We are called to be as God is - holy and perfect. (To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours ~ 1 Corinthians 1:2, for one reference)  We will mess that up.  A lot.  But that does not give us permission to stop trying. 

We do not get to determine what is sinful in God's eyes.  He does.  He has and He has informed us - over and over and over and over again.  It is an absolute testimony to His love, mercy and grace that we have not been totally obliterated again (the flood) because we not only disobey Him but we have "watered down" all that He considers evil.  We call them "mistakes" or we justify it with "that's just who we are." 

And yet...He yearns to draw us near to Him.  He hopes we will come to Him.  He loves us enough to want to show us in our best light - through the cover of Christ's blood.

How do I not rejoice in that EVERY day?  How do I allow life to take precedence over that?  How do I minimalize that type of power, love, joy?  How do I think, for one second, I could handle that level of wrath?

How do I cheapen God?  How do I not hate sin?

This morning, as I read that devotional and then, as I sit here typing out my reaction to it (Ok - some reaction.  The full reaction is a bit like a tidal wave.  I'm still mopping up the puddles...) I pray continually. 

First, I thank you, Lord that You didn't see fit to leave me in my muck (look at Romans 1...) and I thank you, Lord, that you bring me constant reminders of your love for me (too many blessings to list!).  I ask, Lord, for you to forgive me... again.  Forgive my disrespect, my laziness, my self-reliance. (I'm only going to list a few - there really are only so many MB's on a blog...)  Above all, Lord.  Thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ because without that, I'd be forever caught in a whirlpool of sin and evil.  Thank you for picking me up, out of that filth.  Now, Lord...I give you me.  All of me.  Whatever that means, wherever that goes.  I trust Your plan and only Your plan.  And I ask you, Lord... please break my heart with those things that break Yours.  Fill me with hatred for sin as You hate sin...and help me, Lord, to live a life where others see You - NOT me...

And I pray I don't stop praying...

*Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

No comments: