Drawn from my archives
I received a question from a reader that recently had a discussion with a friend of hers about sin. This friend had been having an affair with a married man for some time now, but because of his faith—and advice from his pastor—he decided to break things off with her.
There were a lot of details that I won’t go into, but what I will do is address the question that was at the root of the letter. That question is this, “If God forgives us for everything, how come we can’t be together and make it right with God?”
We don’t always understand why God doesn’t give us the things we desire, but the bottom line is that we don’t have to understand. God’s wisdom exceeds ours, and we are called to accept that. This is what’s known as giving up our will for His.
The minute that we start to question God’s wisdom and say things like, “MY God is compassionate, he wants me to be happy and understands that I have to be with this man…” Then we are taking the true image of God–according to His wisdom laid out in scripture–and forming it into a golden calf that we can worship.
It’s so much easier to worship something that molds to our idea of what God should be.
We aren’t called to walk an easy life. In fact this very thing might be a test that asks, “Are you willing to give up your life for mine?” That’s what we’re called to do.
When Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, he didn’t say, “MY God wouldn’t want me to harm this child, MY God is compassionate.” He was willing to give up anything and everything he loved without having to understand why. It was counted to him for faith.
Christians live by faith. Taking up our cross daily means that we are fighting a constant battle against the flesh so that the Spirit will win. That’s what walking in the Spirit is.
The flesh isn’t merely our skin. It represents our human nature along with our passions and desires.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:5, KJV
But when we’re in love with someone or something, everything in our body is telling us that this is right–that this can’t be wrong or we wouldn’t feel this way. That’s where we err. The heart is deceitful above all things, therefore we need to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord at all times and ignore the passions that the heart is longing for. Even temptation this great will eventually flee.
But the root of the question was this:
“If God forgives us for everything, how come we can’t be together and make it right with God?”
I’m going to share a verse that I shared with another lady about a week ago, because it’s an incredible piece of scripture that addresses this issue.
And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. ~ Genesis 4:6-7, KJV
God was giving Cain a warning here, saying “If you do good, you will be accepted, but if you don’t do well, sin will rule over you.”
Choosing to follow your sin puts you in a dangerous place where Satan has a foothold. It opens a door for something potentially worse–much worse.
Cain eventually killed his brother, which shows us the power that sin has to drag us deeper into the pit of death.
This verse explains it well:
But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. ~ James 1:14-15, KJV
I experienced that living death, and it was a dark, cold feeling of separation from God unlike anything I’ve experienced in my life. It’s only by His grace that I have recovered. Nothing–and I mean NOTHING–on this earth is worth holding onto for the sake of our faith.
You are loved by an almighty God,
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