Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Saying Yes--The Only Job We Have

OK, it's Lent, and I'm thinking a lot about sin and salvation. Not everybody's favorite subject, but sin is kind of like an untended infection--ignore it and it could kill you.
So, I'm thinking today--what is sin exactly and how does it fit into God's plan?

Sin was part of God's plan, after all. It had to be. Nothing happens without God's will or permission, right? So the same goes for sin.
But that doesn't mean that sin is a good thing. Quite the contrary, of course. When it comes to sin, God allowed, with intent, something not good. Of course, He knows how to bend it to good, and that's what I want to talk about today.  I have to understand sin to understand its danger. And it is dangerous. Like the infection, it could kill me.

So why do I sin? Hmmm. I like it. I do. For instance:
I gossip because it gives me a feeling of superiority.
I eat or drink or spend too much because it satisfies me and I don't have to ask God for whatever I've given myself.
I am selfish because keeping my stuff enhances my feeling of strength and independence.
I lie because it appears to make circumstances easier. It smoothes the rough edges.
I do not honor a holy rest because what I have to do is just too important.

In every instance, I commit these sins because I am trying not to need God. I am doing the one thing He forbids me--choosing myself over Him.

And that is all I have to do. Choose Him. Say Yes, Lord. Period.

God's already done everything else. 
Jesus wasn't saying anything new when He declared "It is finished" from the cross. It was always finished.
I am God; there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning...My counsel shall stand and I will do all My pleasure...I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.--Isaiah 46:9-11
Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand.--Isaiah 14:24

When God made us, sin came with the package. So did Christ and His redemption.
I know that sounds a little weird, but for us, all this happens in time. For Him, it was always there. And we can't change any of it. It's already done. Jesus already declared completion following the sixth day of Creation. We, and the world we live in, and every circumstance we encounter has always been finished.

There is only one thing I can do--admit it or not.

If I do admit it, I also admit God's sovereignty, His pefection, His love, and my own sin before Him. I acknowledge that He is God and I owe Him everything. In the process, I change little by little to become like Him. I worship Him for His perfection and His patience and His sharing even a little of Himself with me.. I dedicate myself to Him. I become holy.

Or I don't.

I can't have just a little holiness. I get it all or none.
Oh, I will still sin, but if I am admitting who God is, if I am saying 'Yes' to Him, I will get back on track. God planned for sin, remember. He allows us to be forgiven as long as we are loving Him the way He intended.

The one thing He does not tolerate, however, is for me to say 'No.'  
I can't say, 'No, thanks, God. I'll take whatever good you might toss my way, but I don't really need You. I can protect myself. I can make my own way.'
My 'No' is not only sin. My 'No' is the blasphemy of denial when it becomes my way of life. If I am to have a life with Christ, every sin (all of which tell God that He does not, after all, have authority over my life) has to be repented. If I do not repent of sin, it takes me only one place--down the wide road of death. Without repentance, we do not let God save us.

It's all one thing.
Either I say 'Yes and Amen--You are God. I sin. I owe You everything. I love You. I trust You. I serve You.' Or I give Him nothing. 'I don't need You. I'm sufficient to myself. You might as well not exist for all the difference You make.'

A heart for God can lapse into sin and be restored to Him--David proved that.
But a heart that doesn't need Him is all on its own in a very dark world.


  1. Wow, JoAnne--what an insightful post! This especially hit me: "In every instance, I commit these sins because I am trying not to need God." Thank you for the insight you offer.
    BTW, my post this week also deals with God's transcendence of time, but from another angle.

    1. This post was one of the ones particular to my own lenten journey this year, one in which I have to learn how to lose myself in God without losing myself to the people around me. It's been interesting. It's refreshing to think of God as in the continuous present tense. I like that a lot. Good to hear from you.