This message is directed to those who are professing Christian.
But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
It has taken me 40 years to gradually realize that sin is not only hated by God but very bad for us. And even after 40 years, I still have to fight bad behavior that keeps plaguing me. And because of this, it makes it very hard for me to write this. I do not feel qualified to be the one who explains what the Bible says about this subject because, in many ways, I feel like I fail to live up to how the bible says we need to act. However, due to His incredible grace He has granted me in overcoming so many things, I realize that He wants me to still warn you of the dangers of making peace with your sins. I have seen too many Christians destroyed by their repeated sinful behavior.
He loves us but He hates sin. He knows how it destroys His children and sin caused Him to allow His son to be put to death on the cross to save us. God’s grace was not given to us to casually go our own way without any concern over our sinful behavior.
In this passage in Numbers, Israel went 40 years in the wilderness because of their rebellion against God. They missed the blessing God had for them because they would not forsake their sin. A whole generation missed entering the promised land.
God takes it more seriously than we do. He gets angry about it.
And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone. Numbers 32:13
This does not mean He still does not love His people. Of course He still loves us. Just like we get angry at our kids, so does He. However, we cannot expect that we can get away with it forever. He is long-suffering but there is a point in time that we will have to account for unrepentant sin.
We think we can continue in our sins but unless we get an understanding that we need a healthy fear of God, a very frightening thing will happen to us. At some God appointed time, He may remove His presence from us. I have seen this happen.
And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Judges 16:20
Samson was a mighty man of God that refused to forsake his sin. God removed His presence from him, and Samson did not realize it. If it happened to him, it can happen to you. I personally have witnessed this occur to men of God with large ministries who get caught up in sin and lose the anointing of the Holy Spirit but continue to preach like nothing was wrong. And many followers, including myself, are slow to recognize that something is wrong until they get exposed.
We must fight our sins and not compromise. We have to become determined to conquer our evil thoughts and behavior. No matter how many times we fail, we must be determined to stop bad behavior. This is a decision all believers need to do if they truly love God.
This is what is so amazing about King David in the bible. He screwed up pretty bad. He committed adultery but also had her husband killed. But when the prophet Nathan confronted him, he repented. He did not try to excuse it, but faced it. Psalms 51 is the most powerful example of a man committed to turning away from his sins and receiving God’s forgiveness. He was not just sorry, he repented and begged God not to take His presence away from him. Take a look at what David said when he recognized how he sinned.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin! Psalms 51:2
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Psalms 51:11
What troubles me is what I see in the church today. Many make excuses for their sin rather than to determine never to sin again. The world has a right to call us hypocrites when we casually treat people poorly and act like it’s no big deal.
If you struggle with repeated sins, study Psalms 51. Read it, pray it till the power of God gives you the ability to repent. If you are a believer, you do not want to lose His presence. And understand, it could happen to you without even realizing it!
The first thing you must do is to quit making excuses for the bad, sinful behavior and acknowledge that what you did was wrong. Most of us immediately try to defend ourselves and start comparing ourselves with how someone else acted. We try to explain away our wrongs by faulting others for what they did wrong first. We play the blame game. When you just admit you did wrong, you will resolve any situation much quicker. It does not matter what anyone else did. You do not have to give anyone the power over you to make you do something wrong. I don’t care what they did, you don’t have to sin too. Acknowledge your sin.
Do you realize how much quicker an argument between two married people would dissolve if this was done? I’m not talking about admitting you did something you did not do, I’m talking about putting a stop to Satan’s plan to bring chaos and destruction. Just put a stop to the devil’s plan by acknowledging you screwed up. Forget about what they did before you. Forget about whether they misunderstood you as it doesn’t matter either. You just need to take charge and stop any further destruction. This is what makes a true man or woman of God who has decided to allow God to sanctify them by removing sinful behavior.
Secondly, as a believer, we need to understand we should never rely on ourselves to do the right thing. In our flesh, we are sinners. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and empower us to do the right thing.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
If you are a believer, you must recognize that we have the Holy Spirit who is our great helper, so let Him help. Paul tells us:
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. Galatians 5:17
Remember, Jesus knows how weak our flesh is as He lived as a man, not just As God. He was both God and man. One of the great mysteries of the gospel. He was tempted in all the ways we are, yet He did not sin. He is our example and we must keep pursuing to be more like Him. Striving to improve your character is a path that we should all take until the day we die. He wants to prepare us to be empowered to be His witness and end our walk on earth ready for eternity.