I started this semester flat on my face in sin. I was crying out to God and desperate for His grace. Well, I’m always desperate for His grace, but the first week of the semester reminded me of it. I had talked big game about wanting to truly enjoy my last semester at IU, but every fiber of my being felt like I was starting it off on the wrong foot. I started to realize that some of the decisions I was making were not good for me, or pointing people to Christ, but instead leading them into sin. The more I sat in my sin, the farther God seemed to be from me.
So what’s a girl supposed to do when God feels distant? Well, first I cried. Then I prayed, some sad pathetic, wallow in self-pity prayers. Finally, I talked to a couple close friends and confessed my sin. And then I prayed some more. Here’s what I began to understand: God doesn’t call me to flee from sin for His sake, but for my own sake. Sin clouds my judgment. Sin makes me question my identity. Sin isolates me from community. Sadly, there was some sin behavior that I had become very comfortable with in my life. In my daily quiet times, I would ask God that He reveal Himself to me, but I wasn’t actually looking for Him; I had become content with the way I was living.
Thankfully, God is good. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is once and for all. He died a brutal death so I can live in freedom from condemnation. When my flesh and Satan tell me that sin is okay and can be compromised with, God’s Word can fight the lies. Sin is serious. Sin affects my view of God and my view of myself. God calls me (and all believers) to purify myself from all ungodliness. Why? So I can see and experience Him. I’ve spent some good time in Romans 6 the past couple weeks, asking God to speak to me. Paul writes to the Romans, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (6:6-7). My old self was crucified on the cross with Christ. Why? So the body of sin might be done away with. Sin has lost it’s power on me, until I give power back to it. The more power I give sin in my life, the less I will see Jesus because Jesus is the opposite of sin. There is only so much time in my day, if I fill it with sinful things, and things not for the Lord, the less I give Him.
My identity is not that of a sinner. I am a daughter of the highest King. I have been chosen and not rejected. But, I forget that. I choose to sin and put myself and my desires above God. I give sin power in my life again. When you give Satan an inch, he’ll take a mile… he’s sneaky and manipulative like that. I want to see Jesus and walk closely with Him, which right now looks like taking drastic measures to flee from sin. I pray that I can live out what Paul writes to the Philippians, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead” (3:10-11). Here’s to choosing Jesus over sin, even when sin seems like not a big deal, because sin will leave me wanting more; only Christ can truly satisfy.