Sure, God Loves Sinners, But… ~ blog
The devil is so crafty. He leads his conversation with something we can easily accept and believe, but there is a hook in every conversation. A barbed hook that once swallowed is extremely difficult to remove. Just as an expert fisherman knows the right bait to use depending on the fish he desires to catch, so the evil one knows about you.
And what bait might he be using to hook you today? Gosh…let me think…I am sure there is some kind of universal bait for humans. Will he use live or artificial bait? Live bait certainly has an appeal. After all, it looks good and easily catches our eye but that is usually only the appetizer. Something to awaken the taste buds and prepare one for a much larger feast later in the day when one has more time to indulge the lust of the flesh.
The real full course meal comes when one has time to feast. An hour at home after everyone goes to bed. Perhaps even at work when there is no appointment pressing for your attention. And oh, by the way, there is now a virtual endless menu of your favorite dishes easily brought to your mind anywhere and anytime with our smart devices.
So, a little shrimp cocktail in the elevator from the woman standing next to you. Some chips and salsa waiting in your spam folder. A drive home on the freeway shows a salad bar of products using the sex sells expertise to get the main taste bud aroused. All part of the menu leading up to the delight of a lobster tail and ribeye steak at night after everyone has gone to bed. That is when the real feasting happens, when one has uninterrupted time to enjoy the endless hometown buffet of main course delights.
I have found that one of the most important things we need to do on a daily basis is to feed our spiritual hunger with the bread of life. For it is in the bread of God we find the truth and can be living in a world of reality instead of fantasy. And this is crucial because the longer we live in fantasy the deeper we go into sin and at the end of that slowly drifting lazy river is a great white shark waiting to devour you.
The one who has been taking the bait for years and years eventually becomes the bait for a carnivorous creature seeking someone to devour. And all those fleeting moments of pleasure become a faint and fading memory compared to the fast-growing realities of losing one’s job, marriage, family, and reputation. The pile of bones beside the table of this beast called Lust is so immense and you have become just another buffalo wing of the moment.
There is an alternative to this dead-end in which so many followers of Christ are finding themselves. There is life after porn. There is a Master of the universe who really does want to strengthen you and enable you to flee lustful temptations, helping us to see the hook in every thought and sight of sexual sin.
In fact, you do not have to look far for He dwells right inside of you and His name is the Holy Spirit of God. He is the same Spirit who filled Jesus and guided Him through life unscathed by any sin, and he wants to have that effect on the things we think, do, and say as well.
Let’s listen to David’s words on this found in Psalm 51;1-2;
“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin…”
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Listen, my friends, God our Father, Jesus our Savior and Lord, and the Holy Spirit our comforter and counselor all know we are weak and sexually broken. He is not some taskmaster calling you out of bed in the morning and just try harder to get it right. They are not demanding authorities who want to make our lives miserable.
As David writes and sings, they are gracious to us, according to their lovingkindness. There is a greatness to their compassion, and they delight in blotting out our transgressions. They are with us to completely wash us from our iniquities and to cleanse us from all of our sins.
Instead of feasting again on the garbage this world has for us, our Lord wants to deliver us. And the antidote to the life living in the garbage dump is to open our mouths and joyfully sing of His righteousness. To sing praise and worship this gracious and compassionate Father who washes away our iniquities and cleanses us from ALL of our sin.
And they are there every day waiting to help you fresh again each and every day. They do not want more empty promises or declarations of how you will change yourself. They see past the mist of our doubling down and offering Him more burnt offerings, saying we will stop doing this and start doing that.
No, what He longs to see from us is a broken spirit…a broken and contrite heart. And when that is all you bring…yourself as pitiful and as worthless as we all really feel we are. And we bring the pieces of our shattered lives and surrender them to Him in a plastic bag of broken pieces He responds. For He has…
“…chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”
So for today, crawl if you must from today’s fresh starting line…limp on up to His throne of Grace and receive the help you need from the Lord who gave His life to pay for all your sins and wants His Spirit to fill you and empower you to be able to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the desires of your flesh.
And tell that fisherman to find another fish to tempt because your broken and contrite heart is under the repair of your Master.