The ten second sound bite version of what I am writing is this: If you blew it, and have a mess on your hands, let God fix it. You thought you could be in control and do things your own way, and now you have a mess. In your flesh, you made a mess. What makes you think that in your flesh, you can fix it? Better to walk in the Spirit like you should have to begin with. Walk in the Spirit, and let God fix it.
The longer version of the same story line is as follows…
Sin is a nasty thing. It promises much, and delivers little. The consequences are always bigger than the gratification. It never seems as bad as it really is…until later.
We get used to sinning. We minimize it. We get de-sensitized to it. We agree in our heads that something is wrong, but we do it anyway, intending to stop.
There are sins of commission: we do things that we know are wrong.
There are sins of omission: we don’t do things we know that we should.
The sin in a Christian’s life can run the gamut of not reading your Bible (dumb…you need God’s Word, heart, and direction) to something much more obvious, like substance abuse or sexual immorality. We can be committing little sins, like being disagreeable, or we can be committing bigger sins, such as being violent and a striker. A sin of omission might be that you don’t think that church attendance is important, and eventually find yourself isolated, alone, unchallenged, un-encouraged, etc. There are numerous examples of sins of commission and omission.
All of that is probably obvious to most Christians reading this.
There are multitudes of ways in which a Christian can think he/she is the exception to how God would have us to live.
That being so…let me start moving towards my main point.
God is faithful to us, and His faithfulness appears in many forms.
He provides for us. He loves us. He never leaves or forsakes us. He works all things together for the good of “the called ones”. He is always about the business of “conforming us into the image of His son”.
I believe that another way God is faithful is in this: He shows us the consequence of our sins. When we willingly commit sin, we are practicing a self-inflicted spiritual blindness. We know something is wrong, but we don’t really know how wrong it is. We don’t yet feel the fullness of the wrongness of our choice.
Then suddenly, because of God’s faithfulness, He shows us the deeper consequences of our sin. We suddenly feel sickened as we see the results of what we have been doing. We have been following Jesus our own way, according to our own terms, and thinking it was OK. But suddenly, because God is conforming us into the image of His son, he shows us the true story.
OK…let’s let the story unfold a bit more…
As God is faithful to show us our sins, and the deeper consequences of our sins, we suddenly realize how foolish we have been. We feel deeper shame. We have a deeper sense of panic. We wonder if other people have seen what we are just now seeing. We suddenly feel very foolish for thinking that we were the exception to God’s word.
“The chickens (as they say) have now come home to roost”.
The consequences of our sin(s) are hitting us full force.
We feel desperate to do something to reverse the consequences of our sins.
We want to fix things.
We want to undo what we have done.
There can arise in us a deep regret, a deep shame, and a deep desperation to reverse the trend, and particularly, to do damage control.
Maybe we have dug a financial hole for ourselves.
Maybe we have alienated people, and want them back.
Maybe we are awaiting legal judgments against us.
The list goes on…
At this point, the wise Christian needs to do nothing to “fix the problem”. Don’t give in to that knee jerk reaction to try to “fix things”. Don’t try to “fix it”.
YOU caused the problem by thinking that you were the exception to how a Christian should live. YOU didn’t think you needed to obey, and YOUR FLESH got you into this mess. You used CARNAL THINKING and CARNAL REASONING to get yourself into this mess.
As desperate as you might feel to “fix this mess”, you need to realize that if you would have followed Jesus and walked in the Spirit to begin with, you wouldn’t be in this mess.
I/we thank God for the urgency to make things right. I/we thank God for the clear spiritual insight He has given regarding the true nature of sin. I/we thank God that we are sorry, and repentant.
But that doesn’t mean that we have the ability to “fix this mess”.
I believe that God is more concerned with changing us than with “fixing our mess”. He uses such self-inflicted embarrassing moments to get our attention, and to show us our great need for His holiness.
Now the main point…
If you are having such a moment as I have described, your biggest need isn’t damage control. Your biggest need is obedience. God will fix your mess. He will do whatever damage control is actually needed. It may not be as bad as you think. It may be much worse than you think. NOW is NOT the time to start using your wisdom. YOUR wisdom got you in trouble to begin with.
Suffer with the consequences for a while. It will be good for you. You (probably) won’t die. Let the feelings of uneasiness, worry, concern, and sorry have their way with you. You need to feel bad, it is called “conviction” and God uses it in us to bring “repentance”.
Now is the time to make a renewed commitment to follow Jesus. THAT is your urgent need. THAT is your greatest need. Don’t try to undo what you have done. Don’t try and rush through the uneasy feelings you are experiencing. Don’t try to suddenly “get smart” and fix things. Don’t go running to your friends for answers and deliverance. Instead, go find your Bible, and a quiet place, and let God restore a soft and obedient heart within you. That is where you started to go wrong when this whole mess started.
There may be some things you need to do, but make sure that it is Jesus leading you, and not your own wisdom. It’s probably a good time to slow down, read your Bible, pray, and wait.
You follow Jesus.
Let God “fix it”.