A couple of years ago I attended a course at church. The aim of the course was to discover who you are in God (or at least partially discover), as well as God’s will for your life. To say the least, it was life changing! One of the topics covered in one of the modules, was that of sin. And the presenter shared her revelation on the impact of sin in your life. In the years to come that changed my thinking about what we see as the truth, how wrongly we interpret the instruction to “go and sin no more”, and how we sadly start to justify our own wrong doings because we believe that we become saint like the day we react to an alter call in church (ouch!).
In Greek sin is referred to as hamartia, which means ‘to miss the mark’. God created us out of love, with the purpose of entering into a love relationship with Him. So on a spiritual level, to miss the mark, is to remove ourselves from the presence of God. In essence sin is bad for ourselves. As a loving Father, God wants to stop us from living in darkness. “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life (John 8:12).” And as our Creator, He wants to show us the true meaning of love and life, instead of experiencing our existence as meaningless. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).” But we have to choose between freedom and slavery! I assure you and most solemnly say to you, everyone who practices sin habitually is a slave of sin (John 8:34).
The revelation shared that day in class (my shortened and simplified version!), was that the wiring of our brains works in a remarkable way to assist us in remembering everyday tasks. The problem with sin then, is that sin too becomes a ‘well walked path’ in your brain, and actually a way of life (the same way your brain remembers to breath, eat, and sleep). And even if you want to get rid of it, it is sometimes just not that easy. Years after you’ve changed your life, that path still exists in your brain. And that is why backsliding is so easy, because although this ‘path of sin’ is overgrown with goodness, it still exists.
So are we all doomed then? Is sin so woven into our lives that we can’t get rid of it? Most definitely not! You only need to be able to realize that the verb GO is part of the command to ‘go and sin no more’. Don’t sit and wait for God to wipe all forms of temptation from your life, because you might wait forever. “Each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited to commit sin by his own worldly desire (James 1:14).” It will take focus and effort on your side to ‘go and sin no more’. Jesus never promised the woman caught in the act of adultery that He will stop temptation from entering into her life again. He didn’t even force her to make the decision in front of Him. Instead He offered her the opportunity to go and think about it. To go and change her life. To go and sin no more. He forgave her sin without any judgement, but she had to make the decision to step into obedience and enter into relationship with Him.
By God’s grace we are saved, but through choice and by using our free will we stop sin in our lives.
May you experience God’s presence in your life; and may you pick up on His heartbeat, His never ending love for you.