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Because Your Family Matters
This is encouragement for all of those who are struggling under the bondage of sin that may be secret, but you know that God knows and eventually others will, too. You live in the silent knowledge that it's wrong, but you just haven't found the way out. Perhaps you've tried to quit only to fall once again back into it's grasp, and the fear of being found out or just that you know God is not pleased is enough to provide daily guilt, anxiety, doubt, worry, and misery. This can be an impure habit, an addiction, unresolved anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, or even an inordinate fantasy that just won't go away.
You've been told that with sin in your life, your fellowship is broken with God and He will not hear your prayers. In the case of unrepentant hidden or hoarded sin, that may be true. There's ample Scripture to support the fact that there are both natural and chastening consequences for such in the life of the believer. But I have a different thought for you today. You see, I know what it's like to struggle with something I just can't seem to beat. I have felt the shame, the fear, the insecurity, and the helplessness that goes with it. I'd like to share with you the comfort and encouragement I found in just such a time.
All our lives we've been told everything from "it makes Jesus cry" to "it brings the wrath of God upon you". Somebody even wrote a song once called, "Does He Still Feel the Nails?", implying that every time we sin Jesus feels the pain of the nails of the cross once again. All of these thoughts make us reluctant to come to Him in our shame and failure. Well, here's another perspective. If you heard your child crying out for help as he was drowning in a lake, what would your reaction be? Would you just say, "That's good enough for you! I told you not to go near the water?" No! Urgency would grip your heart and you'd rush to rescue him without delay. You wouldn't care how he got there. That can be sorted out later. The natural consequences of his disobedience are threatening his life. He's in grave danger, and he's unable to rescue himself. He's your child, and he needs you now. He's trying to repent, but lacks the ability to save himself. Christ always hears the cry of His child for help, and He's always ready to rush to his rescue.
Here's another thought. He even hears the silent cry of the soul. In my younger days I earned a Red Cross lifeguard certification. Did you know that most drowning people, especially children, never make a sound? They are in a state of panic and struggling so hard to stay above the water that they are not able to vocalize their need. That's why a good lifeguard relies upon his ability see and discern a victim in distress even when he doesn't immediately cry out for help. The moment you realize that you need and desire God's help, He's on the way even before you cry out! Remember the Prodigal Son? The father ran to him while he was yet far off. The fact that he was trying to get home was enough for his dad to meet him in the way and lead him to restoration and recovery.
Ever wondered how this father was able to run to the rescue of his son even before he knew he had a repentant heart? Well, that's because he knew the son would never have come home unless God had done a work in his heart that was leading him to repentance. If he had prospered in his endeavors, he would have never come home. But the natural consequences of his sin and disobedience, his foolish management of his resources and the God- sent famine in the land, had stripped him of his proud heart.
Though you feel unworthy and may still find pleasure in your secret sin, are there yet anxious feelings in your heart and a desire to get back to God? Then ask yourself, "Who put that desire for God there?" It surely wasn't the world, the flesh, or the devil. It was the Holy Spirit, and He is calling you home by placing a desire in your heart to go there. If there is a desire in your heart for God and purity, then you can know that it's God, Himself, calling you home. He has in no way turned you over the sin to be consumed by it. And He has said, "They that call upon My name shall in no wise be turned away." (My paraphrase)
All our lives we have been told how our sin causes God pain and it has engendered a hesitancy in us to come to God with our failures. Therefore, I'm going to leave you with a life changing truth. God is not surprised by our propensity and ability to sin. He knows evil lies within us. He knows that we can sin and find pleasure in it, at least for a season. That's why He came to save us. The real pain of God lies in the fact that we won't come to Him when we sin and fail to take advantage of the provision He has already made in the sacrifice of His only Son Jesus Christ to pay for that sin and failure. Come to Him. He can and will handle you with mercy and grace. Just like that father with his prodigal son, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Your helplessness can become your doorway to deliverance. In your humility, He will provide for you desire and power to overcome all that binds you and enable you to live in the freedom and success of His perfect will.
"For it is God that works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure."
Encouragement for Those Struggling With Secret Sin