December 11, 2016
As believers, none of us is perfect. We are all sinners. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for us to keep letting unresolved hidden sins fester and cause pain within us. We all have something hidden in our hearts. We tend to keep it in and hide it, many times because of shame. But the grace, mercy and power of Christ can make it right.
To have the freedom and life God offers us, we need to make sure we are always making forward progress in cleaning the trash pile that we have stuck in our hearts. But we shouldn’t just sit and wait on God to do that for us. He wants us to get up, go out and take proactive action to eliminate the sin in our lives with His help.
As believers, it is natural for us to desire to be more like Christ. We want to be changed.
When I first came to know Christ, my vocabulary was full of 4-letter words. God began to work on me. I was in a job I hated when I was young, and I was always angry. But God gradually changed me, which was painful along the way, and I had to apologize to a lot of people. It started when I prayed to Him to change me. He didn’t change me automatically. He showed me that I needed to be proactive and start taking steps to change the things I had asked Him to change in me, and He was always there to provide the power as I needed it.
Many times we are too afraid to take things to God which are in our hearts, so we carry it around and it’s killing us. It robs our happiness and our joy. But Jesus tells us to get rid of it so we can be set free.
Sometimes we don’t even recognize a sin inside of us. You’re not murdering anyone, right? But in 1 John 3:15 Jesus said, “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” How many of us felt some hatred toward someone else just within the past week? Let go of it. Forgive the other person, pray that God will bless them, trust God to deal with people who are offending you, let go and you will experience a new freedom in your heart.
And what about people who look at pornography online? It’s just a bunch of images, right? It’s not going to hurt anybody, right? If you think this, you’re deceiving yourself. In Matthew 5:28, Jesus said, “anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
If I had to live in a pile of trash, I couldn’t stand it. But that’s exactly what I’m doing if I let unresolved sin continue in my heart.
So how can you be set free?
First, as a believer, rely on the Holy Spirit who lives within you for guidance. Listen to Him if you want to clean up trash piles in your life. Before the Holy Spirit came, the apostle Peter denied Jesus three times. But after being filled with the Spirit, Peter spoke openly and confidently and was fearless in speaking against the people who has crucified Christ, even though it meant risking his own life.
Second, go to God’s word. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” But it does no good to just read the Bible. You need to meditate on it and live it out.
Third, fellowship with other fellow believers. A great place to do that is through our Immerse Church Home Groups. We need each other. Be genuine, honest and open with each other. If a close friend at church asks how you’ve been, and you feel like crap, don’t be afraid to tell them you feel like crap. We need to have the freedom to be real with one another, and pray for one another. If you’re going through a struggle, chances are that plenty of friends around you have had a similar struggle before which God helped them deal with.
Be honest with others, live out God’s word and listen to the Holy Spirit. Get rid of the trash pile in your life. Get up and take action to do that, with God’s help. Let go of the guilt and God will take over your life and transform you into the person He desires you to be. Do this, and you will experience the freedom and peace of God’s eternal life within you.