Where God is when you struggle with sin

If you’re at all like me, you’ll know how easy it is to slip into the same old thought patterns, and then to quickly slide into judging ourselves. It’s a downward cycle, isn’t it, making us try harder and harder until we’re exhausted and discouraged and tempted to quit?

We know that God hates sin. We remember Habakkuk’s statement that God is too pure to look on sin. So we hate and fear the sin that we see in our lives because we long to be close to God.

But the God who is too pure too look at sin not only looked at it, not only touched it, but took it into himself so completely that the Bible says Jesus became sin. He carried it so completely that it took Him all the way to hell. So when we believe the picture that has God at the top repulsed by our sin as we struggle alone down at the bottom we are believing the devil’s version – the version that has the center cut right out of it. The true picture has Jesus in the center, God and humanity united in this one Person, loving us and hating sin enough to take sin into Himself to destroy its power.

God’s hatred of sin is not (and never was) against us but for us. (Remember Romans 5:8?) Since God took our sin right into Himself, we do not need to fear being alone in our struggle with sin. God does not turn away from us when we sin. We turn away from Him. (That’s what sin is: turning from God to something else.) When we mess up, God does not shudder with horror and turn His back to us, waiting for us to put it right. He holds us tight, keeps pursuing our hearts, gently and lovingly helping us turn around until we are face to face with Him again. When we resist the turning, the love can hurt, but all of His help is given with this one purpose: to turn us back, face to face with Him again.

The whole of our life with God is meant to be a tuning of our hearts to beat more closely in time with His. So when we sin, we also don’t need to shudder with horror and turn our back on ourselves in despair. If sin is the turning away from God, repentance is the turning back, and we turn back not by condemning ourselves (that is the devil’s territory – Rev 12:10; John 3:17-18; Rom 8:1) but by quietly acknowledging our inability to keep our hearts turned to Him, and asking for our Father’s help. We’re half-turned already in the asking, and He turns us the rest of the way, cupping our face in His hands and lifting it to His own where, through our tears, we again see His smile.

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Know anyone who might be encourage by this today? Feel free to pass it along.

4 thoughts on “Where God is when you struggle with sin

  1. Oh, Klara, Grace to you as you keep holding on in the midst of everything!

  2. Klare van der Molen says:

    Thank you, this is very helpful to me— I am turning, to keep the picture of constantly turning towards God. This I can carry wherever I go– I can turn one way or the other, each time that negative thought pops up, I am able to respond and make a choice which way I will turn.Like Darrell said, Jesus in the middle, right there, in the Centre.May I be reminded to day as I go to work, that I can constantly turn the right way, my face turned towards Him who LOVES me.

    • Thanks for these thoughts, Klara. I hadn’t thought of how this related to Darrell’s sermon, but, yes, it fits beautifully with the picture in Revelation of Jesus standing in the middle of the churches and in the center of the throne, doesn’t it?

      • Klare van der Molen says:

        Yes it does. it has burned in my mind, Darrell saying, God is in the middle, He is always there. So difficult to remember when yet something else comes along. I have lost 6 people in these last months, plus many other happenings, added to my feeling of being less than worthy, it floores me. But these last days I am singing a song in my heart, as long as I keep singing the beautifull words afforded to me in God, I will be able to hang on, so to speak. I am like the woman who took hold of Jesus garment, barely hanging on to the bottom of His gown, being swept through the dirt, the dust etc, yet hanging on, not willing to let go.
        As long as I don’t give up, as many of us want to—remembering His precious words in Isaiah 43:4— we remain the beloved, the precious, the chosen ones. All we need to remember is ” Will we believe it, accept it as truth”. Like you say, the enemy is busy making us believe otherwise! lord help us to understand, that He who is within you, is greater than he who is in the world.

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