No affliction nor temptation, no guilt nor power of sin, no wounded spirit nor terrified conscience, should induce us to despair of help and comfort from God! – Thomas Scott, preacher and author (1747-1821)
I am the LORD your God, and you must dedicate yourselves to me and be holy, just as I am holy. – Leviticus 11:44 (CEV)
But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life’s blood, we will also be kept safe from God’s anger. Even when we were God’s enemies, he made peace with us, because his Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son’s life. And in addition to everything else, we are happy because God sent our Lord Jesus Christ to make peace with us. – Romans 5:8-11 (CEV)
When I began to study the Old Testament, I believe that is when I truly began to understand just how much I needed a savior. Over and over, God says to His people, “Be holy because I am holy.” Do we grasp that? God is holy! God is without sin or any splash of the disgusting evil which stains everything of this world. And if I want a relationship with Father God, then holiness is the direction that my heart, my spirit, all that is in me, must be pointed. And every day, I fail in some way!
While I was still a sinner, while I was a future generational cog in my family line, Jesus died for me! And He didn’t stop there because He knew that I couldn’t keep myself pointed toward holiness. I would need help. Jesus lived here as fully God and fully man. He suffered and died as a man. He showed me how to live and die so that I would know how to live holy.
In God’s perfect plan, He didn’t miss something that He couldn’t handle. As Rev. Scott said, there is no power in any evil that can hold me down; no affliction or temptation from which God cannot set me free. It is my own mind, my own flesh that holds me. Paul reminds me through his own testimony that the weaker I am in myself, the stronger God is to set me free from sin that besets (plagues, toments) me.
Do you have a “besetting sing”? Something that seems to just hang on and drag you down? Hold it out to God! Quit trying to fix it yourself! “Here, God! I can’t do this! You handle it!”
And if you think His response will be: “Ewww! No way!” or “You have hung on to this so long – there’s nothing I can do here!” Those are lies from the Accuser (Revelation 12:10) who wants us to think that wherever we are, is all that we can hope for. He wants us to think we are too sinful for our Holy LORD. And he’s right, we are too sinful but our Father’s love is bigger, greater and more powerful than any sin! Remember: while I was still a sinner, Jesus died for me! I didn’t get right or get cleaned up first. I was filthy dirty and yet Jesus went to the cross for me. I am still dirty. I am still messing up. I still have sin in my life – but Father God loves me and wants me closer to Him; holy like Him.
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains—
from where will my help come?
My help is from the LORD, maker of heaven and earth.
He will never let your foot slip, nor will your guardian become drowsy.
Look! The one who is guarding Israel never sleeps and does not take naps.
The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your right side.
The sun will not ravage you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will guard you from all evil, preserving your life.
The LORD will guard your goings and comings,
from this time on and forever. – Psalm 121 (ISV)