Living in Uganda I have discovered that there are many different kinds of dirty that we get the joy of experiencing. Whether it’s the new foundation of dust on your face from driving with the windows down, or just the build up of dirt on the tile floor that gets all over your feet, even though you just swept. Having a puppy doesn’t make it any easier when you wake up to the sound of vomiting and when he decides to bring things into the house and you’re not quite sure of what it is. Though these are just some of the ways that our lives can become dirty, just your average everyday things, God has also been revealing to me what it means to be spiritually dirty and how our sins and actions can separate us from God.
I see people here and it just makes me realize how much we all need Jesus and how important it is to share Jesus with people in every opportunity that we get. Walking in town you can see a man, wandering drunk; he probably has a family at home that he doesn’t feed because he is too preoccupied with his alcohol addiction. Or you have a teen mother who is pregnant having a child out of wedlock whom is outcast from society because a moment of weakness. The thing is, we all sin, sometimes its just more visible than others. For the mother she bears her sin everyday, caring this child in her growing belly. The drunken man isn’t even aware of what’s going on to see the damage his sin has caused. When I look at these people and their lives, I see a robbing of innocence. The enemy prays on our innocence and that is how he gets into our world. For the man he could have had just one drink, and that one drink caused a chain reaction that has led him on the path he is on. The young, innocent girl could have been told how beautiful she was, and being innocent and insecure the enemy took advantage of that and now she bears weight of her sin everyday. To get something clear, the child is still a gift from God but the act of sex before marriage is the sin. The baby may be the product of sin, but God, in his infinite grace can always extract good from a bad situation and that child will bring so much joy to that mother, and God can redeem her choice.
Sin has a way of coming into our lives and slowly changing us from a pure, innocent child of God, to a tainted and fractured version of ourselves. The sin almost becomes an addiction for us and it begins with a small, meniscal choice that grows into something much bigger, creating a divide and a separation from God. Satan can be so subtle, like with Eve in the garden, and because we are not aware of how weak we actually are, we give in. I know that for myself this blog means a lot to me because in God making me aware of the people around me, he has also brought to light the parts of myself that I try to hide. I believe the more intimately we grow closer to Christ the more he reveals the dark places of our heart and he brings them to the light. 1 Corinthians 4:5 tells us, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” Psalm 90:8 says “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” The more we pursue him, the more his light illuminates the hidden corners of our hearts and he exposes the dark secrets we keep there.
There is a since of freedom in that illumination but we don’t really realize it until we confess it and surrender that sin to God. When we have that kind of openness and vulnerability before God it doesn’t give Satan the opportunity to have a foothold in our lives. Satan likes to use our shame and guilt against us to keep us in a place that inhibits God from moving in us, because all we can focus on is our sin. Being open in our sin invites God to speak truths into our lives and that is what we need to move on. Sin can be crippling and it can slowly become our identity and that is not what God wants for us. Our identity is in Jesus Christ and our sins do not define us. The drunk man wandering around town has a name, and a story, he is not just the town drunk. The pregnant teen mom has a name and has a story, she is not just a mother to be. The beauty about Jesus is that while he is watching us sin and seeing the damage we do to ourselves, he is hurting with us because he loves us. What an amazing love to be able to experience, unfortunately more often than not, we are so blind that we don’t even know that love is there.
There is a song by All Sons and Daughters that I absolutely love, Your Glory/Nothing But the Blood. The part that I like specifically is when they sing:
“Glory, glory hallelujah Jesus you are good, we sing glory, glory hallelujah Jesus you are good. What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus, what can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus. O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow, no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
The blood of Jesus is our gift and freedom from sin, which was bought at a price. There is nothing in this world that is more cleansing than the blood of Jesus Christ. No matter what we have done in this world or what we will do, because he knows when we will sin, his blood still covers that sin and showers us with love, grace and forgiveness. Christ has made us holy with his sacrifice, how crazy is that? I know the beginning of this blog was kind of dark and hopeless but this part of the message is to bring you hope. Romans 8:17b-18 says, “We share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” You have a glory in you that Satan fears. He will try his hardest to keep that glory contained because once it is unleashed there is no stopping it. “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25). Waiting for our glory to be restored can be a long and difficult process because God operates on his own time. But like most things in life, HE is ALWAYS worth the wait.
In no way is it easy to resist the Devil and that is why it is so important that we have Jesus and we share him with one another. Taylor swift has a song called “Clean”, and oddly enough it has inspired me to write this blog. There is a lyric that says “Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it,” in the song she is comparing this to a break up, and how she is clean from that love, finally healed. For us as Christians that kind of healing can only come from Jesus and even though we have repented of our sin, been cleaned be the blood of Jesus Christ, it does not mean that we are strong enough on our own to resist temptation. Choosing Christ means a daily decision to glorify and honor him with all of our actions, thoughts and words. He didn’t die on the cross so that we could live and be control by our sins. Christ died so that we could be free and so we could know what it means to be completely healed. Sin divides our heart, and a divided heart means we are serving two masters and until we are single minded towards Christ our glory will not be revealed. That is exactly what Satan wants. Though you surrender your sins to God, you’ll miss them, but he is there right beside you to encourage you and lavish his love upon you. I’m praying that we all continue to be honest with Jesus because even though we try to hide our sin from him, like Adam and Eve, he can still see it and he longs for us to be open and honest with him. He wants your heart, surrender it and all the dark places you like to keep in secret, you wont regret it.