The Gospel Curriculum is transitioning us from the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and its prophets, to the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the prophets there. This week we are learning about Isaiah. Last time I talked about this topic (last post here), I wrote about responding to God’s glory. After recently coming away from the Women’s Ministry Retreat, where our theme for the weekend was “Walking in Freedom”, I am now reading this same passage with eyes focused on our response to sin.
Isaiah was shown a vision of God seated on his throne in all his glory. His response? “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips….” (Isaiah 6:5) He was broken by his sin.
Yet it is not uncommon for us to downplay the sin in our own lives. We can very easily justify our way out of something for the sake of saving face, pride, feeling like we deserve or have earned it, or just the opposite; feeling like we can get out of something because of our position and freedom. The Bible is very clear about the effects of sin and God’s response to it.
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Colossians 3:5-6 –Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to the earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. Because of these the wrath of God is coming.
Galatians 5:19-21 (summarized) – the acts of the flesh are obvious…..those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Sin is anything that we do in opposition to God. Whether our sin is blatantly obvious (i.e., stealing, murder, adultery) or a little less so (a white lie, an unkind word, gossip, or a disrespectful attitude), it is all still sin. If the thought or act is ungodly, or if it puts us (and our desires) on the throne above God or in His place, it is considered sin. More often than not, we don’t give a second thought to the less obvious sins, and we justify our way out of the guilty feeling that typically accompanies these actions and thoughts.
There are other times in our lives that we are blindsided by our sin. Sin can be a forward progression. We don’t usually go out looking for ways to commit sin and turn our backs on God, and many times we don’t even realize when we have fallen into these patterns. We begin by making one small choice at a time, which in turn leads us down the wrong path. We listen to the lie we are being told (I deserve to feel this way, I am enough, I don’t need help, I can do this and no one can stop me…), we dwell on the lie, we begin to allow ourselves to believe the lie, we talk to the ones living in the dark trying to convince us this lie is worth following, then we take that first step and act according to what the lie has been telling us.
The more often we allow ourselves to believe the lies we are fed, the more often we will fall into the trap of sin the devil has so beautifully created for us. And believing each of these lies brings us to a place where we are further away from surrendering and trusting the one who alone is Truth. So where does our response need to be? It’s not enough for us to recognize the lies. We need to be able to combat those lies with the truth of God. But in order for us to be able to combat lies with the truth and rid ourselves of the sinful habits we have so quickly created, we need to know the truth.
God is Truth. He cannot act any other way, it is part of his nature and who he is.
John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 8:31-32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
What actions or steps are you taking to know truth? Who are you spending your time with to help speak truth into your life? What are your biggest influences? What guard rails and barriers have you put up in your life to keep the lies out?
Our job in life is to listen to and obey the truth. We are to speak truth into the lives of others. Jesus said it himself, and my prayer is that we will walk step by step listening to and following the voice of truth.
John 18:37 – Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”