Sunday, July 28, 2013

Too Heavy to Bear

"My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear."
Psalm 38:4

Sin is a burden, plain and simple. It equals weight in our lives. It keeps the believer from pressing forward or soaring upward until his or her heart has been pricked by the Father for it, and it's brought into the light and properly dealt with. 

The heavy load of sin takes a toll on the body...

sapping it of strength;
"my bones have no soundness because of my sin" (v. 3)

the stress of it can lead to depression;
"I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning" (v. 6)

it can produce unexplained aches and pains, even disease;
"my back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body" (v. 7)

it might bring on anxiety;
"my heart pounds, my strength fails me" (v. 10)

sin can cause the light in our eyes to grow dim;
"...even the light has gone from my eyes" (v. 10)

it can lead to loss of friendships.
"My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds." (Psalm 38:11)

Sin can also lead to denial, rebellion and anger that gradually seeps into all areas of life. So what is the cure? It's repentance that leads to forgiveness that leads to a change of heart and direction. In genuine repentance, no excuse is made for sin because it is "the goodness of God" that leads each one of us to repentance. (Romans 2:4)  We must have a heart willing to turn from those things that abhor the One that loves us so; turning away from anything that grieves Him in any way. Children used to sing an old hymn that said,

     "Repentance is to leave
          the sins we loved before,
       And show that we in earnest grieve,
          by doing so no more."

Charles Spurgeon speaks to it this way, "Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it, a resolution to forsake it. It is, in fact, a change of mind of a very deep and practical character, which makes the man love what he once hated, and hat what he once loved." 

So when God pricks our hearts to turn from our sin, we lay it down by seeking forgiveness. We ask for our Father's forgiveness, and then we forgive ourselves. Forgiveness that gets to the emotional core I have found to be the most complete. If it doesn't strike us at the core of who we are, we may not truly be grieved enough to turn away...permanently. Turning away in obedience to God stems from a heart change. "Regeneration is the implanting of a new nature..." (Spurgeon)

Father God, I thank You for this reminder of the burden of sin and the freedom found in repentance and forgiveness. Help me Jesus as I strive to live my life with clean hands and a pure heart toward You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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