The devil does a good job of convincing us to sin through temptation. After we sin, he does an even better job on us by getting us to believe the lie that God would never forgive such a horrible sin. If that doesn’t work, Satan will try to convince you that your sin isn’t that bad, and that God is just trying to keep you from enjoying life to its fullest. It’s literally the oldest trick in the book; the Bible that is:
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1a, 5)
What happens to us when we believe the devil? Too many things to chronicle in a short devotion, and I’m sure each of you could give testimony to the damage you have inflicted on yourselves by believing the devil’s lie. The end result is that we break off fellowship with our Lord Jesus because we cannot imagine His grace being sufficient in a time of such great need. We sorely underestimate our Father’s love and mercy towards us.
So what do we do? A really silly thing, when you think about it. Do you remember your child trying to hide from you when they had done something wrong and you wanted to question them about it? They might hide under their bed or in a closet, or somewhere outside. Nevertheless, you were always able to find him or her and confront them on their behavior. Why do children think they can hide from their parents? It is because they are wired that way; it is proof of their sinful nature. It’s been that way from the start:
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8)
I want you to imagine this scene in your mind’s eye. This was probably not the first time that God had come walking in the garden in the late afternoon. He wanted to have fellowship with Adam and Eve. Until they had sinned, what do you think was the first couple’s response to God? It must have been the highlight of their day. However, this day was not a day of joy; it was a day of terror:
“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’” (Genesis 3:9-10)
Imagine being Adam and Eve and for the first time experiencing such a fear of God. Now fear out of awe for our Heavenly Father is good. Fear of fellowshipping with our Lord is a debilitating fear. Matthew Henry explains:
“The excuses men make to cover and lessen their sins, are vain and frivolous, like the aprons of fig leaves, they make the matter never the better; yet we are all apt to cover our transgressions as Adam. Before they sinned, they would have welcomed God’s gracious visits with humble joy; now they became a terror to them.”
How sad it is the Adam and Eve felt this way. How pathetic they must have looked before God. How pathetic a scene they would be if it were ever put before us in living color. How pathetic it is when we try to do the same thing.
This fear not only terrorizes us in our relationship with God; it does so in other matters in life. If we are in a besetting sin, refusing to let go of it, not willing to repent and return to God, other relationships are crippled by our fear. On ground where we once boldly stood has now become our terrain of terror. We tremble at the mere thought of going forward in the day. That is what sin does to our lives; it cripples us:
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)
If you’re living your life in fear of the Lord because of unconfessed sin, and it is now affecting your human relationships, you need to stop it now. Go to God and confess your sin, ask God to forgive you, and be restored. A Christian outside of fellowship with the Lord is an orphan is this world.
If you’ve never sought a relationship with God because you may think your deeds are too many, then trust in the truth that is the grace of God. Seek His mercy and confess your sins and your need for a Savior.
God doesn’t have to call out your name to see where you’re hiding. He’s right there with you right now, just waiting on you to call out.
Don’t wait another moment; do it now.
Stop terrorizing yourself.
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers