Thursday, July 05, 2012

i know and love jesus. why do i sin?



hello, friends.

i'd love for you to join me over at take heart today.

danielle has a new series that you'll want to keep up with.
it's my honor to share there today.
to god be the glory!

edited to add my post here:

i was converted just before i turned nineteen.
before that, my life was easy.

actually it was despicable and depressing. rife with inward and outward contempt and disrespect for god and his word.
but it was easy, because i wasn't at war with sin. i embraced my sin. i loved it.

once the lord began working on my hard heart, i started to see my sin for what it was. my sin bothered me.
this made my life miserable. until the lord drew me to himself, once and for all. and i surrendered my life to him.
i was no longer my own, i became his. adopted into his kingdom, forever.

i have been crucified with christ.
it is no longer i who live, but christ who lives in me.
and the life i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the son of god,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
{galatians 2:20}

i'm soon coming up on thirteen years as a redeemed, blood-bought daughter of christ.
but i am still a sinner. and sometimes it takes a hold in my heart,  and i forget the price that was paid for my life.

why is that?
why do i still sin?

i am human. the end.

not really.
here are my thoughts:

i mentioned that my life was easy before christ, because my sin didn't concern me.
things are more tricky for me now that i know the lord and his ways. with my new heart,
i recognize things that offend jesus more easily and strive to keep from becoming entangled by them.

in jeremiah 17 we read about the one who trusts the lord being like a tree,
planted by the river, rooted in christ. no fear and anxiety for harm
"that does not cease to bear fruit"...such a beautiful, hopeful picture, yes?

are you familiar with the very next verse?


"the heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

maybe you're like me, and don't love reading that one quite as much. but it's there, y'all. truth.
this is the state of our hearts. we will always be bent toward sin apart from the grace of god.
because our  hearts are wicked, we sin. sometimes we even seek out sin.

loss and defeat often lead me toward depression if i don't run and cling to christ,
laying that burden full on him to bear. when i am in that state? i fall.
sadly, i even know exactly what i'm doing. {like this time or this sin battle i fight now.}
but sometimes, it's like i am completely disassociated from myself while i'm sinning!

a few years ago, i experienced hardship after hardship. at first i responded with trust in christ to heal my hurts and bring joy.
then i was surprised that my grief was making a home in my heart. i hadn't expected to be in pain as long as i was.
this made me feel hopeless. i was tired of fighting it, you know?

it was actually easier to feel hopeless than to fight for joy.

one day at work, i was caught stealing from my employer, by my employer.
a shock came over me that i don't think i'd ever known or have known since. what the heck am i doing?
is what i kept asking myself over and over in my mind. as my boss, and the other owners of the company, 
led me to a private office, it was like i woke up from a foggy senseless sleep.
i had been stealing for months.
and while i knew i was doing it, i sorta didn't know at the same time.
i'd never thought about it, never told my husband, and mostly spent the money immediately.
what kind of crazy person am i?
this cannot be happening. how is this happening? i am a horrible wife.
a horrible daughter, sister and friend. and i am going to jail.

it was happening. and i think it was happening because i hadn't been having much/any time in the word on my own.
but i was a great small group leader, worship team singer, youth group helper
and otherwise faithful and long-time employee at my job...
who needs the word when they're so wonderful?!

i was caught taking what didn't belong to me.
i was presented with my sin, i felt completely exposed, naked before that room full of my bosses.
who also happened to be my friends. that i love.

i believe that repentance and self-defense cannot coexist.

and i am grateful to god that he granted me a broken heart right then. i didn't try to explain it away,
i admitted all to my bosses and asked their forgiveness. and i asked jesus to forgive me.
i was possibly facing frightening consequences, yet i felt as free as the day jesus rescued me and called me to himself.
i was right with christ again, so my fear was gone.
the lord was gracious, he gave my bosses huge love and mercy toward me. i became right with the lord, through some amazing biblical counseling and spending time daily with jesus on my own. it took two years to pay back all i had stolen. and every time i sent money, i included the scripture that was my focus to steer clear of being a thief again:
"let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands,
so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." {ephesians 4:28}
hear that? we can't just stop sinning. we must replace it with god-glorifying!

i don't struggle with even wanting to steal now. but temptation to sin in other ways is always near.

for me, i have noticed that even greater temptation presents itself to me right after some "mountain top" experience.
i think i sometimes slip into the mindset of being above the means of grace.
like i don't need jesus as much,
because i am now so spiritually mature in some area.

and even though i love jesus. even though i have been having some excellent time in his word?
the struggle with sin, the battle for my affections is ever-present.

because i have a heart of flesh. my nature is to sin. and because i am being sanctified. not sanctified already.

j.c. ryle says:
"sanctification requires growth and is present in differing degrees. 
a man may climb from one step to another in holiness
and be far more sanctified at one period of his life than another."

one area of sin can be defeated, and maybe once and for all, but we will never stop sinning until we see jesus in glory.
as believers, we are not sinless, rather we ought to sin less.
like paul says in romans 7, we are at war with our bodies!
our souls delight in god and his word, but our hearts are wretched a self-seeking.

friends. fighting sin is hard. it's painful and tiresome. but fight it we must!

"it is a fair assumption to make that god
would not send his servants to fight with shoddy armor.
but if we neglect to put on our armor each and every day
that we go forth into this world, we have only ourselves to blame
if we are badly wounded and almost killed."
{maurice roberts, the christian's high calling}

i want to encourage you. if you struggle with sin so much that you are questioning your security in christ, fear not.
if you are struggling, that is a good thing! press on!
if you didn't struggle, were not grieved and troubled by your sin,
then i would venture to say you may not know christ. or have certainly neglected communion with him!
sin is seen clearly when we abide in christ. sin cannot live where jesus lives.
seeing your sin, being troubled by it, that is the best start ever to becoming free from its grasp!

ask the lord to help you.
every ding dang day. ask him!
when you fall? get back up. and get back up again.
jesus knows we are weak, he delights in being our strength. his grace can never be used up!

take a look at your life. and if there is sin, turn from it right now.
john owen said "be killing sin, or it will be killing you".

if you cannot come to jesus with a broken heart, come to him for a broken heart.

{if you have questions, or wish to discuss anything more in depth, email me!}

5 comments:

  1. loved your post at danielle's today.
    thank you so much.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Left you a comment over there too, but just wanted to say you are a treasure!

    xxoo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hannah - I tried to comment to you on this yesterday but our computer was being crazy..SO if this is like the gillianth comment you have from me, sorry!! haha. anyways. THANK YOU for sharing your story. I expected nothing less than refreshing vulnerability from you, but your story was so encouraging and I am so thankful you shared about the freedom you have found. I love you and am so thankful that I know you and that others get to know your heart too!!

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  4. Thank you for that! I love Jesus too but still I fall into the sin trap. Thanks for that beautiful post...

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