Assuming Forgiveness

I just wrote about obeying the other day, and almost immediately afterwards, I go and defy what is right. This is the constant struggle we are all involved in, but it really threw me for a loop. I did it on purpose. It was blatantly wrong, at least in my eyes, even though no one would ever be able to tell. It was one of those small things, just exactly like Ananias and Sapphira, who sold something and gave the money to the church, except they held some back for themselves even though they claimed they didn’t. What was their fate? Death. Immediate death as soon as they were caught in the lie and they denied it.

The kicker for me is that I justified myself in doing what I did, because I didn’t want to have to go the waste of opening up a brand new package that would just sit around collecting dust after I got what I needed from it. It was calculated sin. Not doing my very best and not having the integrity that I am always preaching about. If I were to fall down immediately to my death, I would not be surprised. I deserve it because I dishonored my God, even if no one else will ever know, He will.

In that justification, though, I became even more brash by “assuming” God’s forgiveness. I actually thought it in my head that I will go ahead and do this, but I will repent afterwards and receive forgiveness. “I will never do it again.”

Really? I never believed it when my own kids tried that line on me, what makes me think that God is going to believe me? He knows the real condition of my heart even if I don’t. As a matter of fact, as I sit here typing this confession, I realize that I may still be deceiving myself only to try to get brownie points from God. It’s a vicious dilemma but a real one if I allow myself to be swept away by my actions and the continual lies that Satan tries to feed my imagination.

Lies like, “You can’t let your imperfection get in the way of your relationship with God.” I know, it doesn’t sound like a lie, does it? Technically, the words together themselves are not the lie, its the emotions that I feel yet can’t really describe that makes it a lie. It’s the dwelling on my iniquity rather than on God’s holiness. I need to dwell on my iniquity a little, because I must remain emotionally grateful for His divine forgiveness and extraordinary love for me, but I can’t keep it in the forefront of my mind and that is what that statement makes me do. (Hard to explain, but I’ll be willing to bet that you have experienced something similar without realizing it)

In reality, that statement gives me the leash I need to start expecting God’s forgiveness rather than begging for it. That’s what gave me the justification to go ahead and sin in the first place, because I knew I could repent and receive forgiveness. But I failed to remember the state my heart was and is in. Am I truly repentant? Or am I just playing games with God and making a complete fool of myself? I don’t expect anyone to really get what I’m saying, although I hope someone does. I know that God understands. As a matter of fact, Jesus went through the same emotions to a certain extent because of how Satan tried to tempt Him with His own words. I can’t assume God’s forgiveness because of how I feel or my own justification. I can assume His forgiveness when I am deeply regretful of my disobedience and dishonor to Him. He knows the truth and in the end, that’s all that matters.

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