A couple years ago I was working at a youth camp and a High School senior was distraught after the evening program. As I sat with her trying to listen and calm her I learned that her heart was deeply broken because she was making a commitment to Christ, but she knew that by tomorrow she would sin again and I she didn’t want to do it. She wanted her sin to be completely gone so she could be righteous. She hated her sin that deeply! I smiled and wished she could have seen how beautiful she was and how her heart enthralled and pleased God.
One of the most important things that we need to learn as Christians is how vile our sin is, how much it hurts God and others, and how we need to learn to hate it and do all we can to turn from it. Turning from our sin is repentance. Repentance can then lead to restoration and reconciliation. Together all of those lead us toward righteousness.
“Church purity is primarily concerned with the righteousness of Christ’s body. Restoration, however, is primarily concerned with the righteousness of an individual. For fellowship to be reestablished with a brother or sister (reconciliation), the church must be pure. And for the church to be pure, individuals must be made pure (restoration). Restoration thus opens the door to reconciliation. The former rebel becomes a friend again. The fallen become comrades in arms with the fighters. The once wounded resume their roles as integral members of a healthy community. The goal of their reconciliation is achieved along with that of their restoration to holy living.” (Church Discipline That Heals by John White and Ken Blue)
The quote above is in reference to restoration and reconciliation with a church, however each of us need to honestly assess our lives and see our own need for repentance, restoration, and reconciliation directly with God. My recent story has come about because I had become so darkened in my thinking and unaware that I was being deceived, misled, and sinful in my thoughts that I could not even see my own sin. When my pastor became aware of it and tried to speak to me about it I couldn’t understand. I didn’t walk in conscious awareness and rebellion toward my sin, but instead was so deceived I didn’t even recognize it.
If I had been aware of my sin I could have repented, restored my walk with God and been reconciled to him without the involvement and discipline from others. Unfortunately that isn’t my story, and God is so loving that he provided another way out for me. Every day though we need to be checking ourselves and seeing what needs to be restored and set right in our walk with God. Even one day can start leading you down the same path I was on of deception, deceit, and being blind to our sin and our need for a Savior and a Lord.
Are you willing to move toward righteousness in your walk with God today? What conviction is God speaking to you about and encouraging you to address?