by Jim Kilgore
I have an Adopted Daughter in the Philippines that revealed great wisdom to me during my first Missionary journey to her country during October, 2013. She said, “Pastor, pray for me, that I would NEVER do anything that would prevent God from using my life for His Glory.” Wow! I was taken back with her words of wisdom.
Throughout the Bible we read of one person after another that had failed to pray a similar prayer each day. Oh, how my heart grieves for those that once served so well, then fell through sin and have left the ministry. I do not believe that we have one that we can afford to lose.
Scripture is filled with such examples of men that said, I have sinned “I have sinned,” said Pharaoh in Exodus 9:27 and Exodus 10:16, as he saw the hail mixed with fire running along the ground, as he saw the herbs of the field and trees killed and as he saw the locusts and the crops eaten by them.
- “I have sinned,” said Balaam in Numbers 22:34, as he departed from the perfect will of God for his life.
- I have sinned,” said Achan in Joshua 7:20 after taking the money and the Babylonish garment from the city of Jericho.
- “I have sinned,” said Saul in I Samuel 15:24, 30 when Samuel reprimanded him for his disobedience.
- “I have sinned,” said David in II Samuel 12:13 after his sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah.
- “I have sinned,” said Shimei. It was Shimei who hurled dust at King David. It was Shimei who cursed King David as he came near Mahanaim.
- “I have sinned,” said Job in Job 7:20. Pride had crept into his heart.
- “I have sinned,” said Micah in Micah 7:9. He looked at his people and saw their wickedness and realized that they were a reflection of his own life.
- “I have sinned,” said the prodigal son in Luke 15:18 and 21, as he finally came to himself and returned home to his father.
- “I have sinned,” said Judas in Matthew 27:4 as he realized that he had betrayed the very Son of God!
- “I have sinned,” said those who desire to return to God. Oh how my heart cries out to remain close to God.
- Let me say right now, you and I are sinners by both birth (Romans 5:12), and by choice. There is not one sin that you and I are not capable of committing under the right set of circumstances. We must always remember that we are to, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak,” (Matthew 26:41).
- Lest you think you are above sin, I have a warning to you. When you think you are free from certain sins, there WILL come a knock on your door. It will be Satan coming to see how strong you really are.
- Remember this word of warning, “Better than you and I have Fallen!”
- If you have sinned, it is not too late to return to God.
Let me share with you how to “Get Right With God.”
- You must Consider your sin. Psalm 139:34-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” ‘Search me’ means to “ransack my heart.” It means to search every corner of our hearts as a thief would ransack a home, looking for something valuable. This of course must be prayed sincerely for I can assure you, the Holy Spirit WILL reveal areas that have hindered your intimacy and power with God.
- Then you must Biblically Confess your sin. I John 1:9 says, that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The word ‘Confess’ means “To agree with God.” It means that we are to agree with God about our sins. It further means that we are ready to take sides with God, against our sin.
The closer that I get to God, the Blacker MY sin becomes to ME. However, kit has always been black to God. My sin has ALWAYS been a source of division in our relationship. Unfortunately, we are often like Samson in Judges 16:20, “…And he awoke out of his sleep, and said , I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” How long must we go on pretending to walk with God while secretly running with the devil and this world?
- We must now Cast-a-way our sin. This is Biblical Repentance. Repenting can be described in simple terms: Biblical repentance means that I am now ready to Admit and then to Quit my sin. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us that, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Though we may struggle, the desire to forsake the sin is ever present in our hearts.
This is where Galatians 6:1 should be practiced. I have learned that people are quick to criticize and condemn those that are besieged with sin. Rather than cast the insults, the judgmental attitude, why not pause and ‘Hold That Stone.” Restore! Restore! Restore that brother! He needs us. I have often wondered how many Samson’s’ MIGHT return if only we Christians would attempt to restore, rather than backbite and gossip.
Consider the Consequences of Committing just one act of sin
- No one, even the most godly person today, is invulnerable from sinning tomorrow. Consider the life of Noah for a moment. Several times in the story of Noah, the scriptures speak of his obedience to God. God described Noah in as, “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9). Four different times, God said that Noah did whatever the Lord commanded him (Gen. 6:22; 7:5, 9, 16). All of his obedience, though, did not keep him from getting drunk. Our temptations may be different, but this truth remains the same. Faithfulness today is no guarantee of our victory tomorrow. We must learn to walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15).
- A dominant movement of God does not always prevent us from sin. Contemplate about it. God showed favor to Noah by personally walking and talking with him, warning him about the flood, providing Noah with specific directions about the ark, and then protecting he and his family through the world-wide flood. In fact, Noah’s first recorded act when his family left the ark was to build an altar to the God who had provided divine guidance and protection. Still, that history of the undeniable work of God did not prevent this great man of God from making temporary choices that brought sin and shame on himself. Regardless of what miracles God has worked in our past, we too can still fall today.
- Even a single act of sin can mutilate the record of years of faithfulness. Again, Noah found favor in the Lord’s sight and demonstrated faithfulness for his generation (Gen. 6:8-9, 7:1). So faithful was he that the book of Hebrews includes him among the Heroes of faith (Heb. 11:7). Our same Bible, however, is not reluctant to expose Noah’s failure in Genesis 9. The account is brief, but the blemish is glaring – and the inspired Word of God does not allow us to ignore Noah’s sin even today. The danger of making a choice today that will affect the rest of our lives is ever before us. It serves as a reminder, “Better than you and I have fallen.”
- Rarely does our sin only affect ourselves. In Noah’s situation, his sin opened the door for the sin of a son. Yes, even a single failure became a stumbling block to somebody else. Too many of us can tell stories of those whose single acts of sin have left ongoing scars in others, and the risk of that story becoming ours as well.
Here is my caution, my warning, my passionate plea to listen carefully to my words. Even one, single wrong decision can carry significant consequences. Join with me in praying that none of us would make decisions this year that will wreck our lives and testimonies.
by Jim Kilgore