Sin will take you further… than you want to go…
Words to a familiar song, echo in my head. I wasn’t the innocent child I’d wished I was. There was sin in my life. I was only four when I accepted Christ into my heart, but I couldn’t escape the darkness of sin – even as a believer, with Jesus Christ living in my heart.
A child believer, and I knew what that meant. I studied the Bible and pushed forward, trying to live the life of a believer. But everywhere I turned, there was something else. Something I couldn’t escape. Sin was mine. I owned it.
I remember that first time, when I told a lie and got caught. It was a lie about something so insignificant that I don’t even remember why I lied. But I lied. I got caught, and I defended the lie. As life would have it, I got away with the lie. One little lie took me so far away… There was a wedge between me and God. A big hairy wedge that would eat at me for a life time… I never admitted to mom that I had lied. I got away with it… So I was sure I never needed to admit it.
So, I didn’t.
It wasn’t until I was in my early fifties and heard my daughter lie to me that I realized, I had earned the payback. I got away with the lie.
I don’t know if that was my first… I do know that I had a serious relationship with that particular lie, and proving (however untruthfully) that it wasn’t a lie, getting away with it, took me to a place I didn’t really want to go. But there I was.. Suffering the consequences of that one little lie.
I hadn’t lied to my daughter. In fact, if anything I’d bent backwards to be overly truthful to her, telling her everything that had happened, and being overtly honest about the situations of life that had put us where we were. Mom’s demands that I be honest with her had driven this incredible sense of obligation to tell her the truth, whether she could handle it or not at her age. I’d been honest.
That same command from my mom hadn’t be extended to my sister… Who lied to her son about his father, and negated to reveal the truth of his conception until an accidental discussion among the kids revealed the truth they’d hidden from him.
Lies, revealed. Lies took us further…
But there were more lies. Life was filled with little lies. Just a little white lie? Would it make a difference?
But… Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go.
Life happened, and all the things we live through, digest, survive, and thrive through, reminded me of that one little lie that I’d never asked Mom for forgiveness for – because I got away with it.
I got away with it.
But then Mom died. And that lie would catch in my throat whenever I started to pray. I’d struggle to overcome it, but there it was – stuck. I had never been forgiven for that lie. And I needed to ask mom to forgive me for that one, the one that snowballed into the chaos that was my life. The one little lie that I blamed for all the other little lies that came so easy.
One afternoon, I found myself reading through a passage of Scripture, beating myself over the head with words found in some book or other of the Bible, and wondering if that one little lie would keep me from Heaven.
As if I’d been carried by angels to the throne, I heard God speak to my heart, “It isn’t that one little lie that you’re holding onto that will prevent you from entering Heaven’s gates.”
I sought understanding and looked for the answers. I knew, He couldn’t look upon SIN, so it couldn’t have been God speaking to me. But I’d heard it all, CRYSTAL clear. I knew it had been God speaking into my heart and soul.
I prayed and read the Bible, and sought the answer with all my heart, until one morning I heard the Lord’s Prayer in my heart. It had to be in my heart, because I hadn’t yet said a word. I wasn’t praying, but had been rather worried about the fact that I hadn’t prayed. I felt separated from God. I didn’t feel like he was answering my prayers, because I was so far separated from Him.
That’s when I realized…
He hadn’t moved away. I had. I moved. God was right there reaching out to me, waiting for me to take His hand.
I cried, “Oh Lord, my God… I need you.”
And in an instant, I felt Him near. I felt him reaching out to me. I asked Him to forgive my sin and come back inside to fill up my heart and soul with HIS presence. And I felt Him. That feeling, that knowing, that reality that grounds you in the Word and brings your focus back to Him.
I’m reminded of Peter, walking on the water, and Jesus said, “Look at me.”
Friends, Look AT HIM. Don’t take your eyes off the prize, because when you do, you’ll be mired in the clay that will take you down, down, down…
And sin… Yes, my friend, SIN will take you further, than you EVER want to go.
Keep your eye on Him.