How to Use Sin to Draw You Closer to God

FullSizeRender-2Have you ever done something wrong and felt so awful and convicted that you thought you were beyond the salvation of Christ? Have you ever done something and then the next few days had a horrible feeling in your stomach and felt so disgusted about it that you felt like you could get sick at any second? If you’ve ever felt this way, I have some great news for you. You are free from sin through Christ.
Any sin.
Every sin.
All sin.
Once you have realized your brokenness and accepted God’s gift of salvation through His Son, you are set free from all condemnation.
This is liberating.
This is exciting.
This is life changing.

But that feeling of the weight of your sin still won’t go away. You still feel convicted. I am going to go through some helpful pointers to remind you of your identity and some truths that should never be forgotten.

  1. A Christian’s Life Is Not Marked by Sinlessness, but by Repentance

Being a Christian does not magically mean you will never sin again. 1 John:8-9 states, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to forgive us from all unrighteousness.”

In fact the closer you get to the Lord, the more aware of your sin you will be. That means God will shed the light on sins that you used to think may not have mattered as much. Martin Luther said it best, “All of life is repentance.” As a Christian, you will mess up. And you will mess up bad. But the difference is having a repentant heart. That means turning away from the sin and looking to the cross.

2. Your Sin is a Catalyst for Worshipping Jesus

So you messed up again. You did that thing you PROMISED yourself you would never do again. You got convicted, prayed, and repented of the sin. Now what? Now you praise God for His unending mercy and grace for covering that sin by sending His perfect Son to die for you. Your sin reveals how much you desperately need God and revives a thankfulness within you to praise His Name all the more. Jesus is our advocate. He fights for us. 1 John 2:1-2 states, “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” He loves us.

3. Your Faith is Strong because of Who You Trust In

Your faith is rooted in the everlasting, all-powerful, all knowing God. That is where your faith gets its strength. It doesn’t get it from you being able to “be good” or follow every rule perfectly. If it was dependent upon that, you would fail. But no, your faith is derived from GOD. That is where it’s strength is from, not you. So you don’t have to fear because His love never fails (Psalm 136:1).

4. There is Hope

There will be a time when we are reunited with our Lord. At that time, all our sinfulness will be stripped away and we will be in perfect union with Him once more. Revelation 22:5 states, “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and the Lamb of God will be in it and the servants will worship Him. […] And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”

We live in a broken world. We are sinful people who will mess up over and over again. But the mark of a believer is one who repents and is reminded of God’s salvation through His Son and praises the Lord through that trial. Whenever you sin, praise God for His unending and overflowing mercy that covers your life.

-Rachel

How to Trust God When It Is Hard

trusting God blogThe wind gently pushed back her auburn hair as she gazed out over the Texas hill country. She felt deep longing well up inside her-a desire to run, to be free, to see the world, to get away from the monotony of her 9-5.

She just wanted to go.

Frustration ebbed at her core- why hadn’t God revealed His plan for her? Shouldn’t she know what she wants to do with her life? At 24, shouldn’t she know her calling?

Deep inside all of us, we have a need to impact others-to make a difference. We all want to matter. Sometimes it is so frustrating to not know God’s plan for our lives. Trusting Him can be difficult. Handing control over to Him can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. I mean we’re Americans, right? That means we fix our problems. So completely relinquishing that power and control to the Lord can feel impossible. Last year I remember not knowing at all what God’s plan held in store for me. I remember praying everyday that He would reveal His will for my life. I’ve come up with a few tips and things to remember as you are soul-searching and asking God for guidance.

  1. If God is your #1, You Cannot Lose

If the Lord is at the root of your being-your guiding force in your life, you cannot lose. Remember Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Who can stand against the Creator of the Universe? Oh yeah and don’t forget-He is your Father.
God is for you.
He loves you, He is fighting for you.

Psalm 18:32-33 says,
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.”
God enables you.
He allows you to stand before His presence in confidence. Keep the Lord where He belongs-as the ruler of your life and you cannot lose.

2. Wait on the Lord

Today I was reading my Bible and I stumbled upon Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Sometimes God wants us to wait.
With our society, that probably doesn’t sit too well. I mean we live for instant gratification-we can see what all our friends are doing instantly on SnapChat, if we want food, we just drive through Chick Fil A. So God telling us to wait seems contrary to what is ingrained within us. But through waiting God is perfecting us-He is building trust within us and building our patience. When we wait on the Lord and seek Him that is making us grow increasingly more Christlike. And that is the ultimate goal- to resemble our Lord more and more as each day passes.

3. Pray

If you are frustrated-tell that to God. He wants to hear about your sadness and annoyances. He wants to know.
He wants to know everything.
Remember Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” We have a God who is alive and active, He wants to hear your prayers. In Philippians 4:7 God reminds us,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Talk to God.
If you don’t have time-make time. Lately I have been setting five alarms and getting up extra early because it is literally the only time of the day I can find for the Lord. You always make time for the things that matter to you.

Waiting on the Lord and wanting him to reveal His plan for your life is difficult. It takes trusting in the Lord and allowing him to work in His own timing. Focusing your heart on Him through prayer and making sure that He is Lord of your life is the best way to let him open your heart and reveal to you what His plan for you is. Remember Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”

Trust in Him and lean into His perfect strength, because when we are weak, He is strong.

-Rach