“The Walking Dead,” a seemingly popular television show, has no appeal for me. I have just glanced at it once and know that I would never want to watch it. Gruesome, morbid, depressing are just a few words that describe what I saw. I did find that just that one brief “glimpse” gave me a picture of what we can look like “on the inside” if we are walking around but spiritually dead.
It’s true. Many of us have committed spiritual suicide and are walking around dead. We just don’t know it. While there are many ways we can end up like the walking dead spiritually speaking, I want to encourage you to look at two specific ways. Why? Because I have done both and I can speak from experience…about both.
The first “overdose” we take is “letting the sun go down on our anger!” Scripture is clear: “…Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold,” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Yep…many of us….label anger and disguise it. We actually say we are not angry but we are “hurt,” “frustrated,” “grieved”….and the list could go on. Anger can be hidden in all those emotions…and if we don’t call it what it is, “anger,” then it must not be, right? Wrong. Trust me. You don’t want Satan to have any foothold in your life. It prevents God’s best…….
Not correctly labeling our sin can and will lead to the second overdose: “unconfessed sin”.
This is huge. Why? Because our sin separates us from God. I am not implying that God moves…because He doesn’t. We separate ourselves. A.K.A. we move. Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sin does not prosper; but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” And Proverbs 28:14, “Blessed is the one who ALWAYS trembles before God but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble” [emphasis added]. God is ever present. It is we who drink the poison. Think about this for a minute….
Many times when we confess sin…which is an awesome thing for anyone spiritually…I am not talking about, “God, please forgive me of my sins,”…I am talking about naming them…being specific. Like, “God, please forgive me of my “biting tongue,” the “glaring” look I gave, etc. You fill in the blank.
Just think, when we go to the doctor because we are sick, we don’t just say, “I am sick.” That doesn’t help diagnose the problem nor help us get well. We say, “My throat is sore,” “I am congested in my head,” etc. In order for the doctor to genuinely help us we have to specifically tell him what is WRONG. The same is true for labeling our sin. We do not label for God’s sake; He knows. It is for our sake and our own recognition of the specific sin. We cannot correct and turn when we don’t see it clearly for what it is.
Realize, when we confess to God, we are forgiven. It is Satan who loves to remind us of what we have confessed and throw the “lasso of guilt around our neck”. Remember, when you confess and ask forgiveness, it is not up to imperfect man, it is up to God to do the forgiving.
He forgives immediately and remembers no more.
We may need to go to man and seek forgiveness but whether they forgive or not has nothing to do with our “rightness with God”. If man chooses not to forgive, that is their “spiritual suicide”. Also note, why would Satan want us to confess our sin? Why would he want to wake a “sleeping lion”? The irony of confession is that when we confess, Satan does attack. When we don’t confess, he leaves us alone. We are “safe” with him (Satan)…a.k.a. he has a “foothold”.
Remember, when we are confessing, God is editing our lives. The only way I have found to break a “sin habit” is to establish a “prayer habit”. When we get alone with God, He is faithful to show us. With confession He edits in “righteousness!” Jesus died to make us dangerous—a threat to the enemy. We were created to make a difference for all eternity….
We are either in sin or in Christ.
We’re either guilty or forgiven.
I encourage you to seek the unconfessed sin in your life…to ask God to show you. He is faithful. Then, “label” what He shows you. Put a name on it….then be aware of the enemy’s attacks of “guilt”. He hates confessed sin. He hates it. His tactics are to burden you with guilt.
TRUST GOD THAT YOU ARE FORGIVEN!
…..and think about adopting my 2016 goal. Look for opportunities to love people when they least expect it and least deserve it!
That is going to be my “uppercut” to Satan in 2016! WE all are sinners….but in Christ we experience sainthood. We have to play offense as Christians. Seeking to expose unconfessed sin and not allowing the sun to go down on our anger allows God to “edit some great things in our lives”.
Say this scripture to yourself, especially after a time of confession, which is found in Romans 8:31. “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”