Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:1-2
So you know how this has been a challenging season for me? Well apart from a bunch of not so great circumstances that are outside of my control, a big chunk of that has been broken fellowship with the Lord.
Broken because of Sin.
A big, nasty, ugly, sin that entagled my heart and hindered my walk.
Before I was a believer, lying was so ingrained in my personality that I was actually proud of the fact that I could come up with an elaborate story without even blinking. I lied about big stuff and little stuff. I lied because it was easy, or convenient, or just fun.
When I finally turned to the Lord, He began working out the sin in my life.
I knew that lying was wrong, and I no longer made up huge crazy stories (like saying that I went on a hot air balloon ride just to be a story topper. Seriously!) but I would still lie about little things. Like saying I was caught in traffic when really I just left my house late. Or saying that I had finished something when I hadn't.
About a year ago, (while in full time ministry, mind you) the Lord really started to convict me. I knew what I was saying and doing was wrong but I just couldn't stop. I felt addicted to lying.
I was entangled by sin because my eyes were not fixed on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2) I was looking at myself, at what benefited me most or what felt best to me rather than what was true of God.
When you let feelings and circumstances rule over truth crazy, scary things start happening.
Anyways, the Lord has been poking and proding and drawing me out for the last year. Slowly, I saw my heart change.
And about a month ago I had really given it up to the Lord. I had such a firm grip on my own sin, I needed the Lord to break through my own heart, which He did gladly.
God called me to repentance. And taught me a lot about what repentance really was.
Repentance was a literal 180 degree turn from looking at myself to looking at God.
Our purpose in life is to glorify God, to display his heart and character to the world.
So sin is when we turn from looking at the One who created and sustains us, to looking at ourselves. Repentance is turning away from ourselves and looking toward God. Looking away from our sin and to the character of God.
The Lord was calling me into a 180 turn. He was showing me how when my eyes were fixed on myself, it led to sin. But when my eyes are fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith, I was led into righteousness. (not that my actions gain me righteousness as that was purchased by Jesus on the cross, but how I allow Jesus to work through me changes my actions from sinfulness to righteousness)
When we repent, making a 180 turn from looking at ourselves to looking at Jesus, we are able to lose the chains of sin that so easily entagle us.
What chains entangle you today friend? Where are you looking at yourself instead of looking to the Lord?
Take a minute and ask the Lord what He wants you to turn from.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" - 1 John 1:9