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Miranda Writes: Purposely Sinning for a Long Time—What to Do? Part 3




by Omar Miranda

 

Last week we began looking at King David’s sins of lust, adultery, and murder and how his choices caused negative consequences for himself, for others, and for his relationship with God.

This week I want us to closely examine all of his specific choices and the specific consequences. One thing I want you to pay close attention to: many of the consequences were things David hadn’t even thought of, but that’s the nature of consequences—you can’t control them. Let’s see what David dealt with and what we can learn from it. It will be helpful for you to read 2 Samuel 11–19.

I. Choices (2 Samuel 11)
A. David decided not to go to war and stay in the city (11:1)
B. David saw Bathsheba and didn’t look away (11:2)
C. David ignored wise counsel (11:3)
D. David had sex with Bathsheba (11:4)
E. David got Joab involved (11:6)
F. David and Joab plotted to kill Uriah (11:14, 15)

II. Consequences (2 Samuel 12–19)
A. Toward God
    a. Separation
    b. Guilt
    c. Hopelessness
B. Toward Self (Psalm 32:3, 4 and 51:8, 11)
    a. Guilty conscience
    b. Shame
    c. Addiction
    d. Anxiety
    e. Depression
    f. Discouragement
    g. Physical Diseases
    h. Suicidal Thoughts
C. Toward Others
    a. Lack of trust
    b. Lack of closeness
    c. Lack of respect
    d. Outright break in a relationship
    e. Kills our witness for Christ
D. David’s Specific Consequences
    a. First son died (12:14)
    b. Amnon, David’s son, raped David’s daughter, his sister, Tamar (13:12-14)
    c. Absalom killed Amnon (13:28, 29). Absalom plotted a murder and ordered someone else to carry it out . . . sound familiar? When you talk about
    sexual sin, you talk about generational curses.
    d. Absalom attempts to overthrow his father’s throne (chapters 15-18)
    e. Absalom killed (18:14-17)
    f. David’s army lost respect in him as a leader (19:5-8)

This story would be absolutely hopeless and totally depressing if David had not confessed his sins for the right reasons and come to true repentance. We have an incredible record (lucky for us) of what he went through emotionally. It’s almost like his personal diary about how he felt throughout all of this and what he experienced.

Let me tell you the truth: sinning is fun for a little bit, but then comes the realization of what you’ve done. Then comes the guilty conscience (thank God for our conscience) and shame and depression and anxiety. What we do with all of those negative feelings, and how long we wait until we confess and repent, will ultimately be the barometer of our emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

Let’s see the secrets that David learned about how to reconnect with God, with ourselves, and with others when we’ve sinned.

III. Confessions (Psalm 32:1, 2; 51:1-4, 10-12, 16-17)
I encourage you to read both of these psalms fully; they’re beautiful.
It’s been said that confession is good for the soul. It’s absolutely true! When somebody truly agrees that they’ve deeply wronged somebody and doesn’t make excuses about it (confession) because they have the right motivation—it’s a beautiful thing. I mean, that person finally realizes how deeply they have selfishly trampled upon that other person’s rights and feelings, and they will stop the damaging thing they’ve been doing (repentance). There’s something deeply moving about understanding when they’ve truly wronged somebody and how much they don’t want to do it again and how much they want to reconnect with that person (reconciliation and communion) and work to make it right (restitution)!

David finally got it, but as we’ve noted before, it took him a year of emotional, physical, and spiritual pain and being cut off from closeness and communion with God! Oh, I’ve been there, and every day is torture!

About two years ago a lightbulb went off in my head, and I came up with a God-inspired model of behavior. This model comes mostly out of my own struggles with sex and porn addiction and other teens’, young adults’, singles’, and married folks’ struggles with purposeful, practiced sins. The model is an explanation of the importance that confession and repentance play within the context of living life that is focused on true holiness and ever-increasing closeness and intimacy with God. The model is first based upon consequences, because many times pain—physical, emotional, or spiritual—is the reason people finally end up seeking help. It gets their attention. People can hurt for a while sometimes, but in the end it’ll drive them either to getting help or to other unhealthy coping skills (addictions, suicide) in order to dull the senses or ultimately stop the pain! In David’s case, he couldn’t take the pain anymore.

So here it is:
1. Consequences bring about conviction (of the sins in our lives that separate us from a relationship with God).
2. Humility brings about submission.
3. Confession (honestly agreeing without any excuses with God’s opinion about our sinfulness) brings about salvation, forgiveness, and justification (just as if I’d never sinned, aka holy “reset”).
4. Salvation brings about repentance (make a 180-degree turnaround about guarding against future sin).
5. Reconciliation (reconnection with God) brings about restitution (our willingness to make things right with our time, talents, and treasure).
6. Consecration (true devotion to God) brings about communion (continued relationship with God) and sanctification (the process of being made holy).
7. Communion brings about conviction (the process starts all over again).
The closer you get to God, the closer you want to be with God. And the closer you get to Him, the more the perfect bright light of His holiness will shine in our lives and point out sin, bad habits, and addictions and will cause the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow more and more fully in our lives.

Also, the more time I spend with God, the more powerfully I will reflect Him. Have you ever taken a tea bag and accidentally let it steep (sit) in the water for too long? What happens? The tea’s flavor is really strong!

My wife and I are trying our hardest to cut out meat, because doing so is the best thing for us. We’re eating more tofu. Now, tofu has no flavor; it takes on the flavor of whatever it’s around. If I want my tofu to taste like chicken, I put some McKay’s chicken seasoning in it. If I want it to taste like scrambled eggs, I put some “Tofu Scrambler” in it, etc. That’s exactly the same thing that spending time with God will do for you. It will transform you and me, and we will begin to act more like God (holy). That’s the sanctification process. It’s usually a slow, lifelong process because there’s a lot of sin in each of us—but praise God, He’ll never give up on us.

Next week we’ll finish our study of this very important topic by examining our role in communion and consecration with God and how that changes who we are and, more important, what we do and our attitude toward others and toward all sin.

Until next time, remember, God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make them good ones. Make God first above all in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912
 





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