Cover Story Good Advice Feature Video Hot Topics



 



Hot topic of the week


Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

What do YOU think?


Click here join in the discussion.

Web Bonus


Miranda Writes: Purposely Sinning for a Long Time—What to Do? Part 4




by Omar Miranda



The Psalms were written by several different people, and in some cases we’re not sure who wrote what. But one thing we do know without a doubt: David wrote Psalm 32 and Psalm 51. I hope you’ve read them fully. They show his frame of mind and what was going on with him physically, emotionally, and spiritually while he refused to confess and repent of his sin, and how he felt after he came clean. Take a read and see if you can’t feel the emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical pain he expresses. But then, after confession comes sweet joy and then peace and heartfelt repentance!

Another word for consecration is devotion. Once David confessed and repented, he realized that he never wanted to go back because he loved the renewed relationship he had with God. In my work with people all these years, one way that I have found to cement people and to inoculate them against returning or relapsing into their old sins is to put them in charge of teaching others. You see this most clearly with a lot of addiction recovery programs—you also see this practice done a lot in successful, healthy, and growing churches. People are put in charge of teaching other people what they have learned from their experiences. What do you think the Old Testament books of Proverbs, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes are?

Let’s take a look at what David says specifically in the last three verses of Psalm 51 and see what lessons we can learn and apply to our own lives.
IV. Consecration (Psalm 51:10-13)1

A. David finally gets serious about his devotion to God.
B. He asks God to change him from the inside out.
C. He asks God for strength not to make the same mistakes again.
D. He asks for strength to make long-lasting positive life changes.
E. He asks Him for communion.
F. Finally, David promises to make himself accountable and to teach others what he has learned through his own struggles and history.

After reading all about David and his sin with Bathsheba, you might be saying, “Yeah, but Omar, you don’t know what I’ve done and what I’ve been through. You don’t know the depths of sin I’ve gone to. I could never come back to God. It’s too late for me!” Has your sin caused you to plot another man’s murder? Have you caused the deaths, disruption, and division of your entire family and your nation? What was that? No? I didn’t think so. Don’t you think it’s interesting that we have an open book on all the consequences of David’s sexual sin so you and I can be sure that there’s nothing that we can do to make God stop loving us and forgiving us?

The Bible says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive them. There are no exclusions or limitations, so the only question is What are you going to do now? I hope you will confess. Don’t know what to say? Don’t worry, there’s no formula or script. Just tell God the truth—without excuses! Then get ready for God’s holy internal wash cycle. Look again at what the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian Christians, wrote:

“Don’t you know that evil people won’t have a share in the blessings of God’s kingdom? Don’t fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual will share in God’s kingdom. Neither will any thief or greedy person or drunkard or anyone who curses and cheats others. Some of you used to be like that. But now the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God’s Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).2

So now you’ve seen what Paul said about living in consistent, purposeful sin. The question remains: what will you do with your sin? Why would you walk around carrying that load of shame and guilt? Confess it today and let God take it from you!

Ultimately, we can only control our choices and not our consequences. We must make our choices with the end in mind! The desired outcome in our lives must dictate our choices and not the other way around! When we make bad choices, we repent and ask for forgiveness. We may be forgiven by God, but we will often experience harsh consequences. God clearly has the power to withhold consequences, but He does not because He uses them to shape us and mold us and make us more and more like Him!

Our choices always have three types of consequences: those toward God, those toward ourselves, and those toward others. Any kind of sin sets up a separation between ourselves and God, and although our choices have many different types of consequences, the most important person that we hurt is God. A clear realization of our sin toward God and God alone is the first and best step toward restoring the joy and peace that only a relationship with God can bring. Furthermore, we need to have a clear understanding of our sin and not play the blame game or shift responsibility. We are free moral agents, and we make our own choices. But God is good and promises us that when we come to Him with broken and contrite spirits, He is ready and willing not only to forgive us, but to make us as though we had never sinned; He will also give us His Holy Spirit to empower us to be consecrated to Him and make right choices and live victorious lives!

We will never be free from temptation and sin—that won’t happen until we get to heaven—but praise God that through His power we can make different choices! It starts with giving God our will, the simple power of choice, and then being submitted to Him on a daily—and even a moment-by-moment—basis. Only in doing this will we receive freedom from shame and guilt and find true and lasting victory in Jesus!

Next week we’ll look at what we can learn from Moses and the burning bush and what to do when we don’t feel as though we can witness for Christ.
Until next time, remember that 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

1See last week’s article for the first three steps of this outline of what David dealt with.
2Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.
 





Top | Home