It happened again; the fallout from hidden sin caught up to another friend. This time a wife lost her husband to a 20 year jail sentence. I’ve broken bread with these people across the globe in places like Oxford, England and Mexico. We have prayed and worshiped together. We shared life together. My wife, Bonnie, and I love this couple. Yet during this whole time, there was hidden sin.
Sin is destructive, and when it’s hidden it can grow and consume us. Sin destroys lives and relationships. It attaches to our desires and leads us to death (James 1:15).
Whatever the sin, there is a cost. It costs you and those around you. David’s sin eventually (a year later) cost him his wives and children. It also took the lives of over 70,000 men that directly paid the price with their lives (2 Samuel 12:11-14, 2 Samuel 13:28, 2 Samuel 24:15)
My friend’s sin devastated multiple families.
Sin can be defined as disagreeing with God and doing it my way. Whether it’s what you expose your eyes to, what you allow your desires to become, or where you place yourself in relation to God, it all results in sin. Sin separates us from a deep relationship with God.
Without God we will lose the battle. We cannot stop sinning without God’s help.
Let’s face it, we all know people that have been affected by their sin. We also know a lot of people that have been hurt by other’s sin. What about your own sin? What is your secret sin or sins? What would you not want your spouse to know about? Have you counted the cost of your sin?
Sin has a domino affect that keeps going. It becomes so intertwined that we will never see how it spreads through generations. Sins that are small in our eyes become big sins we can no longer handle.
It’s easy to hide sin. We hide our sin. We tend to hope and pray that we will have the strength to stop – it rarely works. There are periods of success, but in reality, our flesh can never win the battle of sin. Our flesh is by nature corrupt.
Sin grows; it often starts small. When we don’t seek help, it grows till it can become unmanageable. My friend never thought he would end up in jail. Not only does sin grow or get worse, it’s intent is to destroy you. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21 both contains lists of sins that start small but can take root in us and become uncontrollable. It is not wise to ignore the warning that is in both sets of verses for those that practice such things, they “will not inherit the kingdom of God”.
If you are a child of God, saved and redeemed by the blood of Christ, God will not allow you to continue sinning. God will allow trials to come into your life. God will discipline His children (Hebrews 12:5-11, Proverbs 3:11-12). The absence of discipline in your life should be a concern.
Sin brings about paideia (pahee-di’-ah). Paideia is the Greek word for discipline – its meaning can be translated as discipline and training and education of children, hence; instruction, chastisement, correction.
From discipline we receive the chance to see the consequences of our sin, and once again, agree with God that what we are doing is sin and wrong.
God can use our past, our actions, or something unrelated to bring about discipline in our lives.
God uses it all, even when we totally fail.
Things that God can use to remove secret sins from your life.
Reading God’s Word – There is only one direct way that you can literally change your desires and your thought processes about sin. You have to renew your mind. In scientific terms you need to create new neural pathways. What science has just recently discovered, God told us in Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
God’s Word has power! God designed it this way. After all, John 1 tells us that In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jump to verse 14 and look who the Word is! – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Many professing Christians spend less than 5 minutes a day reading God’s Word – no wonder there is so much sin in God’s family. Strive to be in the Word an hour a day. Don’t get overwhelmed with that amount, rather, just plan to spend quality time with God everyday. Look forward to it, and pray that God will reveal himself to you.
Prayer and Confession – Prayer is the opportunity to let God know that you agree with Him regarding sin (1 John 1:9). God will not only forgive our sin, but also heal us. James 5:16 says – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Psalm 90:8 – You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
Not only can we not hide our sins from God, God knows how we are going to sin before we do it (Psalm 139:1-4). If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Accountability – God already knows the sins we are committing, so we are not hiding them – (2 Samuel 12:12). We share our sins with others to get it out in the open and allow others to hold us accountable. Some of the most kept secret sins (sexual) are the most damaging to not only yourself but to others. You may be able to hide the sin, but you can never hide the effects.
Sharing what you are struggling with gets the sin out and into the light of fellow believers. It’s important to be completely truthful with your accountability partner(s). And it’s important to be honest about your sin – do you really want to change?
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling!
Key Bible Verses:
James 1:15 – Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Romans 7:18-19 – For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Hebrews 12:11 – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Small sins in our eyes become big sins we can no longer handle.
Proverbs 3:11-12 – My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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