I found a nugget. I knew there would be insight because God is everywhere, even in the storms…even lightning storms. From the beginning of this new ordeal I have been mulling over a thought. As I have cleaned, it has become clearer in my mind. Sin stinks. Pretty simple I know. When I think about God saying our sin is like a stink in his nostrils, I can understand that quite clearly now. Even our good works are like that to him because sin is not exactly a behavior. I think that hell-fire and brimstone preachers have give sin a bad name, if you will pardon my saying so. It has been turned into a simple word that means “extremism” in people’s minds. It is defined as drinking, cussing or some other behavior. If we have to stop sinning then we have to give up everything “fun.”
But I have a different definition of sin. It is anything that keeps you from your freedom to love God fully. This is much deeper that our actions. Actions are an outward sign of a deeper issue. We can numb ourselves with “sinful” activities so we never have to face the real matter, which is our relationship with God. We were created for this relationship and when we are in it, we are on the road to complete freedom; freedom to fulfill our purposes, freedom to love completely and be loved with no barriers, freedom to be who we are without masks. This amazing kind of freedom is something we only dream about secretly. We never speak of it because we do not think it exists. It is something we all search for deep inside.
So here is the analogy, sin comes in to one area of our lives. It can come with a big bang or with a simple thought. Then it smolders behind the walls of our heart. On the outside all is well, you would never know there was a fire at first, even though it is burning the structure of your life on the inside. Then the smoke begins spread. Now sin is set in motion to permeate every fiber of your being, and I mean every fiber. You cannot escape the smell. Many times we think that one area of our lives will not affect another area…that is a lie. If your heart is burning, your life is burning. On the outside, now it is becoming obvious that something is wrong because the smoke from the sin is toxic. Still externally there is no fire, just a stink that is a huge warning that something is deeply wrong, and if ignored the flame will overtake your life. Somewhere in this process the sinful behaviors are picked up to numb what is obvious…your heart is on fire. So behaviors are not really the issue at all, they are merely an outward sign that you are not experiencing the freedom you dream of.
The question is how far the sin will go. Will you allow it to destroy your whole life or will you call 911 at the first warning sign? This is a picture of salvation yes…but also a reminder of how repentance works. When we fall in an area, or have a bad attitude it begins to burn us up. Usually a thought is all it takes to put the sin into action. When we realize our area of separation we cry out to God and he comes in and puts out the fire. It is that simple, he stops the destruction we bring upon ourselves.
The impossibility of keeping ourselves sin free quickly becomes overwhelming as we live our lives. We can try to stop the fire, but it just keeps breaking out all over the place…it travels throughout the house popping up in a seemingly random fashion. Jesus is the only one that can prevent this from happening again and again. It is in relationship, not outward behavior, that we find our true freedom. It is in our surrender that he finds a “sweet smelling sacrifice.” I don’t know about you but anyone that can take the putrid stench of my sin and turn it into a sweet smelling sacrifice is someone I want to know deeply. He knows the fibers that are woven into my life and how they smell, yet he loves me anyway. That thought brings the beginnings of freedom if you can get your mind around it. We do not have to do it alone. True freedom is not a fairy tale, it really exists…now that is a nugget!