“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB)
I believe every true follower of Christ experiences defeat and spiritual setbacks in their walk with God. However, I am convinced that our success as followers of Christ is not dependent upon how few times we sin, but how many times we run to God to take advantage of His mercy and cleansing.
We all sin and need God’s mercy. It’s when we draw on that mercy that we develop a dependence on God. By having a sensitive heart toward sin, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and pushes us toward repentance. Because God understands our weakness and temptation toward sin, He gladly receives our confession/repentance (that’s mercy), and then gives us strength to overcome sin (that’s Grace).
One of the rewarding parts of my twenty plus years of counseling was the opportunity to share this truth with my counselees. I found many believers were carrying around a lifetime of guilt. Their continual failure to measure up to what they perceived as God’s standard brought frustration. Therefore, they just stopped bringing their sin to God for forgiveness because they knew they would fail again. Their concept of the Christian life was based on trying to measure up rather than being dependent upon God’s grace and mercy. We know where that way of thinking comes from; it comes from the enemy of our soul.
There must an effort on our part to “set our mind on things above” (Colossians 3), but beyond that, one of God’s objectives when we continue to fail and fall short is to drive us to Him. He wants us to live every moment dependent upon Him. He wants us to become Holy Spirit sensitive to sin. Every time we sin, every cross word we say in anger, every impure thought, He wants us to immediately be aware that we have offended Him.
By becoming sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we will find that there is something supernatural at play here. It’s like God is screaming out to us that He is most willing to give us mercy (that is to forgive and cleanse us), and then He will give us the ability to be victorious over future sin.
Building a “victorious resume” depends upon how we respond to our present sin. God never intended for us to carry around a weight of sin. He has provided a spiritual relief valve if we will become Holy Spirit sensitive by taking every thought captive to obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). That will lead to a greater sensitivity to hearing God’s voice in every area of your life.
The Lord longs to have intimate fellowship with His children. He wants to reveal more of Himself if we will be willing to let go of more of ourselves. It would be good for us to remember the old saying, “the water of life rarely flows through a dirty vessel”.
Begin today by asking the Lord to help you develop Holy Spirit sensitivity toward sin, and then when you sense you have sinned just “come with confidence to the throne room of grace, so that (you) may find grace and help in the time of need.”