I’m thinking that when Yashua [or Jesus] said that about lusting in your heart being the same as actually committing the physical sin, he was talking about every sin ever invented, and I don’t think it’s a leap to say that we have all stumbled in ways very similar to those around us. Even if we haven’t lied in court, stolen the candy we looked at, yelled the angry words that we thought, etcetera, we have experience with manipulation, lying, cheating, idolatry, dishonor, disobedience, coveting, lusting… all of it, straight from the cradle.
Although we all have different weaknesses and break down in different areas, we still learn things the hard way from the word go, just like every time Israel refused to heed Yahweh’s orders and went ahead with their junk anyway. They learned the hard way, with pain and death as consequences. Whether or not we give in to temptation and make that conscious decision to do something we know is wrong is up to each of us every day. And seriously! Compromising is not a suggested means for learning! Yes, a mistake will teach you something. But it is sheer stupidity to say that nobody understands such-and-such a situation because they haven’t “been there”. We’re all mortal. We’ve all been there.
“You just need Jesus.” I hear this said over and over. Well, we do. We need him desperately. But how dumb am I if I constantly run to him for help but never follow the orders and counsel he gives me? “Jesus, everything is so terrible, I’m broken, what do I do? Oh no, don’t tell me to do that, that’s too much work. I can’t hear you. You can’t mean that.” If we don’t listen to what he says, what kind of disloyal hypocrits are we! Is this when he says, “depart from me, I never knew you”?
The possibility gives me a cold chill because I’ve discovered this cycle in my own life. I am usually quite ready to admit fault and run for help, but actually listening is where I slack off. I’ve gotten turned off to the Holy Spirit by itsy bitsy offenses and obsessions that I’ve allowed to stand between me and the still small voice of truth. It’s not a big deal, I can say. Those are just day to day things where I failed to listen. I’ll do better next time. But it is a big deal. All through our lives we will be plagued by the same demons, the same iniquity in our blood, the same nasty thoughts and attitudes unless we drag them out and beat them up and tell them they have no power over us. Is this not what Jesus did when he walked from village to village and the people came to him in droves? He didn’t just stand there and tell them everything would be all right if they followed him. He showed them the power he had and how it could set them free and why following him is the only way to receive Yahweh’s power over sin and death and the destructive devilish prince of this world! Accepting Yashua as your savior and professing him as lord gets your spirit filled with the Holy Spirit and given the free gift of eternal life. In addition to that, obeying him leads to all the blessings included in his original covenant with Israel; freedom from the ways of this world, the ability to become a righteous man, the power to do his mighty works, the healing that is in the four corners of his garments that are right there for us to touch.
Out of the depths have I cried unto you, O Yahweh. Lord, hear my voice: let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If you, Yahweh, shouldst mark my iniquities, O lord, who should stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that you may be feared. I wait for Yahweh, my soul does wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waits for my Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in Yahweh: for with Yahweh there is mercy, and with him plenteous redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
And then we go and underestimate him. Why would he heal my broken heart? It’s just plain old broken, there’s too much pain in this world, the only way to deal with it is to just praise God and pretend I’m fine. But no! There is absolutely nothing in my Bible that says my problems have to remain unsolved and unchanged, or that getting “saved” automatically fixes everything! Neither is true! I have been bought with a price, ransomed and owned, he wants to heal my broken heart, he wants to set my feet on the path of knowledge, he wants to give me wisdom and teach me his precepts. Yahweh is a God of justice and mercy! He rescues, he convicts, he indicts a reward, he chastens, he teaches, he drives us back to him and gives us purpose — time after time, time after time.
Our defenses need strengthening and our wounds need healing, so why not admit it and listen to the only one whose truth will set us free from these recurring chains? Claim and use the power we’ve been given, cleanse and change and listen and grow. Jesus spilled his blood so that we could deal with this junk that seeps into our souls! We are not broken beyond repair, we are not drowning without a rope, we are not travelers without a map. What can wash away my sin? What can make me whole again and again and again and again…
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.