Sometimes we cry to the Lord and say: “With Your help I will never do that again.”  Sadly, we end up repeating the same sin and find ourselves confessing the failure to the Lord again with the same resolve: “Lord, I am truly sorry. Help me to glorify Your Name and not dishonor it openly or secretly.”  Sometimes the cycle of failure and confessions leads believers to despair. “Does God even take me serious anymore when I confess my sin?”

Do you remember in Genesis 20 when Abraham and his wife Sarah went down to Gerar? He told the King of Gerar:  “Sarah is my sister.”  Abraham was afraid the king would kill him so he could have Sarah for himself.  So, he deceived the King by saying his wife was just his sister.  You might say: “Abraham – get real! Do you love the Lord or not? Didn’t you do this before in Genesis 12 when you were afraid Pharaoh would kill you to get Sarah? Didn’t I read somewhere that when Pharaoh uncovered your lie, he was outraged and booted you out of the country?”

You are right!  Abraham, like a Christian who has fallen publicly, slinked out of Egypt with his face blushing with shameful embarrassment.  Would he ever do it again? He probably hoped he wouldn’t. But when the situation arose in Genesis 20, he did it again.  Did God write him off for his ‘repeat’ sins?  No – graciously, compassionately and tenderly the God of forgiveness restored Abraham to Himself and continued on with the plan He had for his life.

In Nehemiah 9, the children of Israel were gathered together and on this special occasion they spent a quarter of the day reading the Bible together and another quarter of the day they spent confessing their sins and worshipping. They recounted their repeat-sins and their multiple failures as a Nation, despite God’s faithfulness and goodness. As they shared all their failures they said:

But You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Nehemiah 9:17

Here is what the Word of God says about a Christian’s sin – whether it is the first offence or the 21st offence:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

Get alone with the Lord today and, from your heart, confess that particular sin and failure. Don’t beat around the bush. Name the sin in His holy presence and don’t make excuses. Sin is nothing less than disobedience and doing that which flies in the face of the very character of God. Confess it and then hear Him whisper to reassure you: “Forgiven!” Quote 1John 1:9 in His Presence. It’s a promise.

And remember – you only need to confess it once. In your sincerity and remorse, He hears you the very first time. Satan may try to whip you with your failure, even though you’ve confessed it. He will do his best to keep you down and obstruct you in your life of glorifying God. He may whisper in your ear: “You fake. You will probably end up doing it again. You know your track record.” When that happens, just say to yourself and to the Lord an assertive ‘FORGIVEN!’ and move forward with a keen and holy desire to please the Lord.

Ask the Lord for strength to walk with Christ more closely so you will experience the power to say ‘no’ the next time.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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