And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Exodus 34:6
As a spiritual counselor, I have found that even after being a Christian and confessing and forsaking all their sins, there are voids in people’s lives that they are trying to fill with other things. It usually lands them in some spiritual trouble. The enemy– Satan, can take our needs and desires and take advantage of them, using them against us.
One person I counseled, had gotten involved in a bad marriage situation in the church. Ultimately she discovered that she was lacking self-worth. Something she had been pining for since childhood. This discovery was a breakthrough because she had made many missteps in her Christian walk trying to fill this need for attention. She should have found value as a child of God in Christ a long time ago, but didn’t. She missed the lesson somewhere. By her own admission, she had not walked closely with God enough to find out her own spiritual value. She had never dug into that part of her that God was trying to change.
Spiritual trials and difficulties can occur because we have made bad choices while trying to fill needs or desires. This can lead to a habits of “minor” disobedience. We value our profession and so won’t do the big sins, just the little ones that we can cover. Whichever the case, once we acknowledge this, the Lord is not in business of holding things over our head, and washing our face with mistakes and shortcomings. Things may be hard and yes we may have to suffer because of our actions, but the God of all the earth is not petty and never has been. He wants to encourage us to get back on track and strengthen our weaknesses. He is ready to forgive and reaches out to us even in our sin and wrong. He is more merciful than to kick us out of the kingdom for every misstep, confused thought, and wrong attitude. He strives with us and pulls for us to overcome. Often I have encountered Christians who have been discouraged by people who want to make them feel eternally bad for having a fall, marrying the wrong person, going the wrong direction spiritually, or making a mistake in their life.
God wants us to repent of our sins or wrongdoing, but he doesn’t want us to take His place and become judge, jury and executioner. In other words, beating ourselves down is not God’s will. God finds great value in our lives and loves us even when we are not perfect in our walk. He is able to restore. He calls us back to be useful in His kingdom. When I was growing up in the church, I didn’t grasp this as well as I do now. It is good to teach strongly on the detriment of sin, but there has to be balanced teaching on forgiveness and love. After all, God is love. God has convinced me of his love and character on a personal basis.
Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, waiting to make intercession for everything that is in our heart, even things we cannot express it. God knows and understands all the words left out. He remembers that we are dust. We need to have the humility to acknowledge that we just that.