I wrote this to someone (changed a few things for this blog post though)… and it convicted me, so I wanted to share it here in hopes that someone else may be propelled closer to Christ and the Cross as I was. I was preaching to myself as well. Chapters of the bible I’d read that sparked my writing of this were 1 Corinthians 5 & 6 and Galatians 5 & 6. Forewarning, the following is a bit intense…

God looks at your heart for what it is, He doesn’t focus on the “consequences” like we humans do. He’s straight forward and direct and the Cross doesn’t give room for excuses. Asking forgiveness simply because you realize the consequences of your actions is just another surface Christian tactic, and isn’t the real root or heart of what you did. You did not love that person. You did not treasure them. You betrayed them. You violated them. You indulged in your flesh and sinful nature, but attempted to continue doing it with a spiritual backdrop. In doing so, you desecrated the cross, you desecrated Christ himself. You were NOT united with the Lord in his spirit, yet you portrayed and proclaimed Christ as your own. You dishonored God.  It is not the actions, not the surface, not the consequences of your actions that need forgiveness… it is the very core, the very heart, the very soul that needs the cleansing. Exposing the reality of your heart is painful, it’s dark… but it’s necessary. You are reaping what you have sown – own up to the fact that you indulged yourself, that you did not love, you were not self-controlled. Whatever “loneliness” you currently feel is a result of your indulgences – “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction…” Let it sink into your very core, that you failed miserably… that all your hard work and desire to love someone more than yourself, to get over that sinful area of your life, to follow Christ, and to act and live in accordance with His law… it was NOT enough. You didn’t do it, and you couldn’t fool anyone for very long, and all of your hearts motives were exposed in one of the most blinding Lights and in a very embarrassing way to the people you say you cared about most. Let that sink in… that all you thought you knew of your relationship with Christ has been exposed. You’re naked and ashamed. Soak it all up for a moment, because it’s the reality. It’s our sin human reality that we all try to run from and hide. Then we try to justify to the world that we hate this about ourselves and therefore indulge our need to “feel good enough” even if just for a moment by telling someone about it or asking for someone’s forgiveness when it’s been exposed. All the while just packing on more rotting carcass around our dark hearts, minds, and lives to hide how the reality makes us “feel”.

Don’t stop, keep letting that reality sink in… and if it doesn’t make you hit your knees in front of an almighty Father and compelling Cross, then you truly are lost. You can’t let the emotional roller-coaster be what justifies you and be the definition of repentance, that is not even close to the end of it and is certainly not what justifies you. Weeping, paying penance by thinking you deserve it, hurting yourself, yelling, whatever emotion we currently feel won’t fix that reality and won’t stop it (you’re once again indulging your flesh if you leave it at this surface) – writing about it won’t stop it either, sharing about it won’t end it… that reality is set to haunt you for the rest of your natural life. Crying doesn’t change anything. Repentance doesn’t even “change” anything…

Repentance is just a catalyst or an “effect”…. an obedience measure. It’s an action – a turning away and walking in the opposite direction. It’s what “we” the humans do as a reaction or response to something. It can’t be the goal, and doesn’t actually change us… it’s repentance that goes hand in hand with the only Person who can change us. Repentance alone is empty, it’s living by the law, it’s just a reaction and action we TRY to walk in… but we can repent all day and not be changed.  Jesus Christ is the compeller. The CROSS is where one is changed, being crucified to me and I to the world. Repentance is an act of obedience to the compelling nature of Jesus Christ, and change is the effect of being crucified with Him. So the focal point and object of our goal is HIM. Our obedience comes out of the call to HIMSELF.

Being sorry for what you’ve done may seem fine and all… but it doesn’t end there. You sinned, you failed, you indulged and tried to cover it up. You dishonored God – to your shame. You will never be good enough by your actions. You will never be able to live down the sins that you committed. Save only by the grace and mercy of God and a crucified and mangled perfect Man. This is why you cannot wallow in your own filth and call it repentance… this is why you should not cover up or hide your darkness with a doily called “Jesus”… Jesus is not a “doily” or cover up. YES, He covers us… but it took a morbid, gory, bloody exposed crucifiction. He covers us in His BLOOD, get it? BLOOD… down to a small cell of a human body, where you can use this physical symbol on sin, was exposed – it was all over Him outside of the body because of the BEATINGS He received for YOUR immorality – He was the victim of your own choices of flesh indulgences and sin. You don’t GET to cover up your sin with a ‘doily Jesus’, you don’t have that RIGHT… He exposes you first, then covers you in beautiful pure blood by HIS grace, not your desire or obedience. This is why none of us can or should boast in anything save the cross of our Lord. Your goal has to be the Man, your pursuit must be Christ… then your actions and change will come after that, not the other way around.  You cannot follow an idea, you cannot follow your “acts of obedience”, you cannot follow your heart, desires, or beliefs of devotion… you can only follow One Master – One Man!  The only justification you should ever have is that you are covered by the Spirit of God and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. But when you indulge in your sinful nature, but call yourself a “brother”, the bible says you can’t even inherit the kingdom of God and others aren’t even supposed to eat or associate with you. You are reaping what you have sown… so own up to it, understand that THIS is who you are – you are disgusting. Turn to Jesus Christ in hopes that you can start sowing and reaping what pleases the Spirit, for eternal life. Let Him expose you some more, expose the areas of your heart, expose the dark entangling ROOT of your revolting sin… because remember, He can’t dwell where darkness is.