Thursday, July 24, 2008

Man, it's hot

If you haven’t noticed, it’s hot outside. I know it’s a dry heat here in west Texas, but 100 degree weather is hot no matter where you are. Alyson and I were laughing the other day because we realized that every time we stepped outside whether from the house or car or from shopping we’d say something to the effect of “Man, it’s hot!” as if the temperature was somehow a surprise. Alyson decided to start counting how many times we said it but quickly gave up – I think the heat sapped her energy. It’s sapping all of our energy these days. Today is supposed to be a little better, thanks to some cloud cover provided by hurricane Dolly. Is it bad to be grateful for a hurricane?

The oppressive nature of the summer heat shows up in the book of Psalms, chapter 32. The psalmist writes, “When I kept silent [concerning my sins], my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” Just like 100 degree heat can sap the strength right out of us, so can unconfessed sin sap the spiritual strength out of our walk with the Lord. Now, not all suffering is caused by sin (see the book of Job), but all sin does cause suffering of one kind or another. While as Christians we may be able to get away with sinful living for awhile, eventually, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, such living becomes oppressive. Our once joyful walk with God becomes distant and unfulfilling. Our relationships with others become strained and divisive. The fruits of the Spirit that should be present in our lives shrivel up from the heat of sin. For those of us who have known God’s presence, such a life of sin becomes miserable.

In many ways, this uncomfortableness in sin is a gift from God because like the heat forces us into the air condition, the oppression of unconfessed sin coaxes us into the refreshing breezes of God’s forgiveness. The Psalmist puts it this way, “Blessed is he who transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Are you being oppressed by the summer heat today? Well, for true relief (not the temporary kind resulting from hurricanes) you’ll have to wait for autumn. Are you being oppressed by some unconfessed sin? True relief is only a confession away.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness – 1 John 1:9.

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