When I get sick I pray.
When there’s an accident in the family, I pray.
When someone is discouraged, I pray.
But when I sin badly, I don’t pray.
Why not ? I think it’s because my conscience tells me God is angry with me and I better not go near him. Just like Adam and Eve did in the garden when they sinned and then ran into the bushes.
As an aside, that’s pretty funny because God is near me all the time. He sees everything, hears every thought, knows every feeling.
And the wonderful truth is he doesn’t disengage and retreat! Just like he didn’t flee from Adam and Eve. In fact, the text tells us, he went looking for them.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, Where are you?” – Genesis 3:8-9
So why don’t I run to God when I sin badly? Because at that moment I don’t believe that God is for me. I get a big case of Jewish guilt, and it drives me away from God. I know I’ve messed up and I deserve a talking to. And my normal reaction is to run and hide.
But the Scriptures tell me otherwise. The counter-intuitive response should be to run right into God, who waits with outstretched arms to hear me admit my mess and turn to him for forgiveness and help. My bad conscience should drive me to Yeshua (Jesus)! It should take me by the hand and turn me in the direction of my Messiah, who bled and died precisely for those sins I committed.
“So then, the law was our guardian until Messiah came, in order that we might justified by faith.” – Galatians 3:24
So the next time I sin I hope to remember to run to Yeshua like a little child into her father’s arms. I know it won’t be easy because I’m much more used to running, but even in this, I can ask Messiah to re-direct my feet.
What about you? Are you ready to turn back with me?