The next barrier to the Promises is to deny that you have done anything wrong. We might react with denial and dismissal, such as “Oh, but I am not really doubting the Lord…I just have issues because of …” . This happens so often, especially to people who have been Christians for a long time. We feel that we should be above making mistakes, or that that means we are not as saved as we think we are. Sometimes we refuse to accept that we have messed up because our prides cannot handle it or our emotions cannot. Maybe we feel that we have worked too hard to get anything wrong, or that if we did miss something, then maybe we have missed a lot of things. In our Yellowstone example, that would be like us walking right past the gate saying to ourselves “I already know everything there is to know about you. I read all the books so I don’t have to see you. I already know everything”.
Here is the plain fact: We all sin. Period. You sin, I sin, we all sin. That is why we have Jesus. It is MUCH better to acknowledge our sins and repent of them than to deny them.
Sometimes we will acknowledge some of our sins…our “less bad ones”, but not all. For example, we might say “Yeah, I lose my temper. I am really trying to work on that one.”, but we do not acknowledge our sin of laziness, or our sin of lust as we look at famous actors. We might not acknowledge those because we do not understand that they are sins, or we do not want them to be sins because they seem “fun” and “harmless” and “no big deal”. We might not acknowledge them because in our hearts we do not want to see that part of ourselves. We do not want to acknowledge bigotry, for example, or fits of rage.
There are several reasons why we might deny our sins and failings. One is spiritual arrogance, one is fear, one is not wanting to be as “bad” as someone else (particularly if we are hurt by them or angry with them), one is jealousy—wanting to be as good as someone else. Whatever the reason, we must look at ourselves plainly and honestly. The Lord provides healing, forgiveness and mercy, BUT we have to acknowledge that we have a problem. Otherwise it is like refusing to acknowledge that our boat is sinking—there is nothing that anyone can do for us if we refuse to see that our socks are wet! We will not walk in light, with the Lord, we will walk in darkness and make Him out to be a liar.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. NAS
James 3:13-15 speaks of spiritual arrogance and jealousy. Now understand, we might not feel that we are arrogant, but whenever we do not fully accept that we sin, when we make excuses for ourselves, or compare our sins to someone else in order to show that we are “not that bad” then we are showing spiritual arrogance.
3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding ? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.
3:15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. NAS
It is possible to be sinning in intent and not action. I might be donating thousands of dollars to charity, but if I am doing that out of pride and not kindness, then I am sinning in my intent.
So we must be diligent to find our sins and acknowledge them. Take some quiet time, be humble before the Lord and ask Him to show you your shortcomings. Do not rebel, do not rush this, do not allow your spirit or mind or emotions to say “yeah but!”. Just accept that you sin, that it happens, but that you must acknowledge and repent of your sins, not deny them. We are not fooling the Lord when we do not acknowledge the truth.