Reflections on 7 Abominations
For 5 straight weeks I preached on what God describes as an “abomination”. The things God views as hideous, detestable and hated. The series is over now and I’ve had a little time to reflect on it. I want to share a few observations.
1. OUR HEARTS DECEIVE US: Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else…” Week after week as I studied the Scripture on the abomination I was planning to preach on, I would continually want to tell myself how innocent I was. I could feel God’s Word revealing to my own heart the subtle ways in which I was haughty, a liar, a murderer, a deviser of wicked plans, a sprinter to evil, a false witness and a strife spreader. However my knee jerk reaction was perpetually, “No I’m not”, “Well, but not in a bad way”, “Yeah but…” etc. Wow do we deceive ourselves and try to run from all fact that proves otherwise!
2. GOD’S WORD WON’T ALLOW YOU TO HIDE: Hebrews 4:13 says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do”. Amen to that! When we dare to put our lives under the scrutiny of the whole counsel of God, it will perform surgery on our hearts. As I flipped back and forth in the Scripture studying the abominations, my heart would try to convince me that “I am innocent of this one”. Nope. Page after page of the inspired Word would shine a light on the secret places of my soul and show me those neglected areas of rebellion that you just learn to live with and ignore. God’s Word has a zero tolerance for wickedness. I couldn’t hide and week after week I could tell by people’s facial expressions…they couldn’t hide either.
3. ROOTING OUT SIN IS EXHAUSTING: Paul said in Acts 20:27, “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God”. I decided a long time ago that I never wanted to be one of those weak-kneed cowards that shrink away from declaring certain parts of God’s Truth. But man…I can see why some people do shrink away and choose to preach cotton candy, fluff ball messages instead. There were countless moments over the past 5 weeks of preaching that I could see the Sword of Truth laying waste to people’s sinful lives. I watched people visibly wince, look at the floor, cross their arms, burst into tears and even abruptly walk out. I never…ever try to cause that to happen or hope it happens. But it happens. It’s hard because I love God’s people. I want to be a nice person that walks with the compassion of Jesus and shows the world God’s mercy. But part of that mercy is that He pardon’s the repentant sinner from suffering under His holy wrath. I am called as a preacher to “declare the whole purpose of God” warn of that wrath that they might turn to His mercy. That means I must declare what God hates in us and herald His coming judgment and righteous anger. But wow…doing so can at times leave me a shell of a man at the end of a weekend.
4. THE TRUTH REALLY DOES SET YOU FREE: John 8:32 says, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” My kids often come running in the house complaining of a pain in their hand or foot. Upon inspection Erin and I will find that they have gotten a deep splinter somewhere that is red, swollen and painfully irritating. When the kids see us pull out the blade of a pocketknife or a needle in order to remove the cause, they freak out and sometimes want to run away and live with the pain of the splinter. They can run, they can tell themselves lies about it, they can walk with a limp or not use their hand, but true relief will only come when the splinter is removed. We do the same thing. Sin implants in us. God’s Word is the Sword that removes it. The Sword is sharp, powerful and sometimes initially painful to our souls. When we see it’s glistening edge headed for our lives we try to run and just live with the infection. But that feeling after the Sword has cut evil out of us is one of the greatest feelings of spiritual relief we can ever know! God performed some surgery on my own heart and I am grateful for it. I have heard several stories of people saying to me how the Lord revealed an abomination in their heart and then cut it out of them with His Word through the power of His Holy Spirit. Every one had the same tone of relief and joy as they told me their story. They had been set free. Praise God for His grace.
See you soon!