About 8 years ago I faced a night like tonight. Because I tend to rank sin on a scale of badness, what I did tonight almost slips past the cross of Christ in my mind like a pet. A pet sin. But tonight my broken Jesus, who was bruised for my transgressions was looking at me the whole time and I can no longer call my sin anything less than it is in light of the cross. It's lust.
I think if I were to make known what I did tonight some, like me, might laugh or sigh, or poopoo what happened. Some might think, "Aw come on Sheila, you're being too hard on yourself." I understand. That's what I did the entire time I indulged my flesh in the secret of the night tonight... I made excuses to the Holy Spirit. This is MY sin. This may not be sin to you, but it is to me and I'm tired of carrying it around like a pet. It's not a pet, it's chains!
Tonight I woke up to let my cat out. The first thing I thought of was the leftover chocolate cake sitting on the counter from my son's party. I immediately cut myself a large slice and sat down at my table to devour it. I'd never do this in front of my husband or kids... I wouldn't want to look like I was indulging myself. And if I did, I do it with a hard attitude, as though to say, "Geeze! Can't I even have a piece of cake!?" And that's exactly what I did. I sat down and argued with the Holy Spirit while I ate it saying, "Can't I even have a piece of cake?!!" Problem is I was sitting in front of our little lamb, who is laying on a stream of red satin underneath a boquet of flowers with the banner, "Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed..." hanging over it.
After I hardened my heart to the Spirit over a piece of cake, Christ's light was shining so much, I couldn't hide. Where can I go from His Spirit? Why do I even try to go?! I was drawn to His Word like a baby sheep longing for milk! I opened to Psalm 23.
"The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want..." -Psalm 23:1
His holy life layed down for mine exposed the true nature of my sin. It wasn't about cake. It wasn't about food. It was about lust. And before the holiness of God I saw that what I did tonight was not different at all in the eyes of my Maker than what I did 11 years ago.
8 years ago I called a dear friend weeping. Overcome by the guilt of what I'd just done while I knew Jesus was there. It wasn't cake that night. It was pornography.
I remember the excuses I made. But that night they were all broken because all I could see was my Jesus hanging on a tree. That night before the cross, Jesus broke my wicked bonds to sexual lust. Tonight, by His blood, He's breaking my bonds to appetite lust.
As I sat before my slain Lamb I realized tonight was a turning point, just like it was for me 11 years ago, and I had to confess it. I had to bring it out in the open. Because I want to be healed. It's not a pet for me, it's a ravenous wolf that's never satisfied.
I'll never be the same. Tonight the blood of Jesus dripped on my cake. It dripped on my lips. It poured on my tongue. It soaked my stomach. I can never pick it up again without seen the Cross.
Oh my Lord! You are my Shepherd... I shall NOT want the fullfillment of my flesh's lust in any area! I shall be satisfied in YOU! For YOU prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies! May the table of Your body broken for me, and the wine of Your blood poured out for me, forever satisfy me, even while the enemy who once claimed godhood over the appetites of my flesh is present.
This has been me in this area of lustful appetite even until tonight:
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. - Philippians 3:19 NIV
NO LONGER! NO LONGER LORD! JESUS you have come! You have conquered! You have exposed this sin in me! I run from it! I run exposed to YOU! I run to YOUR salvation! From tonight on my stomach shall never be a idolic "god" I hold in my hand while I try to enter Your promised land! NEVER AGAIN! Let YOUR blood mark this night! Let it mark my stomach! Let it mark my mind! For from tonight I set my blood stained hands that have clung to this idol of my stomach on this:
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. - Philippians 3:19b-20 NIV
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 NIV
I write all this out here in the open because my Lord says:
When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?... Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. - Isaiah 58:7-8 NKJV
My Lord, who exposed Himself and covered me on the cross calls me to expose my own sin and not hide myself from my own fellow man. But rather to cover my exposed brother or sister with the mercy of the Cross when I see them. This is not what I tend to do. I tend to hide my self under the cover of sleeping hours, or behind closed doors, or while away on an errand, and expose others when I see their offensive sin. But that's not my Lord's way. He heals me when I call my friend and confess my sin, or willingly let my shame be exposed to you here, and cover my friend, or you, or my husband when I see nakedness. This is how He cleanses us from our sin. This is how we can walk in His righteousness.
I wonder if any of you would, with me tonight, be exposed before our Lord. I wonder if any would see Him looking at our hands like He looked at mine tonight saying, "You're still holding that idol in your hand like a pet! Drop it! You can't go any further in if You're still holding that." I wonder if any would look at the Cross with me tonight in our nakedness. I wonder if any would be broken by His love and ask Him to mark our hands and our appetites for whatever it is our flesh lusts for with His blood so that we may never again approach that idol as though it were a pet. May His love and His grace make us tremble. May it shake us so much that we are free from our chains but not destroyed.
Oh may we see our "pet" sins as chains! And may we not cuddle our chains, or play with them in secret, but expose them before His cross, and each other, and let His blood break them! I don't want cake at 3am, or cookies in the middle of the day, or a KitKat on the way home from the store, to hold me back from further entering the life in the Spirit God leads me to through the cross! If He looks at me, exposing my "pet" as an idol, which is chaining me when He's made me free... oh let me drop it like a poisonous snake!
I'm looking to You who knew no sin, and became sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God tonight! I want YOU, not this!