Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reconciling Sin – Experiencing Restoration

“David said the Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord’. Nathan said to David, ‘Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die’.”
~2 Samuel 12:13 (NRSV)
What seems to be a terrible set of circumstances that King David found himself in, having committed adultery with Bathsheba and having had her husband, Uriah, killed, is a critical biblical lesson regarding humankind’s relationship at morality with God.
The Lord is a holy God, and, because we are made in the image of God, we have been designed to obey the laws of the Lord. When we disobey, our consciences crucify us; unless they’ve already been seared.
They who are seared-of-conscience appear forever apart from God, yet only the Lord knows whether that soul might be redeemed to the moral vanguard—and therefore be on the road to salvation.
How God Brings The Best Out Of Our Sullen Situations
What occurred within David as he pondered the awful truth, having been exposed by the prophet Nathan, was a symphony of surrender sung to the tune of Psalm 51. This Psalm was David’s solemn prayer of confession and plea for forgiveness and restoration. And about that time, too, he also authored Psalm 32—perhaps echoing the mood of someone forgiven beyond their comprehension.
Given our obedience upon exposure, and a David-like repentance, God will bring out the best within the sullen situation.
This is not a negative-consequence-free ‘best’. There are still consequences to be endured, as David discovered with the death of Bathsheba’s first child to him.
It seems an important lesson we all learn; there’s only one way of recovering after a cover-up.
Recovering After A Cover-Up
There is perhaps not a human being alive or dead, besides Jesus, of course, who has not attempted to cover-up their sin as David did. It’s messy what happens to the mind in these situations, as we well know.
We may delude the world, for a time, but we’re not deluding ourselves, or, by the fact we’re so troubled, God. We can feel God searching us, preoccupying us in many forms of guilt and possibly shame, too. The Lord is surely pushing us to own up.
We never like living in these fearful situations, constantly worried about being found out.
There is beauty in a thing called confession; having the courage to confess our sin.
In that is the path to restoration.
The Experience Of Restoration
Restoration is the outcome of reconciling the guilt of our sin.
Sin and restoration exist in relationship by virtue of the fact that the transaction of restoration requires the payment of due remorse, utilising the self-exposing currency of truth. Restoration cannot be bequeathed where there isn’t both full disclosure and the full willingness of surrender regarding the issue.
If we cannot give ourselves in this way, we limit our experience of restoration. We limit the grace we receive. God’s grace is ever abundant. But we can limit our experience of it.
When we give ourselves to God we experience true forgiveness.
There’s only one way to deal with sin. We confess it before others and, therefore, also God. When we own the entirety of our sin, without protecting ourselves, we experience forgiveness and restoration in full measure.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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