A Faithful Heart

{John 10:10; ESV}

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Jesus identified Satan as a thief, and as a thief he seeks to rob us of life. One of the ways Satan robs us of life is to lie to us, especially lies about who we are. These lies can prevent us from taking the necessary steps to change our lives, they can hold us down with oppressive guilt, and they can hold us back from developing relationships with other people. It is hard to step out in faith when you believe in your heart that you don’t have what it takes, or that you are a failure.

Whenever we start to move towards living the life Jesus saved us to live, Satan attacks us with lies.  These lies come at us in various ways: from the people around us to the negative thoughts we have about ourselves.  The Enemy is going to do whatever he can to keep us from embracing life.

You may have tried to stop gossiping, but then you hear a juicy piece of news and you can’t resist passing the news along to your friends. Perhaps you have been trying to quit telling “dirty” jokes, but when you get together with the guys you can’t seem to pass up the opportunity to join in. Then there are the things that you do when no one else is around, from what you look at on the internet to the movies that you watch. These failures cause us to believe that we are nothing but dirty rotten sinners, and therefore we have no hope of ever overcoming the sin that is in our lives.

This is why I want to encourage you today. Yes, God wants us to overcome the sin in our lives. Sin hinders our relationship with Him, and is a stumbling block as we try to reach out to others with the grace and love of God. As terrible as sin is, what God is interested in is the faith that we have in our hearts. A faith that believes God’s truth about reality, rather than the lies of the Enemy.  A faith that follows Jesus when he calls.  A faith that struggles against sin, even when it seems like a hopeless cause.  A faith that serves those in need with love and grace.

Remember that every sin you commit doesn’t make you a moral failure. We have grown up being guided by the flesh, rather than the Spirit.  We were born into a world that is in rebellion against God.  Since these things are true, then sin will continue to haunt our lives.  It is the habit we have developed and the environment that we live in.

We also need to remember the amazing grace of God. Not only is God patient with us, but He has also promised to deliver us from the power of sin and death. The sin we have committed cannot be undone, so our only hope is to be saved from the consequences of sin.  This is what happened through the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

The sinful habits that are present in our lives took years to create such deep roots, so we cannot expect to overcome these sins overnight. Each day we are going to win and lose battles as we fight the war for righteousness. It is an act of faith, and it pleases God, when we engage the Enemy and begin the long campaign to rid our lives of sin.

The writer of Hebrews wrote about this truth:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:1-4; ESV)

These faithful witnesses all struggled with the sin in their lives.  Think about people like Noah, Moses, and David.  They all had periods in their life when they disobeyed God and sinned, but God still counted them as righteous. Why? My understanding is that it was because their hearts belonged to Him, and they had the faith to follow God wherever He led them.

What matters most to God is the faith we have in our hearts. We can beat ourselves up because of the sin that exists in our lives, but God is pleased when we faithfully follow Him. I am not saying sin is unimportant, what I am saying is that when our hearts belong to God, then sin becomes insignificant.

Sin becomes insignificant, because the desires of our hearts change as our faith grows. This means we will repent and struggle against the sin that has a strong hold on us, even when it seems to be hopeless. To have a heart that belongs to God means that we will fight to rid our lives of sin.

Satan will attack us and try to get us to doubt our salvation by reminding us of the sin we cannot overcome. He wants us to get frustrated and give up. Remember as long as we are in conflict with sin then God is pleased, because He knows our hearts belong to Him.

Questions to consider:

  • What are some lies Satan has convinced you to believe?
  • Why is having a faithful heart so important?
  • How are you struggling against sin?
(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)