“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (verse 23). Our author is warning us to not take lightly the work of Jesus. Don’t lose the first love you had when you received Him.
All who come to Jesus come with a broken heart. We each recognize that we are lost without Him. Upon receiving His salvation we also receive forgiveness and joy. We are all washed clean at that point. But that is not where we stay. We get up and walk on in our daily lives. That daily life has to change though.
We are told that if we “willfully” continue sinning that we are trampling Jesus’ work. Yes, we all come with sin in our lives and it is usually a process to get it out. It takes the Holy Spirit working in our hearts to bring us to a place of fully walking away from it. Sometimes it is an addiction while other times it is a habit we have fallen into. But the Spirit is faithful to continue working on our hearts to bring us in line with God’s will.
But what if we refuse to move from that place of sin, or to quit doing what we KNOW displeases God? That’s when we get into trouble. God can’t forgive that kind of sin because we really haven’t turned it lose and over to Him. We “bought fire insurance” but still play with matches in the house. We WILL get burned!
Does this mean that God will never forgive you for this kind of sin? Not necessarily. When you come to a point where you DO lay it down and repent, God then can and does cleanse us of that sin. I’m going to be brutally honest here and expose one of my worst areas. I pray it helps someone struggling with a willful sin.
My husband and I lived together for just under a year before getting married. I was raised knowing that this was sin but I did it anyway. I got carried away on the winds of passion one evening and gave in to a sexual encounter with him. From that moment on, in my heart, I considered us bound for life. He had been married at least twice and had relations with a couple other women he considered himself committed to. He didn’t want to ever get married again because of how the last one had ended. I should NEVER have let myself get into this situation, but once there I didn’t know how to get out of it either.
My heart hurt for my sin and the Holy Spirit worked on me daily. I honestly didn’t know how to fix the situation without making it worse. I felt bound for life to him. Honestly, if we hadn’t had that first sexual encounter I don’t believe we would have stayed together as a couple. But he didn’t see things as I did. The Holy Spirit wasn’t working on him the same way He was working in me.
After months of turmoil I finally shared my struggle with “my husband in the Lord” and told him of my pain. I said that, even if he never decided to marry me that I felt married to him already and would stand by him and care for him for life. I also told him that I could not keep engaging in sexual relations with him outside of marriage. We talked about how it was hurting both our hearts. Come to find out, the Holy Spirit was also working on him in this regard too. He was holding out because of his past fears. My commitment to him made the difference. My commitment to the Holy Spirit made the difference for me.
When we both turned this “willful sin” over to God, He fixed our relationship. We have now been married for 13 years and we are blessed! God didn’t abandon either of us in the middle of our struggle. The Holy Spirit kept working on our hearts and brought us both to a place where we could ask for forgiveness and start again with Him. HE broke and remade our hearts into better ones. Ones that listened and obeyed, no matter how hard things got.
I used to wonder if I would even be with my husband today if it wasn’t for that one moment of weakness, but then I realize how much God has given me with the gift of my husband. He turned this “sow’s ear” into a “silk purse” with all the trimmings!
What I’m saying most today is, don’t give up on God healing your broken pieces. So long as the Holy Spirit is still able to prick your heart to your most willful sin, there is hope for forgiveness. Only when you become like a stone to His intervention are you beyond hope. He loves each one of us and wants us to come back to Him fully. He wants our whole hearts, not just the good parts.
Father God, thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You Jesus for purchasing my life. I’m SO sorry for all the times I’ve hurt You. Sometimes unintentionally, but other times simply out of selfishness. Thank You that You never give up on me. Thank You that You still lead and guide me today and for the rest of eternity. Keep working on my heart Lord. There are still places I need to turn loose of and let You do Your amazing work.
I pray that my openness will be a blessing to someone. I don’t know why You impressed upon me to share this today, but I’m sure You had Your reasons. Please let my lessons save someone else from having to walk the same hard roads I did.
Thank You for honoring my heart with my husband and healing his fears. Keep walking with us Lord as we both move deeper into Your love. Help me be the helpmate he needs as his illnesses progress. Thank You for helping me hold my tongue in the tough spots too. Thank You for being my confidant instead of giving me an earthly one that I can “vent” to. That NEVER solves anything! But bringing my concerns to You helps in MANY ways. Thank You for listening.