It was about three in the morning. Jerusalem was dark and cold. Jesus was arrested, bound, and taken the High Priest. False accusations began to swarm attempting to find a crime, but Jesus did not respond to the accusations. The High Priest became angry and shouted at Jesus, “Are you the Messiah?!” Jesus answered, “You have said so,” accepting the charge. The High Priest, overwrought, tore his robe in disgust. The guards began to spit at Jesus. Playing a game, they blindfolded Him, then began to hit him with their fists, mocking Him, “Prophesy who hit you.”
As Jesus was being blindfolded and beaten, let from one official to another, Peter was nearby warming himself around a fire trying to catch what was happening. He was accused of knowing Jesus, being one of his followers. Three times Peter denied knowing Jesus. And just as Jesus had predicted the cock crowed with the third denial and somehow in the midst of being bound up, led from one trial to another, Jesus in that very moment finds Peter through the darkness and looks at him eye to eye. The Bible says that Peter went out and wept bitterly.
When was the last time you wept bitterly over your sin?
Most of us have no understanding of this. We lie. We cheat. We sleep around. We get drunk. We get high. We lose our temper. We dishonor others and lose our patience without even blinking an eye. Even when we do sin, we may ask the Lord to forgive us. We might even as the person we hurt to forgive us, but to be honest, sin is not that big of a deal to most people.
I remember as Youth Pastor sending a young teenage girl down to the kitchen to get some styrofoam bowls. We were painting the youth room and I wanted to use cheap little bowls rather than buying paint buckets for all of the teens helping. But I didn’t realize the church kitchen lady was on guard. The young girl came back without any bowls and balling her eyes out. The church kitchen lady had struck again. Chewing her out for using bowls in a wasteful way as if it was her decision. I went down there to face the monster.
“Why would you treat this young girl like that?” I asked.
“Why would you use our kitchen bowls for painting?” she barked.
“Would it be better for the church to spend $.10 per teen volunteer or $3 per teen volunteer?” I snipped.
“I guess $.10 is better.” she conceded.
“Do you want to apologize for chewing this young lady out?” I encouraged.
“Why would I apologize? It was your fault for sending her down her without telling me anything about it!”
She was not about to apologize for her sinful attitude even though the Bible clearly says we are not to let any words out of our mouth unless they are good for building others up. But isn’t this how we are? We don’t like to apologize. And when we say we are sorry to the Lord, it is not really repentance.
The Holy Spirit will speak in that still, small voice and call us to repent for the sins we have committed. We might even utter the words “I’m sorry Lord. Forgive me,” but we do it again. Sometimes, we don’t even wait that long before we do it again. We have lost the meaning of repentance. Repentance is more than saying we are sorry. Repentance is being remorseful and then turning away from the sin determined to never do it again. Repentance gives no excuse. It blames no one else. It accepts responsibility and never justifies. But what happens when we are too prideful to repent of our sins. Consider this passage:
Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. (Proverbs 1:23)
When we repent, the Lord pours His thoughts into our mind. He gives us understanding and recall of His teachings. One translation says He pours His spirit into us. This is wisdom from Heaven to make better decisions. It is the voice of God spoken by the Holy Spirit. But if we refuse to repent of our sins, the Lord withholds His thoughts. The Holy Spirit who helps us understand the Word of God is silent. When there is no repentance, there is no wisdom. And we begin to make stupid mistakes. The suffering of an unrepentant heart is not isolated to the area where sin remains unconfessed. The unrepentant heart becomes deaf to the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things. Did you hear that?!? -All things!
I don’t know about you, but I tire of being stupid. I’m stupid enough with making it worse from an unrepentant heart. I dated too many crazy women, fell for too many get-rich schemes and made too many bad financial decisions. I don’t need no more stupid!!
The Bible says that God has a plan for us that is wonderfully abundant with love, peace, strength, and power. Listen to how the Apostle Paul describes this plan of God for our life:
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
God reveals His plan to us little by little. Remember that verse you learned in VBS a million years ago, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). A lamp unto my feet? In other words, He is only showing me His plan for my life one step at a time. The Lord told Joshua that if he would live to honor God, he would find success everywhere he set his foot. One step at a time is the revelation leading to greater things. And it is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given us, revealing the next step. The Holy Spirit pours into me the thoughts of God about every issue and situation in my life so that I can make better decisions and step in the right direction.
The last thing I need is to go deaf to the thoughts of God, but that is exactly what happens when I refuse to repent of the sin in my life. Have you sinned against God? Have you sinned against someone else? Don’t be prideful justifying what you have done because of someone else’s behavior. All sin is a sin against God and He hasn’t done anything to you. I know we want to blame him sometimes for what people do, but remember, He doesn’t control people. He loves them and gives them the freedom to be jerks sometimes. But all people are loved by Him and when we hurt someone, even if we think they deserve it, we are hurting the Lord because He loves them. It’s no different than you hurting my kid. If you hurt my kid, you have hurt me.
Hasn’t God been so good to you? When we are really honest about what we deserve because of our lack of faithfulness to Him, can we really see it any other way but that He has been overwhelmingly gracious? God doesn’t deserve for us to resist Him in pride. When we confess, He is faithful to forgive (1 John 1:9). He draws us near so that we can once again hear clearly the Holy Spirit telling us which way to go. #nomorestupid