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::Devotional:: ‘Rebuilding Your Relationship With The Lord – Part 4’

March 11, 2010

My car is equipped with a great feature called cruise control. This is priceless for me on long trips. However, just because I can set the speed and let the car take over doesn’t mean that I can close my eyes, take a nap, and then wind up at Grandma’s house a few hours later. If I did that, the car would maintain speed right into the middle of an accident. Many times our relationship with the Lord is broken down because we set our lives on cruise control, close our eyes for a nap, and then low and behold we have ended up in a ditch somewhere off to the side of the road. Rebuilding our relationship with the Lord will require us to be intentional in our actions rather than automatic.

Sometimes I wonder if the only thing that comes natural, or automatic, to us is sin. It seems like it doesn’t take very much thought or effort to fall into temptations, but on the other hand it takes a great deal of purpose and determination to resist them.

I’ve confessed my sins and have been forgiven, but what about the consequences of my sin?

When Ezra returned to Jerusalem to lead a reform of the people he discovered that they had “automatically” drifted into a great deal of sin.  In particular, the Lord had commanded them not to intermarry with the other people groups of the land who did not worship him but worshipped false idols instead, and that’s exactly what they had done.

They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them.  And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.  Ezra 9:2

When our relationship with the Lord is broken, it’s usually because we’ve allowed sin into our lives and haven’t dealt with it properly according to the Lord’s instructions.  In other words, it hasn’t been confessed.  In part 2 of this series we took care of confessing that sin as part of the rebuilding process.  According to 1 John 1:9, God has promised that the sin we confessed has been forgiven, and that is great news.  However, many of the consequences of that sin still have to be dealt with.  We still have to take action against those consequences.  Some we will have to ride out, others we will have to throw out.  Either way, we’ll have to be purposeful and determined to deal with them.

Taking Action Against The Consequences Of Sin

When Ezra confronted the people of Jerusalem with their sin the did not simply dismiss him.  In fact, they took drastic action against the consequences of their sin.  They had mingled the holy race with other people groups in the land through marriage and that didn’t just go away after they repented of their sins.  Confessing sin in repentance is only lip service if it is not followed by corrected behavior and a changed attitude.  In this case, the corrected behavior was to separate themselves from this unfaithfulness to God by sending away those who weren’t members of the nation of Israel.

The Bible tells us that we must take action against the consequences of sin.  Take for example Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Ephesians 4:31

Not only are we to work to rid ourselves of things that have developed in our lives because of sin, but we are also to replace them with seeds that will develop because of the Holy Spirit.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

We are to replace the acts of the sinful nature with the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5).  Rebuilding our relationship with the Lord requires repentance.  Repentance is made up of confession and correction.  Our actions must be intentional and our motives must have purpose in setting ourselves apart from sin and closer to the Lord.

Take time today to make some corrections in your life.  Maybe you have confessed your sins already, and if you have you are one step closer in rebuilding your relationships with the Lord.  Corrections still need to be made though.  Do you need to set up an Internet accountability filter against pornography?  Maybe you need to apologize to someone for running them down with a slanderous tongue.  Are you spending a lot of time flirting with a co-worker that you really need to distance yourself from?  Were you deceitful in filling out some information on your taxes that you need to go back and correct?  Whatever the Lord has laid upon your heart to correct today, do it.  Rebuilding your relationship with the Lord depends on your willingness to make corrections and changes in your life.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. eric permalink
    March 11, 2010 10:26 am

    I like this devotional. You hit on something I really never examined in my Christian life. You gave me thought process that dates way back in my mind. Thing I have said to someone or perhaps to someone. The consequences that exist due to the first sin made the snow ball effect. I have apologized to some of the ones from the past most of the time their words back are “I don’t even remember” . It sure does the body good to clear the air!!!! Thank you Tony for the great devotional. Glory to God!!

    Eric

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