Has your past ever come back to haunt you?

I think mine just did. I was perusing myspace, when I looked up my ex-boyfriend Joe (the redhead joe, not the tall, ex-fiance joe). He had a blog. Lo and behold, I thought “Hey, I’ll read said blog and see what he’s up to.” Yeah, I wish I didn’t. Who would’ve thought he would refer to me as his “deepest, darkest time of sin in [his] life”. Superb. Hey, he wasn’t complaining when we were in high school, and I wasn’t that bad. He was the one that was stupid and decided that, instead of going to Cal Poly on a full ride scholarship for electrical engineering that, hey, he’s going to work at bloody In-N-Out as a burger lackey. Our relationship just fell apart. In my own defense, he was such a God nut that I couldn’t go to Catholic church anymore, and it just wasn’t a comfortable time for me. But, he’s absolutely right in some respects. We lied to our parents (a lot), had sex (and it wasn’t half bad), and we just eventually fell apart. He wanted to do the In-N-Out thing, and I wanted to be able to see my friends without having to tell him where I was going every second of the day. He micro-managed my life, and that wasn’t okay. But here’s what he said, nonetheless. If I were more religious, I’m sure I’d see that he has a lot of valid points, but I just don’t put a lot of stock into a book that was passed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years until it was finally written down by a *ahem* Catholic. Enjoy the fruits of Joe’s labours.

There is a reason why this verse, this truth, is so important to me. It is because I am an eye witness to this. Six years ago I was beginning my senior year of high school. This was the year that I first came to know the Living God. I was a relatively good kid at the time. I grew up in PBC, went to church, came from a good home with christian parents and all that, and everything that I learned from church sounded neat and good but it was all just a part of my upbringing a not really a part of me.
There were some choices that I made that year that led me into what I now refer to as the deepest and darkest time of sin in my life. You see I had a plan for my life. I had desires and I knew what I wanted and I did what I wanted to do. I had a girlfriend and we did what we wanted to do. Somehow, the whole time, I knew that this was not what God wanted me to do, but I ignored that sense. I did what I wanted. Sex was at the center of our relationship. And as our relationship went on a lot of things happened. I had to lie, a lot, to my parents, to her parents, we had to do things in secret. My relationship with my parents fell apart, as time went on they became my enemies up to the point that I moved out after high school without any warning. I stopped going to church. I didn’t cared more about myself and what I wanted than I did about anything else. I became consumed with anger, and guilt, and eventually even depression as my life and my relationship with my girlfriend began to fall apart. At the end of our 1 and a half year relationship i was in a place were I had completely, whole heartedly, and willingly turned against God. I felt as though I had dug myself into a whole so deep that I could not get out of it. I felt that the only option I had was to see this thing through to the end. That there was no way out.

This was the point in my life were God revealed this truth to me. I was not a christian. I was not a church goer, I was not a good innocent boy anymore. I was deep in sin and rebellion against God and I knew that I wanted out because all i had was pain and missery. I wanted, even to kill myself just to get out of the mess I was in. But on a day that I will never forget, in an event that can not be explained apart from the Living God, God said to me, “Joe, when has it ever been about you?” And God opened my heart to understand His love. That my sin was the very reason why Christ died on the cross!. But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!

Earlier in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome he makes mention of the fact that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) And later in the same letter he states that the mind set on the flesh (our selfish, do what I want to do, mind) is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God! (Romans 8:7,8)

“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart and went backward and not forward.”

It took me over a year and a half of going backward because of my own sinful stubbornness to realize that God’s love and His rules are for my benefit and His glory! God does not set rules and commands to keep us from what we want to do. “That it may be well with you” God knows the results of sin. Paul mentions in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death! He even asks, what benefit did you gain from it? I know now what is being talked about. I know what happens when I live my life ignoring God. It isn’t good. And even more so, in Ephesians 2:3 Paul mentions that by living according to our sinful nature we become objects of His wrath.

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