It is not the magnitude of our sin that is so detestable, but our inability to acknowledge it at all. We all know it’s there… so why do most, if not all, get so offended when it’s pointed out? Well, the answer is quite obvious: when someone points, we have to look. And deep down every man knows it is his most painful experience to realize his sin. It is both terrifying and beautiful, all at once, because in that moment we know we are encountering the Lion and the Lamb.
I have found that the days when I knew He was drawing me in and still denied Him glory are my most regretted days. Why? It wasn’t because my actions, my sins, were so terrible. I’d known that same sin for years… it was nothing new to me. But, for some reason, it’s only the last months, the last weeks (before surrendering to Him) that I cringe at when He reminds me of where He brought me from. “Why so hated, why do those few days stick out so much?” I finally asked the Holy Spirit. He was not silent for long. His reply? Perhaps my heart can bear the “worst of sin,” from long ago, because I did not commit it while looking Christ in the eyes. On the contrary, my heart cannot bear the most recent, and to some extent “smallest,” because it was committed while looking Christ in the eyes. For in those days my heart knew that the lover of my soul was seeking me out… to know, and still deny… that’s truly what is, and should be, detestable: to be so prideful, so blatantly selfish, that even the presence of the living God cannot bring you to your knees.
And so, we tend to be afraid of remembering the sorrow of repentance, but the sorrow of repentance should serve as a fuel for The Redeemed. For when we look at those moments, or a moment, straight in the eyes… we find Him whispering, “Mark WELL the paths by which you came” (Jeremiah 31:21). We should remember all those places He carried us from. For though we should not be dictated by our past, we also shouldn’t deny its depth in regards to where we stand now.
“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Do not be discouraged, for you will not suffer disgrace;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And the disgrace of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
The Lord of hosts is his name;
The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
The God of the whole earth he is called,
For the Lord has called you
Like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like the wife of a man’s youth when she is cast off,
Says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
But with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
But with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
Says the Lord, YOUR Redeemer.” Isaiah 54