Did you know that many Christians are guilty of theft? Even those who seemingly live lives of purity are guilty of breaking the 8th Commandment every month—“Thou Shall Not Steal”.
Who are they robbing? God! In Malachi 3:8-10, the Lord makes it abundantly clear, “Will a man rob God?’ Yet you rob Me. But you ask, ‘How do we rob You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house”. So when we bring back to God what’s already His, the first tenth of our gross income, we are fulfilling our minimum worship requirement.
He wants us to know that He will forgive us, cleanse us, and adopt us into His family, if we will simply turn from the error of our ways and towards Him. As natural born sinners without repentance, we cannot enter His holy presence until we are covered by the righteousness of Christ, who shed His blood for us on the cross. No matter where we come from or what we have done, God loves us. Once we bow the knee to Him, we are all equal as His children and co-heirs of eternity with Jesus. We must share this beautiful love story with those still living in darkness to awaken them from their slumber and deliver them out of suppression.
Although thankful for our feelings, we must be cautious, because feelings often lie. My feelings have definitely lied to me, and I am sure the same is true for you. Right now, maybe you are in the throes of making a feelings-focused decision. People everywhere constantly find themselves in a position of compromise in the business world, maritally, and financially because they either feel or do not feel a certain way—Wo-o-o, feelings…! Problems arise when feelings are unanchored by God’s truth. Untethered to truth, our emotions fall prey to the devil’s sway. In reference to Satan, the father of lies, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). The enemy steals our emotions, then goes for the kill and destroys our decisions. For example, I recently spoke with a couple whose marriage is hanging by a thread. They both claimed to be Christ followers as they began describing a difficult issue in their relationship. I decided to start from square one. I asked, “When did you guys seek forgiveness over this issue?” They said nothing and just looked at me like a couple of deer in the headlights. I continued, “Specifically, when did you seek forgiveness?” The husband said, “I haven’t”. Flabbergasted, I said, “Now wait a minute. This major issue is tearing your marriage apart, you are Christ followers greatly forgiven by God—something we don’t deserve—and you’re telling me you have not sought forgiveness with one another?” They said, “Right”. I said, “Can I ask why?” The husband looked at me said, “I‘m waiting to feel it”. “Feel it?!” I said, “You’re never going to feel like it! The evil one will never let you feel it!” Whoa! Feelings can mess a marriage up. I have been married for thirty-four years, and I have never felt feelings of forgiveness. When I tell Lisa, “I blew it. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?”—I do not feel like doing it. Nonetheless, I have done it hundreds of times.
Moses had the opportunity right there after he killed the Egyptian to come clean, to tell the truth about himself. He didn’t do it, though. He did something else. He hid the Egyptian. That’s right. He hid the Egyptian. We have a tendency, don’t we, when we sin, I know I do, to kind of cover it up, to kind of take out a shovel and put some sand over it so no one will see it, no one will know it happens.
And fear and sin go hand in hand like chips and hot sauce, peanut butter and jelly, mashed potatoes and cream gravy. When i sin, if I don’t deal with it, fear will come in. Remember me with the boa constrictor, “okay, I’ve disobeyed my parents and I was happy i had the snake but i began to be fearful, “oh no. What if mom and dad find out?” And that’s what happened to Moses.
He wants me to be a part of it, if we just ask him to strength to summon the power to be a part of it. Moses didn’t know. He kind of elbowed god out of the way. The creature shook his puny little fist in the face of the creator and he said, “i will live by my own self-sovereignty. I’m the man. I’m above the law. I elbow you out of the way, God. To the left, to the right. No problem. Oh!” The egyptian is dead. Moses thinks, “no problem. No problem.”
Remember that i told you? If you fail to look to God before you act, something terrible is going to happen and it did. And then when something terrible happens, we have a tendency to hide something. Here’s the third principle on becoming a difference maker. Difference makers locate their sin and they tell the truth about it.