All week we have been talking about our flesh and our sin nature. There are things in our lives that we aren’t proud of and prayerfully by now we have found the courage to release them to the Father once and for all. In our society we label everything. Monogramming runs rampant, wordy shirts, and cutesy signs are all around us. We love labels, am I right? We often times label our sins too. It’s like we have this secret labeling system for sins; we’d never come right out and say that of course because we know God covers all sins. But we label them a little bad, not too bad, kind of bad, really bad, so bad we better lock it up tight. It gets in the way sometimes because some of the sins that entangle us the most are the ones that nobody sees.
We spend so much time trying to fix the problems and sins that others can see in us, that we ignore the silent killers on the insides of us. The lustful thoughts, the anger, the hunger for more, the gossip, the bitterness..all of these internal things are silently rotting us from the inside out.
A couple of years ago I was hosting a Bible Study at my house. It was one of those days when you’re five steps behind all day long. Late for work, late leaving work, late picking up food, late late late. I finally got home to pick up and prepare a little before the ladies would arrive and as I opened the door I was immediately hit with a more than atrocious smell. I quickly took out all of the trash bags that were tied and sitting in my kitchen floor. I went about my tidying up, but the smell was still there! At this point I have about thirty minutes before the precious ladies would arrive and I’m in panic mode.. I’m lighting all of the candles, spraying all of the furniture, opening all of the windows.. It was then that I realized, I had taken out all of the trash bags sitting around the trashcan, but I had not taken out the trash IN the trashcan. It was protected by a can with a lid, it was unnoticeable, it was hidden. Because it wasn’t obvious, I hadn’t thought to take care of it.
In Matthew Jesus addresses this with the Pharisees.
Matthew 23:25-26 NIV says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
The pharisees were the religious teachers of the day. They made sure that on the outside everything looked clean, but inside they were rotting.
They didn’t understand the truth spoken in 1 Samuel 16:7 that says that the Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
What does your heart look like? Have you been more focused on the outward appearance or on the hidden things.
Once I took out the trash bag that was hidden in the trashcan, my house began to smell better. I had to take out the hidden trash, and in life we must do the same thing. God longs for use to give him every part of us. When Jesus came, he didn’t just die for the sins we label really bad, he died for them all. He doesn’t label sin, his blood covers them all.
Confess all of your internal sins to the Lord… the ones nobody sees and watch him draw you near in such a beautiful way. My hidden sins are often times the ones that affect me the most, but when I remember to surrender to Him, I begin to feel more like a blossoming flower than a rotten weed.