Before I get too far into this post, I must give you some history behind this topic. For over 20 years, I have taught Sunday School, Children’s Church, Bible Studies or some other form of Bible classes. I was always a little nervous about the verse in James 3:1 that states “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
The thought of being judged more strictly when I ALREADY knew I had enough sin in my life to choke a horse, scared me to death. However, I KNEW I was supposed to help others….and the easiest way to do that was to teach.
One of the lessons that I have taught more than once included the concept of sin separating a person from God. Imagine a valley: the person is at the top on one side and God is at the top of the other side, the depth of the valley is sin in the life of the person. I even remember drawing a cross that stretched across the expanse of the valley signifying that Jesus died on the cross to remedy the sin that separated us from God. Evidently, lots of other people have taught this as well because I Googled “Sin Separates Us From God” and found hundreds of photos like this one. This part of the lesson was correct. However, there was a deadly flaw….if not in my LESSON, for sure in my THINKING!
Fast forward 10-12 years since I last taught that lesson to last week. During my Bible study one morning, a huge lightbulb went off in my mind! (Let me take a commercial break for a moment. I have been receiving daily emails titled ‘Fast From Negative Thinking’ by a Pastor Gregory Dickow. I highly recommend them. He has several to chose from at his website http://www.fromtheinsideout.us.)
I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about having to fight to stay close to God. It seems that is my life story. I have a great awakening experience with the Lord; I feel like I’m walking on air; I feel closer to God than ever in my life; Then life happens, I feel too busy to take time to be with God, and I end up feeling farther away than I started.
So last week, I’m reading this email devotion, and I read a statement that absolutely takes my breath away! It was a question really. Are you ready for it? “How much closer can God get than to LIVE INSIDE OF YOU?” Omgosh!!! THAT IS SO TRUE!! I asked the Lord into my heart on August 13, 1976!! He has been living inside my heart since then! You CAN’T get any closer than that!!
There are so many verses that I’ve read over the years that confirm this relationship and the close-ness of it:
• 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Do you not recognize that Christ Jesus is in you?”
• 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God?”
• Proverbs 18:24 “He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
• Hebrews 13:5 “He will never leave you or forsake you.”
• Romans 8:38-39 “Nothing can separate me from the love of God!”
So let’s go back to the lesson I taught so many years ago. It is true that sin separates us from God…..UNTIL we accept God as our Savior and ask Him into our hearts. At that point, there is no separation! Jesus removed our sin and re-connected us to God.
I have always felt (key word here is ‘FELT’) that my sin, my failure to spend enough time in prayer, my failure to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, my negative attitudes…separate me from God. But now I realize that is TOTALLY wrong!! I am not separated from God, because Jesus keeps me connected!
So what is the problem? Well, honestly (that is the title of this Blog), I’m not sure. However, here is what I believe …..FEELINGS LIE!!! Even though I FEEL separate from God, I am not, because He is inside me!!
I’ll continue studying and praying about this, and we’ll see what God shows me. In the meantime, please comment if you have any insight.