“Lord I love you” is a powerful statement. How do we protect ourselves from the hypocrisy of declaring it on Sundays, proclaiming it to receive affirmation on social media, but failing to hold fast to that commitment in the hard moments of our lives?
The proof of our commitment always comes in testing. My commitment to love God has been tested again and again: through the miscarriage of two of my precious children, through watching a sweet friend die of cancer, and through Satan’s destruction of God ordained relationships I held dear. But trials have mercifully driven me to seek after God and to desire to know Him more. God speaks often in the Bible of how testing and tribulation grow and mature our faith. (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4)
While all trials test and grow us, I think there is a special significance and precious proof of our love of God in the devastation of dealing with our own sin. Grieving over, confronting, and laying before Jesus my own sin has done more to strengthen my relationship with Him than any other type of testing. These excuses reveal my failings, my inability to strengthen that relationship on my own, and my deep need for Him. The truth laid bare is hard to handle, but it is freeing.
King David is a gloriously God-ordained example of clinging to the love of God in the face of our darkest sin. The story of David’s horrific sin and the unshakable love that rescued David is laid out in 2 Samuel 11 – 12.
David lusted after Bathsheba, committed adultery, and then had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah- who was an unfailing loyal servant to David- killed to conceal the fact Bathsheba had become pregnant from their tryst. None of his schemes worked. God used the prophet Nathan to reveal David’s unthinkable shame. Nathan proclaimed, “You are the man!” and exposed David’s worst sins.
This was a defining moment for David. When confronted with guilt, our natural reaction is to fight back and rage against the exposure of the truth. David’s love for God conquered all those impulses, and he instead turned to the Lord and lamented:
I have sinned against the Lord. (2 Samuel 12:13)
David would later write several beautiful Psalms, including Psalm 32, in acknowledgement of what God had done to rescue him from his iniquities. What defined David, a man the Bible would call a man after God’s own heart, was not his worst moment, but his reaction to his worst moment. His action was rooted in a deep love for God. He repented because he loved God more than he loved himself.
Sin separates us from the love of God. But our love of God means we are willing to lay aside the encumbrances of this life and the sin which so easily entangles us and run to Christ. We die to self, stop the justification, explanation, and minimization of sin and say, “I want Christ more, I love Christ more.”
Love God today. Lay your sin before Him. Turn from sin and say, “Lord, I’m depending on You to free me from the deepest, darkest corners of this sin.” We can count on the Lord’s grace, mercy, and unfailing love. He honors those who love Him and nothing proves that love more than confronting our sin and casting it off.
About the writer:
Caroline is a wife and mom who loves Jesus. She also has a career in commercial real estate investing. God has given her a heart for encouraging other women. She and her husband, Eric, are the directors of the Fellowship Class, a young married Sunday School class, at First Baptist Dallas.