I’ve often found that some of the most difficult times to turn to the Lord occur right after I sin against Him. I’ll choose to rebel against Him and find myself running from Him afterwards, my heart full of fear. I’ll politely refuse when people ask me to pray, or I’ll avoid my quiet times, simply because the infraction against Him is so fresh. I convince myself that God doesn’t want to face me at that point… I think “maybe after a few days, when the stain has faded somewhat, I can come to Him. But certainly God doesn’t want to see me now, not after what I’ve done,”
Recently, though, God reminded me of Genesis 3:8-10:
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they felt the need to hide, as I often do. But God was still looking and calling out for them. He still sought them, even though they had been tainted with sin. They hid in shame and in fear. When I sin, I often find myself acting the same way as Adam and Eve, instead of living out what Scripture reminds us of: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).
In light of Scripture, I am reminded that when I sin against God, there is no need to hide in fear. Because of the cross of Jesus Christ that fully paid for the punishment of my sin, I may approach His throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). I may turn to God in my time of brokenness, trusting in His grace through Christ’s sacrifice (Psalm 51:16-17). Even if there is discipline, it brings me joy since I know that God is treating me as a son (Hebrews 12:7).
Therefore, even though we may be tempted to run from God when we sin against Him, we must realize that God’s desire is for us to draw close to Him (James 4:8). Let us not be afraid to turn to God in our need. His sacrifice paid for our sins, and He offers us reconciliation and freedom from fear.
“From whence this fear and unbelief, since God my Father, put to grief His spotless Son for me? Can he, the righteous judge of men, condemn me for that debt of sin, Which, Lord, was charged on Thee?” … “Turn, then, my soul, unto thy rest: The merits of thy Great High Priest speak peace and liberty: Trust in His efficacious blood, nor fear thy banishment from God, since Jesus died for thee.” Augustus Toplady