What do you know is right and good that you do not do? We all have those areas of life that we say, “I ought to do this, but…” We excuse ourselves in a variety of ways.
I’ve always been like this or It’s just the way I am.
It is just too hard.
I’m going through so much right now.
It isn’t hurting anyone.
God is not quite such a pushover.
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17
A former pastor used to speak of this state of mind as ‘educated beyond our level of obedience.’ Living in such a state brings destruction. When I know what is right and choose to do wrong, I harm myself: I dishonor the plan and purpose of God. Willfully choosing anything other than the will of God is intentional sin.
Food is a great example to which most of us can relate. Most of us eat for pleasure more than to sustain life. God wants us to enjoy all that He has provided–with our hearts set on thankfulness for His goodness. When we over-indulge, our focus is on our pleasure and desire, not His. Instead of enjoying the vast array of delicious ways God gives to keep our bodies operating well, we choose to enjoy foods that actually damage us.
Exercise offers another terrific teaching tool. Our bodies are the dwelling place of God. Maintaining our health increases our availability and usefulness to the King. Often we use exercise to look good and draw the attention of others to ourselves–not for His glory. Alternatively, we can choose not to exercise at all which allows our bodies to deteriorate and be too weak for fervent service.
We have a tendency to spiritualize sin–or categorize it in ways that make others’ behavior the focus. Sin is a misguided attempt to meet a real need. Food and rest are necessities; misusing either is sin. The Holy Spirit is the only one who can convict us about the sin God wants us to deal with next. God never dumps the full revelation of every sin in our life upon us; instead, He graciously purifies us one sin at a time. Sometimes we act as the Holy Spirit in the lives of others; it is not our job and quite likely is sin. We each have enough sin on our plate to keep us busy.
The desire of God is that we grow closer to Him with every choice we make. Pursuing His glory is the path that draws us into His presence–and transforms us. Walking on the path toward His glory shines light onto the issues blocking us from that glory. God faithfully points out the things He wants us to work on by letting our choices cloud our view of Him.
What is He pointing out to you that blocks His glory?