First and Final Moves

“I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

“The first move must be yours; the final move will be God’s.”

My thoughts today are about the “first and final moves.”

What do you do when you mess up? Everyone does! Some cover up, like Adam. Some blame others, like Eve. Some deny their wrong, like Cain. Some are destroyed by their failure, like Judas. Some weep over their sin, like Peter. Sin can never just be ignored.

Trying to ignore sin is devastating to you, body, soul, and spirit. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV. God’s Law and righteousness demand that a wrong be made right, that restitution be given, and that relationship be restored. The right thing to do? Repent and receive forgiveness, like David. Read Psalm 32:3-5 NIV.

When I was younger I wrongly assumed that Godliness was best evidenced by how long I went without sinning. The greater the time that I walked without need of forgiveness, the better Christian I thought I would be. I have come to realize that was a faulty understanding of grace and a subtle arrogance of self-will.

Godliness may best be seen by how quickly you recognize your spiritual mess up, and how soon you confess your sin to God, and how fully you receive His forgiveness in Christ, because you value your relationship with God more than you love your sin. Sin is easy to enjoy at first, but that pleasure soon sours. The Bible describes the “fleeting pleasures of sin.” Hebrews 11:25 NLT. Sin destroys anyone and anything it touches. As my grandfather would remind me, “Keep short accounts with God.”

Trying never to do wrong by your own strength of will is a quick and sure path to failure. Trusting Jesus to live His life in you and obeying the Holy Spirit, who lives within you, is the road to the forgiveness and healing Jesus wants to give you. Paul said, “Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NKJV.

The path to God’s fullness and blessing is the same for you as for our nation, “If they humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their evil ways . . . then will I hear . . . then will I forgive . . . then will I heal.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

The first move must be yours, humbly and earnestly asking for God’s grace and mercy; the final move will be God’s and will always be gracious and merciful.

My prayer for you today is that you live everyday in His loving forgiveness, and experience sufficient grace for a lifetime.