One Person’s Sin – the cost

The idea that our sin, {Sin= words and actions disobedient to the will and purpose of God}, does not cost or affect anyone but us is a bit arrogant. Adam, Cain, King Saul ,David, Moses, Achan (who was just a man in a tribe of people) are only a few whose sin we know affected the whole of God’s kingdom.
I know you are saying they were leaders, which would be mostly true but they were simple people also. Position may affect more people or lack of position less but no one can disobey God and not affect some people and the future. We can see through the whole bible that God has to work with people. It shows from Adam on that what we do matters to God’s plan. If we sin it affects others and the future, if we obey and have faith, it affects the same things. Our actions or lack of them can change the time when things get done. Peter says we can hasten the coming of the Lord. No one knows what we might be if Adam and Eve had not eaten the apple! No one knows what Achan’s sin cost the Israelites and us generations later.
Back about 20 years, I was on my way home from a scheduled meeting with a pastor that I was attempting to work with, whom I thought might help me do what the Lord had spoken to me to do. He didn’t show up for the third time… I was quite devastated and depressed. On my journey home I was complaining to the Lord about this man’s sin of not keeping his word for the third time. I was quite angry at the situation and frustrated as I did not know why I could not find someone who would walk with me and help me to become whom I was supposed to be. As I was voicing me complaint to Father, He rudely interrupted me with these words, “Do you really think that your calling has anything to do with anyone but you and I”? After a moments pause for that to sink in to my pea brain, He continued, “Let me show you what YOUR sin has cost Me, My Kingdom, you, your family and the body of Christ”!
At this point He began flashing pictures through my mind of my sins. In less than a minute I was weeping so hard that I could not see the road and had to slam on the brakes and quickly pull off the road; and sit and sob, and sob. He showed me things I had missed, done without intention, things I had done intentionally, words I had spoken or not spoken out of fear or need of approval, places I had not gone, people I had lied to or not spoken to, prayers He has asked me to pray that I had not, etc, etc. It was a terrifying few moments – and with each incident He showed me the results ! At some point He asked me, “Have I changed, Am I a different God than at the beginning? Doesn’t it say that “I am the Lord and I change not? Have I not said that I Am the same yesterday, today, and forever and that there is not shadow of turning with me?” What, answer me! [at this point I realized that He was not happy with my accusing others of sin and not recognizing my own part in all that was not happening in His body. He did not say that they were not affecting my future, but He was causing me to see MY affect on His desires first. ]
I was still sitting in my car wracked with guilt and shame, undone. I did not feel condemned but I was seeing how much one person’s sin can effect so many ! I felt forgiven and at the same time convicted deeply. I realized how little I felt my obedience had mattered and what a lie I had swallowed!
Most of us think that the “big names or stars of Christianity” matter but that for the most part we don’t. THAT IS A GREAT DECEPTION AND OUTRIGHT LIE !
God has a purpose for each of us. He does not create junk or people of no value. Even though others, (whom we think matter) may not value us or our function in the body of Christ, God created each of us with purpose. Ok here it is, YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD AND YOUR OBEDIENCE TO HIS DESIRE FOR YOU MATTERS !!!

Ananias, in the book of Acts, is a nobody, a simple disciple living in Damascus minding his own business when Father speaks to him, “Go to Saul and tell Him…”
Why Annanias? He is a nobody, never mentioned as being a “great name” or person of renown. What happened to him? We do not know. But this we know, His obedience mattered. He was the vessel of healing, baptism of the Spirit and commissioning for Paul (saul of tarsus) . What would the Word look like without Paul’s writings? What if Annanias would not have went? Some of you reading this are saying – God would have sent someone else. Maybe, but would Paul have received from them? Would they have what was needed for Paul? You see we again have this idea that “OUR” obedience does not matter – God has other options. As I read the Word I get the impression that may not be so. God chose David, one of Jesse’s other sons would not do—He specifically chose David. It shows that God also chose Paul, Why would Annanias be different. God chose him also.
I believe we do much disservice to God when we devalue our relationship and His need of us. I think our prayers and obedience matter. I believe that there are people out there that only I can touch and that it is the same for others. Each cell in a body is of value. Just remove one or damage one and see what happens. Hospitals and other places are full of people with damaged cells.

Fast forward to last week; I was in England to be part of a meeting, a listening time/unifying meeting of some prayer network leaders. We came to hear from God corporately. I was invited to facilitate the process. After a bit of time, I got frustrated and stepped aside from what the Lord had told me to do. I pulled back from obedience because I hate rejection and knew it was coming… I did not do what I was told to by the Lord. Rather than contend for God’s presence and voice, I surrendered to the people’s fear of the unknown and stepped back. Long story short, the meeting became an intersession gathering – not a listening/change/something new gathering. In the end I was led by the Lord to repent to the group and instead of rejection, what I spoke was received and acknowledged.
What did my sin cost everyone? What did it cost God? How can we determine what would have happened had we stayed on track – doing something new and unfamiliar – as opposed to what we did which was have intercession . We will never know as I did not do what I should have, — it did affect all there and all they will do from that point this I am certain of.
Even in simpler examples of not praying for someone at work (with them), or not sharing God’s love with someone at the Saturday picnic when we feel moved to but out of fear, not being good enough or desiring to “stay acceptable” we do not. There is an affect to God’s kingdom and in all of our futures. Our choices today in the simple things of life will write a different tomorrow.
I am not trying to condemn anyone for their past but am trying to get us to look at our relationship with God and recognize that our actions, decisions, and intimacy with Him matter. We are to go make disciples, preach the gospel, witness, heal the sick, cast out demons, mend the broken hearted, etc – the works of Jesus. “We” is inclusive of all, not some. What would our communities look like if we loved God enough to obey, had faith in Him and lived it ? Do not be fooled, each of us and our decisions directly affect the future of those we interact with or don’t.
Let’s not act out of fear but out of conviction and love, His love, and don’t look at the past and feel condemned, look forward and anticipate God. Look at what is possible if we recognize His presence in our living and His faith in us. He trusts us to make a difference and to make Him known to all the world—our world! We are sent just like Jesus, Jn20:21-23. We matter! Our intimacy with Him matters. Our knowing His voice matters. Our walking with Him in daily life matters. “Trust and obey there is no other way”. God works with you. What will you do and how will you affect His kingdom today?

Excuses are invalid reasons for neglect of relationship and duty!

In Father’s Hand, neil

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