Isaiah 59:1-2 “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
The silent treatment.
You know… when you see that one you are mad at; that one who hurt you. You purposefully walk away or quickly cross the street. You duck into a store, restroom or turn suddenly to avoid eye contact.
It may have been a disagreement that was blown way out of proportion. Maybe it was something you heard from a friend and because of what you heard, you chose to put up a wall; to neglect the previous friendship or relationship and put them at arm’s length.
Your pride demands that they apologize first before you will ever make any movement toward them.
This is how we treat one another.
You hurt me, so I want to hurt you back – vengeance.
You hurt me. So, I tell someone in authority so you get the justice I believe you deserve.
Let’s say I forgive you and you hurt me again. How dare you! We throw the previous forgiveness out the window and take up vengeance.
Praise God our Heavenly Father is not like us!
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God calls us out on our sin. He let’s us know there are consequences. Separation in any relationship is never good. God, so lovingly, places a thick, black line to reveal the difference between right and wrong. You cannot read the Word of God very long before you see that God is against sin.
It separated Adam and Even from His presence in the garden and has separated us ever since. But God did not leave us that way.
He made the way for us to be restored; redeemed unto Himself again. In Christ I have forgiveness, mercy and love… and not necessarily in that order!
Some would paint God as this vengeful, tyrannical dictator passing out edicts and meting out justice with a heavy hand. Such a picture of God is not accurate.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Every person created has a will that God has created for them.
First, it is salvation.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
He removes the payment and penalty of sin. It was placed upon Jesus and He took it for us so we could be saved.
Many are confused regarding our sin after we are saved because of the separation it causes. I like to think of it this way.
As a teenager, I would go out with my friends. I was told to be home at a certain time – typically when the streetlights came on. Depending on what we did, where we went, who we were with, that time would slip by and I would arrive home late. There was a breach in our agreement.
Mom would wait up for me; sitting at the kitchen table. I would slink in through the back door, trying not to wake anyone only to find her there saying, “Come here, let me smell your breath!” If we had been drinking, there was no getting around it – Mom could tell. No gum, breath mint or even mouthwash could hide it from her.
She was angry and hurt that I would disobey.
It wasn’t a time to hug and tell her how much I loved her – there was a breach made in our relationship. I needed to reconcile what caused the breach and then my words of love could be received as genuine once again.
I was her boy – I will always be her boy. She will always be my mother. She gave birth to me.
The same applies to God.
He gave birth to me at salvation. I am secure and can never lose what He promised I would have eternally. But, when I step over the line and disobey and rebel against His commands, that same breach forms in our relationship. My words of “I love you!” would seem hollow and disingenuous.
It is only when I come humbly to ask that what caused the breach be removed and put under the blood that I can enjoy the fruits of a close relationship once again. I will always be God’s child – how close I am in that relationshi is up to me.
None of us ever enjoy the separation in a relationship – especially God!
He created us to have fellowship with Himself.
He allows us to feel the guilt and the shame that sin brings to desire the closeness once again.
We have a principle in our RU Recovery program:
God balances guilt with blame. If we accept the blame, God removes the guilt.
It is based upon:
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The cross of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He offers bridges even the greatest divide ever caused by sin. But it is in the humble act of admittance, confession, and repentance that I can experience the restoration of my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Because of salvation, He will ALWAYS be my Heavenly Father – that will NEVER change.
But, the closeness of that relationship depends on me. God says:
James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
I liken it to standing afar off from God and all I need do is take one step and He steps toward me. Realizing His heart is desirous of drawing close by stepping toward me, I run to Him.
We need to keep short accounts with God. By that I mean, when we sin; the time between the sinning and making it right should be as short as possible.
Sin has a way of deadening our hearts toward God. The longer I stay in my sin, the harder my heart becomes. So, at the first sign of guilt, I must recognize it and run to Him for forgiveness and cleansing.
Today, many of us are satisfied to be at arm’s length with those who’ve offended us or whom we have offended. God wants us to keep short accounts with one another as well.
Reach out to that one today. Do not allow our enemy to get any satisfaction by the disunity he has caused. Satan’s whole program is about, division, disunity, destruction and death.
Let us exact revenge upon our enemy by staying as close to God AND one another today – there is not a moment to lose!