Read Hebrews 8:1-13
When I was participating in Evangelism Explosion back in college, we traveled in groups around the small college town going door to door ministering to people. We would simply ask them if they were saved from eternal damnation and how they knew.
Sometimes people who were lost would tell us they did not follow Jesus because they were too far gone. They were unlovable.
I could not understand. I did not believe anyone could be so far removed that Jesus couldn’t save them. Then I experienced hardships of my own.
I was married and my daughter was already a toddler when my secret sin was exposed. I despised it. I hated that I had searched for it and every time I did, I hated myself for doing it.
I blamed God for not taking this sin from my life. I blamed Him for not protecting me. Eventually, we stopped going to church for other reasons (although part of my reasoning was this). I quit praying. I ran so far from God. I honestly did not want anything to do with Him.
I lived for about 5 years this way. I would confess God with my mouth, but despise him in my heart. I hated everything about Christianity. Then God started finding ways to have us send my daughter to churches.
It was every third Wednesday, or ever other Wednesday here or there. Soon, she was begging us to visit those churches on Sunday. We visited one or two, but I felt like I was being judged even though the people in those congregations knew nothing of my secret obsessions.
I withdrew again, resolved that church was not for me. My daughter could go, but I was out. She started visiting a church with a good friend on Wednesdays and that resulted in more pleas to visit on Sunday.
We did, and I was instantly transformed. What I didn’t know was that my feelings of uselessness and despair were self imposed. God had not abandoned me, I had abandoned God. He spoke to me in that steel building. He showed me believers who were broken and formed to tools, the very hands and feet of Christ themselves. The whole body welcomed us in.
I surrendered. I soon started going to a small group at the pastor’s house and was asked to help with media to cover when needed. I had never been one to volunteer for things at church having watched my dad be run ragged doing this. I was compelled to say yes though, and I have come to be in charge of it now.
I’m saying all of this not for congratulations, but to demonstrate that when we think God hasn’t forgiven us or that He has abandoned us, we are wrong. We have abandoned God and we refuse to forgive ourselves.
Let go of anger, fear, and abandonment issues. Seek God, and you will find a freedom like you’ve never experienced.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:12