Busting the Blackmailer

unchainedI’m sure you all have memories of a sibling or cousin or childhood cohort who used to do the “OoooOOOOO!  I’m gonna TELL!” trick.  You may have been the one doing the accusing, or even outright blackmailing.  It’s a horrible feeling when you’re on the receiving end of it.  My brother used to pull this stunt on me all the time when we were kids.  It was usually, “If you don’t _____, I’m gonna tell Mom you did_____.  Sometimes he would even make up crimes with which to blackmail me!  “If you don’t smell my socks, I’m gonna tell Mom you cussed!”  Haha! 

Well, in reality, trying to keep a hidden sin hidden is torment.   Our enemy knows this and he takes full advantage of our vulnerability.  He loves to use our shortcomings and secret sins as a barrier to keep us from being intimate with our Father.  After the fruit fiasco, Adam and Eve trying to hide their naked hides from God.  The consequences of Achan’s hidden plunder, shooting down the alibi, “I’m only hurting myself.”  Peter’s withdrawal from the others after the triple denial incident, apparent in Jesus’ resurrection speech: “Go tell my disciples AND PETER…”  Instead of being repentant, they all got on the defensive.  Why?  Because the enemy convinced them that they could no longer trust God to be compassionate or at the very least, fair.

What’s even worse, guilt and crippling fear are compounded with the fact that our prayers are hindered by the wall that sin puts between us and God.  The psalmist wrote, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”  (Psalm 66:18)

What I eventually learned, as a kid, that if you just ‘fess up, right then and there, the punishment is much less severe. Sometimes there’s even a hug instead of a hand.  As a matter of fact, if I could trade the two now, I’d rather have taken a licking than to walk around in constant  fear and dread of being found out. Oh, I couldn’t see it at first, because it seemed as if I were more in control if I could just placate the accuser.  Here’s a revelation:  God already knows all about that thing you’re hiding.  However, He can’t HEAL until you DEAL.  Only you can do the confessing and forsaking of sin, and until you do, the wound will never close.  The accuser’s singsong, “OooooOOOOO” will reverberate in your ears.  You’ll be too busy looking over your shoulder to keep your eyes forward.

We know that God is a holy God, and that He cannot tolerate sin, but we fail sometimes to recognize that His passion for our holiness is fueled by His righteous, perfect love—the love of a Father.   Ignore that sin?  No, He won’t…but while He’s helping you perfect that area of your life, He’ll be holding your hand every step of the way.  David brought an interesting revelation in the 23rd Psalm.  He said, “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”  The sheep can trust the Shepherd’s love, even His tough love, because the Shepherd will never let him fall prey to danger.   Beats the daylights out of hiding from Him, doesn’t it?

 My word for you today is DE-STRESS…CONFESS.  Run to the Lord today.  Run, don’t walk.  Run to Him before you chicken out, and confess those things which torment you.  Get a grip on your temptations by being accountable to a pastor or trusted spiritual leader…and renew your mind daily to the Word, which serves as both mirror and tweezer to pluck out that offensive thought, action or habit.  Fortify yourself, then the devil no longer has “the goods” on you!  Be free!

 “Neither should you give place to The Slanderer.” (Eph. 4:27 Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

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