Psalm 38:4-5

For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.

The longer we do something the wrong way, the deeper the action is ingrained into our muscle memory and the easier it becomes a habit. The things I think and feel I am doing during my golf swing are not happening in reality because the old motions have become deep seated.

The same is true with sin in our lives. The longer it is allowed to fester within a life, the harder it becomes to mortify and eliminate. In Psalms 38, we read that David permitted his indiscretions to go on too long and they had become “over his head.” Unconfessed sin if allowed to persist will gain a level of importance in our life that its elimination is “over our heads.” David was suffering both physically and spiritually because of his current state. We do not know exactly the extent of the physical malady or the root of his spiritual foolishness, but he knew sin was its origin.

Unconfessed sin can quickly reach a state where the pain is enormous. Many times we feel we are able to control sin’s hold by our own moderation of the activity. The devil loves the excuse of moderation because he knows the human flesh is highly susceptible in the area of self-control. We are taught by society that bigger and more is better and best. Once the inequity is allowed to reach a state of “no return”, personal and societal devices are not effective. Bible theologian Thomas Horne wrote, “sin is the wound of the soul, which must be washed with the tears of repentance, cleansed by the blood of Christ, and healed by the Spirit of the Holy One.”

Golf teachers would rather have a student who has never played the game over someone who has played the game 20 years with ingrained bad habits. The “self-taught” swings a club in a fashion that “feels right” and in a way that he or she “thinks” is how the Tour player did on the YouTube video. However, we quickly see that the “feel is not real” when the amateur’s swing is replayed by video. The same is true with our decisions in life. The heart and our “feels” are deceptive by what is acceptable by our society. Our own approaches and home remedies are not conducive to a right relationship with Christ. Correction and healing can only come through Jesus Christ. The denial of self and the acceptance of our own fallacy are the beginnings of this healing. Accordingly, David in verse 9 came before God transparently by declaring, “Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.” It is when we take this approach, the Master is able to heal the deep-seated root of the ailment of sin.

Thankfully, this misery is not inevitable in the life of the believer. It is certainly not normal or desired, but yet we still are all susceptible to the pains of sin. Spurgeon preached long ago, “Am I addressing any, who think they are not saved because they have not known such terrors as some others have experienced? Let me remind you, dear friends, that there are many of the true children of God who have never known these horrors.” Thus, these ills are not necessary for the believer. Our Savior desires a right, true and pure relationship with His children. This close relationship requires a constant connection to the Father through prayer and study of His word. These spiritual habits do not automatically prevent sin, but greatly hinder its growth. Let us grow in our saving knowledge of Christ through a right relationship instead of testing His mercies.

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