It is the Christian’s biggest obstacle. It is a roadblock to his soul-winning. It stands in the way of his spiritual growth. It is like a weed which chokes out his joy. It casts a dark shadow of doubt upon his confidence in Christ. It is to the peace in his soul what a thunderstorm is to a parade. It is the glass ceiling which keeps his prayers from breaking through to God. What is behind this awful, crippling condition?
Sin in our hearts will do more to keep us from living the abundant Christian life than anything else. But it doesn’t just affect us. Everyone we see over the course of a day will be affected (rather, infected) by it. We may think our sins are private and no one knows about them, but it won’t be long before others get a whiff. It’s easier to hide the smell of perfume than it is to hide a critical spirit. Jealousy is another sin which isn’t hard to spot. A bad, self-centered attitude, anger, slander, gossip, bitterness, pride, prejudice, and lust will also cause problems in our relationship with God and others.
It is easy to sweep our personal sins under a giant rug and pretend that they aren’t a problem (after all, we’re still going to church, telling others about Christ, reading our Bibles, and serving the Lord — so what’s the deal?). The problem is, we can’t enjoy fellowship with God or other believers when there is sin in our hearts. We may be in church; but if things are not right between us and another believer, we won’t get very much from the sermon. We may still pray, but we won’t have the same sense of closeness with God. Sin builds a glass wall between us and God (and others). Confession pierces through the glass like a laser beam.
Perhaps you are facing roadblocks in your relationship with God or with other believers. Take a prayerful look in your heart for any of the sins I mentioned earlier. Confess them to God and watch as He tears down the glass walls which stood in the way of your fellowship. Behind the glass walls there is peace and restoration.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder