This then reminded me of the passages of Scripture that pastor Zac has been speaking through lately and how relevant it is for me now! In Mathew’s Gospel 5:29-30 Jesus says that we should look upon sin the way he does and to utterly remove it!
Although for many weeks I had been praying for my tooth to be saved as I had two rounds of increasing antibiotics over the course of four weeks. As much as I wanted to keep my tooth, it was inevitable now that it was going to have to be removed. My heart was saying… the tooth can be saved… but my mind was saying… listen to the doctors, they say it’s got to go!
Confronted with a new set of x-rays at the doctor office this week, it was clear that the tooth was already dead and was decaying. So, out it came… with a lot of initial pain (shots) … a little struggle with the pull … and since just a slight dull ache, the tooth was out and now I’m on the mend.
So why am I taking so much time in sharing this with my friends? For me, it’s clear that my tooth had become a symbol of sin in my life! How much I wanted to keep it! I even prayed for it to stay! But as Jesus shows us, sin must be completely removed from our lives and to do so, we must first accept the fact that we have sin, and often times that comes from others who have access to speak into your lives! If we would only humble ourselves and receive it! Then we have to take action and the preparation may have more anguish than the removal! Then there is the struggle to actually removing the sin which takes a willful act of the heart to accept the truth of the matter and remember what your mind already knows… sin has got to go! Then when you can look and see the sin for what it is you can get a measure of what God has always said about sin… it’s ugly and should not be part of His elect! In my case that tooth looked diseased with various colors of white, red an green and did not look like something that should have been in my mouth to begin with!
So, now that that this battle is over, although I’m still having some ache, I can thank the Lord that his Word is right and that sin is THE problem! We want to keep our sin. We think by praying over our sin that it will somehow be changed to something apart from sin! Yet the truth is, sin is the spiritual disease that most often times plays out in our physical body. Each of us must recognize our own sin for what it is and inspect every part of lives! And when we do, we will find the Lord’s favor! As the Psalmist says:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 ESV)