Until recently, I didn't think I was such a bad person. Back then, if you had asked me if I was a good person and gave me one of those cartoon tracts I would've shrugged and thrown it away. It is ironic that those tracts that I have been giving away to share the gospel were so applicable to me. I didn't think my sins were too serious. I was hardened against God and blind to my own sins.
I didn't realize the sinfulness of my heart until these recent months when God has been revealing all the wrong motives and hidden sins that I had in my heart.
I had the sin of pride. Subconsciously, I was always comparing myself to others and if I felt I was "better" than somebody it made me feel better. Pride became the scales that blinded me to all the other sins that were hidden in my heart. I denied those others sins existed because I knew if I acknowledged them then I would have to live with the reality that I am truly a sinful wretch and that there is really nothing good in me.
I was living a lie. The lie that I am a good person because my "good" works and the "insignificance" of my sins. I would never acknowledge it but in my proud heart I believed it. The deception and denial grew even deeper as I began to believe that lie was the truth.
As pride and deception took free rein over my life naturally I became more self-focused, self-conscious and selfish. I was more prone to depression because I would wallow in sinful self-pity when things wouldn't go my way. I became more critical and began condemning others in my own self-righteousness and blind pride.
I became very aware of my pride and hypocrisy in these most recent months. I didn't know how to react to it. So I wanted to run away. Run away from church and go back into the world where I believed I would be accepted and be free from condemnation and hypocrisy. I was wrong. The world and its ways seemed enticing at first and I felt good to be free from the conviction of sin. But something was wrong. The world was so wicked and I knew the deeper I go into it the more wickedness I will see. I would become just like them. I realized all I was doing was running away from reality. The reality of my sins.
Just two weeks ago something happened so I called Jdsn because I was really confused. I rarely talk with Jdsn unless it is something serious. She told me plainly what spirits were operating in my life and how I gave them a foothold with my sins. She also told me very plainly to repent. That was it! Repent! I realized it has been a long time I have truly repented for anything so I thought that is a good idea. I repented. I didn't feel anything. There was no sudden eureka moment of freedom. I just repented. It was not until the next day I realized I was free! Free from the evil spirits that have tormented me for so very long. I was genuinely joyful. God has forgiven me! I remember thinking God is really good and this time I sincerely know that is true! My relationship with God took a complete 180. I don't feel like running away from God anymore. Now I truly want to know Him. I only had a small taste of God's amazing grace but it really was amazing! So this is the joy of salvation that King David was talking about! It is incredible. For the first time in my life I realized God truly does love me.
To boil this long response down into one statement---here's the simple truth that I have learned in the past two weeks and from this sermon:
God always forgives the humbled sinner who truly repents.