I am currently going through a workbook study and the author stated he had perceived a time of silence from God and suggested that when that happens, we should go through our “sin checklist” and make sure there wasn’t any unconfessed sin in our lives. After completing our sin checklist with God, we were free to approach Him again and see if the silence had broken. I completely disagree with this approach.
To suggest that we can simply go through a sin inventory and at the end feel really confident in ourselves is scary to me. At the end of such a sin checklist, I would be feeling pretty good about myself for being “sin free” and then worthy of approaching God. Wow, that just reeks of pride. Oops. Better get back to that checklist and add pride! As you can see, this approach is really a vicious cycle that would never end. How would we ever be sin free enough to approach God? We couldn’t be. Plus I disagree with the idea that God goes silent because of sin. If that were the case, He would never talk to us!
I like the Apostle Paul because he didn’t try to fool himself or anyone else about his core nature. In Romans 7:18 he writes that “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Well that sums up post-Garden living pretty nicely, doesn’t it?
Because of the shift that happened in the Garden of Eden, everything about people is now sinful; even without us speaking a word. Jesus knew that and died for that exact reason. He knew we could never pray through a sin checklist and get it all cleared up before coming into His presence. Let’s not ever fool ourselves into feeling “good” enough to approach God. It is by His grace and His grace alone that we even have breath in our lungs.
The great news about His grace is that since we can never earn the right to have it, we can never lose that right either. It is freely a gift He has chosen to give us. Unbelievable, I know…