God Can't Forgive Me (Yet): When You Just Sinned

It was a very cold night in A2, which is common for Michigan. I was walking in long strides past Angel Hall, trying to get to the van before I was assigned push-ups (it's a long story...). I was about to pass two college students when one spoke:

“Are you celebrating [religious holiday] this year?” the girl asked, as I focused my attention on their next words.

“Nah,” said her companion, his discomfort apparent. “I can’t this time around…”

“Well, why not? It starts tonight.”

“No I know. It’s just that,” he paused in anxiety, and then barely whispered, “I drank alcohol last night….” Understanding streaked her face, but not mine, until, “yea, ’cause God won’t hear my prayers for 30 days..”

What?!” I audibly whispered. I almost laughed and cried at the absurdity.

The girl nodded with empathy, “I remember when that happened to me. You might as well not go, you’re right…”

Different turns made their next words inaudible, but his had been seared into my mind. ‘Cause God won’t hear my prayers for 30 days…

Copyright 2011, University of Michigan Photo Services

Copyright 2011, University of Michigan Photo Services

Years later, I stumble in this Christian walk. I cry, I ask Jesus for forgiveness, I beg, I plead, I promise, I strike deals (why do we do that?), but I don’t accept it.

My sin is still too fresh.

It’s too close to the time I deliberately walked away. I need passed time and forgiveness, because the latter can’t happen without the former.

Right?

Wrong. I scoffed at the two students from University of Michigan, but my life reveals the same concept with a different time limit. 30 days is over the top! I was thinking a week or so, but that’s just when the sin is ultra bad. Jeremiah 24:7 says to return with our whole heart not with a whole lot of time passed. 1 John 1:9 asks for confession of sin not a time-out session. It isn’t time that the Lord is waiting for. It’s our decision.

The longer we stay away from Jesus, the more time the adversary has to fill our minds with lies. But we stay away. For the same reason Adam and Eve hid in the garden.

I did something wrong and now I’m scared of You.

We spend so much time mulling over our sins we make the damage deeper than it needed. Maybe He won’t forgive me. It’s like we are gossiping about God in front of His face. Foolishness, go to Him and ask Him!

Feelings dictate nothing except feelings. Not reality, not truth, and certainly not God.

Don’t put a time limit on Gods forgiveness, because He never placed one there. Go to Him because you know only He can cleanse you. Don’t wait to feel like asking. Don’t wait to feel like accepting. Ask and accept instantly because His Word is sure. 

Lord, teach me to trust You over my emotions, my circumstances

May my confidence in You be consistently instantaneous.