If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. | 1 John 1:9
Abusing grace. I read this in a book the other day, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Hearing the term “abusing grace” sounded so horrible to me. Grace, which is a free and unmerited gift of God, should be valued and cherished – not abused! The more I studied this, the more I realized how guilty I have been of this abuse. There was a period in my life in which sin was left unchecked. Instead of recognizing my disobedience, I would just misuse God’s grace and continue on with my sinful nature. The struggle with sin will always be there. While it no longer has dominion over us as believers, if left unchecked, it will defeat us!
Being in God’s Word is a sure way to examine our hearts and to keep us focused on His will rather than our own desires. When we start to question His Word and don’t have a clear understanding of it, Satan will use that as opportunity to plant doubt in our hearts. For instance, let’s take a look at Eve and how she was so easily deceived.
In Genesis 3, we see this very tactic of doubt being used on Even in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 2:17, God explicitly told Adam that if he ate of the fruit, he would “surely die.” Satan placed doubt in Eve’s heart when he told her that she would, “surely not die.” Eve could have easily believed God’s holy words, but instead she heard what the Serpent said and saw that the tree “was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise.” Just as Satan deceived Eve, he does the same to us. If we are not quick to catch it and turn to God’s Word, we will begin to believe the lies he tells us – we will actually believe that there’s such a thing as “small sin” or that we can ask God for forgiveness later.
Friends, this fight against sin is not at end. We can’t believe the lies of Satan and then turn to God and lean on His compassion and mercy after we have committed the sin. We cannot abuse His grace! 1 John 1:9 speaks of forgiveness, but we are deceiving ourselves if we think that we can live in sin and receive forgiveness when it is beneficial to us. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross cost so much, and we should never think it is okay to abuse this gift of grace.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. | Psalms 139:23-24
Ask God to search your heart and examine your ways. Allow His Spirit to guide you in this struggle against sin. It is not something that we can do on our own. We must rely on Him and His strength. How privileged are we to have such a great Helper?