“Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me.” Psalm 51:1-3 HCSB
If we are following Christ’s teachings then we can be certain that God will highlight any sinful behaviors that need to be addressed in our lives. What if your sin is caused by an attitude that was created in you because of something you experienced? Maybe even as a child.
In the book Living the Extraordinary Life by Dr. Charles Stanley, he says in the chapter God Refines Us By Fire:
God deals not only with acts of transgression, but also with preprogrammed attitudes from youth. For many believers it isn't a matter of overt sin or not loving the Lord, but something from the past that may be stunting spiritual growth.
He went on to say, “the Lord sends adversity intense enough to cause deeper examination than usual.”
One of the things that God showed me over time was an underlying anger I had. It would rise up in me under pressure, and I hated the way it made me feel and act. The Biblical definition of repent is a change of mind that results in a change of action; I was ready for change.
At the time, there were circumstances in my life creating very intense pressure. During a period of fasting, I found my way to Psalm 51 and I began to see how to pray for a clean heart. Somehow God actually used the pressure in my life to get me to a point where I was able to begin to yield (give up) my anger to Him. I cannot really explain it, but I am certain that it was God somehow purging my heart under that intense pressure.
I wish there was an easier way. It was extremely painful to say the least. And this process continued for quite a long while. In fact, sometimes I still feel the pressure. It beckons me to surrender my broken will for his perfect will in my life. I know God does this to help us reach our spiritual potential.
Someone once told me that cancer could be caused by turning anger on self. I did that for a long time. I pushed it down inside of me because I knew it was sinful behavior. Ultimately, I believed that God wanted to set me free of it.
And He is.