Sometimes God allows me to experience temporary physical ailments or discomforts to illustrate a message He is speaking to me. Sometimes I wish He wouldn’t (smile) but I’m beginning to understand it’s one of the ways He opens the eyes of my understanding more deeply.
This past week, I woke up with a painful ankle. As a dancer, I knew I was pinching a nerve, and that it needed to “work itself out”, or possibly I needed my chiropractor to adjust it. But God immediately spoke to my spirit, and told me He was speaking to me. He said it would be temporary, and to simply listen …
As I limped around the house, getting showered and ready for my day, I hoped the pain would subside quickly, as my daily work (dance & fitness education) requires the use of my legs and feet predominantly. Even though I knew it was only a pinched nerve, it reminded me of times past when I have sprained an ankle, had a knee injury, experienced heel spurs, etc. I mentally recounted how during those past injuries, how I limped around for days, or weeks, or months. I recalled how the pain of those injuries caused me to favor the injured leg/ankle/knee, and put undue stress on the other leg/ankle/knee. I remembered how, the pain and stress of the injured leg, caused me to overload my stronger leg, and eventually weaken it.
One particular ailment many years ago, heel spurs, caused me to limp for several months. My right foot/heel was very painful and I was unable to dance. And even with my limited movement, my left leg became weak and sore from carrying the majority of my weight during those months. Eventually, even my left hip became painful. In short, the pain from the heel spur in my right heel, caused my left leg and hip to become weak, and out of joint. With that left hip now out of joint, it caused my lower spine to become misaligned, and I began to experience back pain that affected my whole body. It took a few months of chiropractic care, to get my spine, hips, ankles, and knees back into proper alignment, all from the limp I was experiencing from the pain in my right heel. Praise God I eventually recovered.
So as I was limping around the house one morning this past week, from a pinched nerve in my right ankle, God brought back to my memory my past dance injuries, and how they affected my body. And then HE spoke this to my spirit… “This is how sin in a believer’s life affects them spiritually, and how sin in the Body of Christ, affects the entire Body of Christ spiritually.” I waited for God to give me further revelation.
When we as believers in Jesus Christ, carry known areas of sin in our lives, that we are unrepentant for, unwilling to submit to His Lordship, it weakens us spiritually. It causes us to “limp” in that area of our lives. We rationalize that “it’s just a little sin, it doesn’t affect anyone else, it doesn’t really affect me that much, I can carry this sin without much or any adverse repercussions.” The enemy uses our pride and rebellion to convince us that our little sins, or private sins, our personal sins, are not really that big of a deal, and they don’t affect us very much at all. But just like my heel spur in my right foot many years ago, that sin causes a spiritual limp that can cause great pain that eventually affects our entire body.
Consider how infidelity can affect a marriage. Let’s suppose that a married woman has a secret lover, but one she only sees sporadically. The married woman’s secret affair causes her to lie to her husband, children, friends and family, all in an effort to cover her sin. Although her family, friends, and loved ones may not be aware of her lies, those lies have spiritual consequences. They spiritually weaken her relationships, and eventually her family, friends, and loved ones begin to feel uneasy in their relationship with her, and feel as though they cannot trust her, even though they don’t understand why they feel this way. Her lies to cover her personal, private, secret sin… weaken her relationships with those around her, even though her infidelity has nothing to do with them. I won’t even elaborate on how her infidelity weakens her marriage with her husband; that reality should be self-explanatory.
Or let’s suppose that a married man, has a pornography addiction that he only indulges occasionally. He rationalizes that’s he’s not hurting anyone, he’s just indulging his private fantasies. But his pornography use erodes his spiritual, emotional, and intellectual view of women in general, and causes him to view them as objects of lust, rather than persons who should be loved, protected, and honored. His private pornography addiction weakens his relationship with his wife, negatively affects their love making, weakens his respect for women in general, and even erodes and undermines how he raises and trains his daughters in male/female relationships. His private pornography use, no matter how infrequent, causes pain and “misalignment” in all his relationships with women, not just in his relationship with his wife.
Well, you say… “I don’t have sins that big or significant. Mine are much less severe.” But are they really? Every time God illuminates an area of sin in our lives, and we refuse to repent and submit it to His Lordship, that area of sin becomes a greater stronghold. It becomes a greater place of weakness spiritually, and causes adverse repercussions in our entire lives, we just don’t see it immediately. Just like my heel spur in my right foot, eventually caused weakness and pain in my left foot, and then my left knee, and left hip, and lower left back, and eventually my entire back… So unrepented sin does the same to our lives spiritually. No sin is a “little” sin that’s “not a big deal”.
And this is not only what happens to us personally, but consider how unrepented sin in the Body of Christ, in like manner weakens the Body of Christ as a whole! When we entertain private personal sins, that negatively affect our relationship with God, and our relationships with those around us; Do we think our private personal sins don’t affect the Body of Christ as a whole??? Our unrepented sin weakens the Body of Christ, and causes her to become ineffective, powerless, without spiritual authority to bring healing, salvation, or repentance to the lost. Our private personal sins weaken our witness in the community, and cause shame and disgrace to the Name of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Our private personal sins cause us to lack spiritual authority in heavenly and earthly realms so that our prayers and intercession are ineffective. The prayer of a RIGHTEOUS man avails much… Our private personal sins have FAR REACHING implications, much greater than we can see with the naked eye, and longer lasting than we ever imagined.
My pinched nerve in my right ankle eventually “worked itself out” within an hour, and I went about my day with joy and strength for the work God has called me to do. But that temporary pain, reminded me of a more permanent reality… UNREPENTED SIN IN A BELIEVER’S LIFE IS A REALLY BIG DEAL, no matter how “small” we think that sin is!!!
The return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is much sooner than we realize. And He is returning for a blameless Bride, GLORIOUS IN HOLINESS. Ephesians 5:25-27 just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless. Revelation 19:6-8 Then I heard something like the shout of a vast multitude, and like the boom of many pounding waves, and like the roar of mighty peals of thunder, saying,“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all] reigns. “Let us rejoice and shout for joy! Let us give Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb has come [at last] and His bride (the redeemed) has prepared herself.” She has been permitted to dress in fine linen, dazzling white and clean—for the fine linen signifies the righteous acts of the saints [the ethical conduct, personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character of believers].
How can we claim that we LOVE HIM, that we honor Him, that we adore Him, when we still walk in rebellion and unrepented sin toward Him? Beloved saints, PLEASE don’t continue to walk with the limp of unrepented sin anymore. Lay your hearts at the foot of the cross, and allow His grace and mercy to wash over you, so that your righteousness is as a glorious, radiant wedding garment (Rev. 19)
Lamentations 3:21-23 But this I call to mind, Therefore I have hope. It is because of the Lord’s lovingkindnesses that we are not consumed, Because His [tender] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.