I received a call this past week from my parents. My mother, as most of you might remember, has alzheimer's and desperately wanted me to come get her. It was a long, hard two hour conversation that actually crazily ended suddenly with her forgetting why she called me.
Later, I found myself wondering idly if God would ever forgive me. If there was ever any way I would be able to repent my way out of knowingly not being there for my mother. For telling her no. For hardening my heart against the accusations she tearfully flung at me and sitting here in San Antonio away from the suffering she's going through. There's no way to repent from that... this will forever be a black mark on my record. I will forever be the person that did this to her mother. How can Christ forgive that intentional choice?
And suddenly I realized what I'd done. By continuing that thought process I'd allowed myself to become at odds with Christ, separated from God by sin.
When I haven't even sinned.
The Bible describes the devil as an accuser of the brethren and it's entirely accurate. He leans into your ear and tells you of the things you feel you've failed at and lets you know that God is too good to put up with someone like you. God is too holy, to just to allow someone who would do what I've done into His presence.
But, I'm in San Antonio, far away from my "rightful place" taking care of my mother because God wants me in San Antonio. I don't know why, I don't know what purpose He has in taking me away from her now when she and my dad could use my help the most - but it was instigated by God Himself. So during this time I can either allow my accuser to separate me from Christ, or I can draw closer to Christ to help get me through the hard times.
I tell you this because it's too easy to listen to the devil. To not realize who it is that is talking to you. To understand the difference between the Holy Spirit conviction on your soul and the accuser condemning your soul. Just because you do what God wants you to do doesn't mean that everything else in the world will be wonderful. Sometimes you go to China on a missions trip just as your wife gets sick. Sometimes you happen to be visiting someone at a hospital when someone breaks into your house. Sometimes things happen.
But as long as you're doing what God wants you to do, then simply take heart in that and trust His lead. He won't ever condemn you for doing what He tells you to do. He loves you.
So be careful to examine what you think you're hearing. And any voice that's telling you God can't forgive you - well, it's not the voice to listen to.