#40 A Closer Walk with the Lord

22 May 1999

"How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin"-Job 13:23 Even in the midst of his great trial, Job would seek a closer walk with God. If his suffering was due to sin, Job was honest about it, he wanted to know. And here we learn from a faithful brother as to how we, too, might walk closer to the Lord. We must approach One who knows our own hearts better than we do and ask, "How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin"-Job 13:23. It was Amos who asked, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?"-Amos 3:3. Of course, the answer is "they can not". Therefore, a closer walk with God requires agreement with God. We must be in agreement with Him concerning sin. Not only the sins of our society, but those personal sins that war against our own soul. We must ask and then agree with the answer that He reveals unto us, taking them to the throne of grace where forgiveness is abundant and power to overcome is complete. Some would suggest that they can count their sins as easily as they can count their fingers. But those who are honest, those who have been touched by the divine hand, know differently. David wrote, "Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults"-Psalm 19:12. David had learned from experience that a "secret fault", one that is yet unrevealed, is that very fault that will deal us the most misery. In this arena, ignorance is not bliss: "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird." When we become wise enough to recognize that we do not know our own hearts as well as the Lord, we find ourselves in good company. But why do I not ask this question more often? Have I ceased to sin? Do I really want to know? Do I fear a change will be required? Do I love my sin more than my God? Surely, we will never reach a plateau in this life that we cease to sin. So, why would we reach a platitude that we cease to ask? This, in itself, must be an evidence of my own depravity. Let us not desire to remain in ignorance. Let us pursue a closer walk. There was once a man who seemed devout in his devotions as he prayed, "Lord forgive me of my many sins and shortcomings". One passed by and said, "Yes, you have been guilty of the first commandment." But his reply was, "No, I have never broken that dear commandment." Another passed by and remarked, "But you have forsaken the second." To which he replied, "Oh, no, I have never broken that one either." Another passed by and accused the man of breaking the third. His reply was the same. Seven more passed by and accused the man of breaking the other seven in like manner. To all these his reply was one of denial. While it is one thing to acknowledge oneself as a sinner, it is quite another to be honest with God and say, "I am a thief; I have a problem with covetousness; I have lustful thoughts and desires of heart; I have a problem with anger; jealousy; bitterness; envy; my tongue. Then, and only then, will we find the grace to overcome those little foxes that spoil the vine and enjoy a closer walk with God. Let us not be vague with God. After all, God knows already. And for us to know, we must inquire from One who searches the heart. And what about the sins of "omission". Those things we should be doing that we do not do? What gifts and graces have been bestowed upon us from the giver of every good and perfect gift? Have we placed these under a bushel and not asked God to discover them to our own hearts? Are these not equally a plague to our walk? The question we ponder today is a tough one. It is uncomfortable; hard on the flesh; a blow to our pride; one that requires great struggles of the soul. It is not a question for the slothful. But what abundant peace that it yields and what amazing fellowship we will find as we learn more about our own soul as we weed out the source of separation between us and our Lord. Let us ever remember, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy"-Proverbs 28:13. Prosperity of soul is one of the sister graces of this great inquisition. Lord, today we ask:"How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin"- Job 13:23. Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115. by His Grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.