Last week I had three wisdom teeth extracted. It was not fun. For those who have never had their wisdom teeth extracted I suggest to avoid it if at all possible. For a whole week I ran fever and my face was swollen. I did not get sick, but I am definitely sick of my mouth hurting. Of course my pain and decreased considerably, but I am still reminded of what happened every time I eat or drink. The weirdest thing I am getting used to is being able to fill the holes that were in my mouth with my tongue. I started thinking about this process and it reminds me of how God deals with the sin in our lives. My question I have for you is, have you allowed God to pull your teeth?
It is interesting how wisdom teeth kinda creep up on you. They remain under the surface of your gums. Until they break through, you have to get x-rays to see them. The dentist then determines the best course of action. Wisdom teeth can cause major problems and become very painful. They can even mess up the other teeth in your mouth. The best course of action for most people is to just have them removed.
The sin in our lives resemble wisdom teeth a whole lot. Some sin is seen all the time, but for a lot of us our sin it is very subversive. It remains under the radar. No matter what type of sin that is in our lives it takes an outside source to determine the correct action for our sin. It is God who has promised to deal with our sin. This is a good thing because we cannot deal with our sin ourselves. Just like I can not cut our my own wisdom teeth, I can not cut out my sin by myself. I need God. We all need God to deal with our sin.
God promises in Isaiah 43, “I, I am the one who wipes out your rebellious behavior for my sake. I won’t remember your sin.” In other words, it is God who cuts or extracts your sin. The times when we do not love each other or ourselves and especially the times we do not love God, God is the one who corrects it. God does this by cutting away those attitudes and behaviors that cause pain. He confronts our sinful nature and then promises that after it has been cut away that particular sin will not be remembered, it will never come back to haunt us. He simply throws it away.
The problem we face is that it really hurts when God cuts away our sin. We like to sin. In fact we love to sin. The problem is that sin is not natural. We were never created to sin. We were created to love God and love neighbor. We were created to be the image of God in creation. Sin is NOT the image of God. So when we sin we are the farthest away we can possible be from being that which God created us to be.
If something was un-natural grew on your body wouldn’t you want it to be cut away? Well sin is the most un-natural thing that is a part of your life. The problem is that we have gotten so used to the “un-natural” that the “natural” does not feel right. In fact it feels wrong. So when God cuts our sin away we feel lost, empty, and defeated. Kinda like having a hole in your mouth that you can feel with your tongue.
It is at this part that an amazing thing happens. When God cuts away your sin, He fills the void with His Holy Spirit. He does not let the hole in your life remain empty. He fills it with His very presence of love, mercy, and grace. Sure it hurts and most of the time it takes a lot of time to heal, but all I have to say is that IT IS WORTH THE PAIN.
The interesting thing is that after the pain the real struggle begins. Just because God cuts your sin from you does not mean you escape the reality of your sin. Your sin causes pain and hurt. It has affected people in your life. But their is beauty in feeling the effects of our sin. We feel and deal with the effects of our sin to show us the power of love and grace. Our lives are transformed because we remember our sin. We remember the pain it brought and our hearts cry out to never do that again.
Charles Wesley wrote an amazing hymn called “Love Divine, All Love Excelling.” This is probably one of my favorite songs of all time. It is truly a prayer I pray in my life. Anyway, one of the lines in the song says this, “take away our bent to sinning.” Actually a better way of saying this is, “take away our love for sinning.” That is an awesome line. It is also an awesome prayer. We should desire that God cuts our love for sinning from us. It should be our number one goal in life. It will hurt, but God’s promise is that it will not hurt for long. YOU WILL BE HEALED!!!
A great rendition of Wesley’s song is by Rend Collective “Love Divine”. Give it a listen.