In the movie Troy, one of the main characters in the movie is Achilles, reputed to be the greatest warrior in the world. Achilles, played by Brad Pitt was a legend in his time. He defeated ominous giants with a single blow and could single-handedly slay an army of Trojan soldiers with impunity. Just the mere mention of his name struck fear in the hearts of his enemies. He seemed invincible, but Achilles had one weakness. Legend has it that when his mother dipped him in the River of Immortality as an infant, she held him by the heel, which left it vulnerable. And as you saw in the movie, the arrow that pierced his heel was what eventually caused his unlikely death. Hence we have the term, "Achilles' heel."
What about you? How many of you have weaknesses in your life? Well, welcome to the club! Obviously, none of us have achieved perfection, and we fall flat in our face many times, and for most of us, we fail over and over again. Weakness is not an option, it's a given.
So the more important question we need to ask is not if we have a weakness, but how do we deal with it? What do you suppose would happen to a good player if after his coach corrects him and shows him areas he needs to improve, still refuses to work on his game. He will start becoming less and less effective as a player for the team. The opponents will take advantage of his weaknesses. His coach will give him less and less playing time, because he has become a liability to the team, until someone takes his place on the court, and he starts riding the bench. Eventually, he may be cut from the team completely.
How many of us want to be either benchwarmers of losers? Obviously no one, and in the game we call life, we must also deal with weaknesses or imperfections in our life. The bible calls it a 3-letter word-- SIN. Sin literally means, "missing the mark."
Remember what we discussed last week, about how we can have CONFIDENCE because of what Christ has done for us on the cross? That our security and permanent relationship depends on the victory He won for us when we accepted His payment for our sins? But sometimes, even though we are sincerely seeking to walk with the Lord and please Him, we can be tempted and end up sinning. When this happens, our relationship with God is unaffected, but our fellowship with God is broken.
For example, a son decides one day to disobey his father, to leaves the safety of their home. Would he still be his father's son? (Yes, of course). The relationship of the father and son remains, no matter what happens. But what would happen to their fellowship? (It would be strained, broken, hindered). What would be the consequences for the son? (Even though the father still loves him, the son won't be able to experience the benefits of the father's love. He can't live in the father's home nor enjoy his provision and protection, even though the father may want to make it available to him.)
So it is with our relationship with God! The moment we received Jesus Christ into our hearts, we are adopted into God's family, not because of any good thing we have done but because of the Name of Jesus.
But we need to deal with sin in our lives, or we may become like the player who becomes ineffective and unproductive for his team and coach, or like Achilles who met his downfall because of his vulnerability.
The Bible says: " He who conceals his sin will not prosper."
Its also says, "If we confess our sins, He is just and faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."(1 John 1:9)
Confession involves 3 things:
1) Agree 2) Thank 3) Repent
Agree with God that what He has revealed to you as sin IS SIN. Don' rationalize or justify but acknowledge. (The Greek translation of the word confess means "to say the same thing.")
Thank God that He has forgiven all your sins, past, present and future because of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross-- His blood is the only currency God accepts as payment for your sin.
Repent- A change of attitude about the sin, which results in a change of action. It's a 180-degree turn and a sincere desire to turn away from that sin because it displeases God.
Right now, I'd like to give a chance to all of you who want to take some time to confess and acknowledge sin in your life to God. Maybe the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart and you want to surrender areas of your life or secret sins that you may be harboring. Now is the time to make it right. Humble yourself and ask for the Lord's cleansing in your life. Experience the depth of His love by asking for His forgiveness.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;