In 1997, I was at a Passion for Jesus conference in Kansas City. The presence of God in the Convention Center was so powerful and so overwhelming, as thousands from all over the country and the world gathered in one accord to praise Jesus for hours! All I could do was sob and fall on my face before Him, as He filled my heart with His love and holiness.
Suddenly, a memory of the worst sin I have ever committed flashed before my eyes. The Lord was convicting me of unconfessed sin out of His love for me, in order to purify me more. I had long ago repressed the memory of the sin, but God knows everything!
The sin had happened many, many, many years before, when I was lost and alone and ignorant of the Word of God. (I did not grow up in a Christian home). It happened before I knew Jesus as my Lord, when I was in great emotional turmoil and pain, desperately searching for truth and purpose. I had gone to an Eastern meditation conference at an ashram in New York. The theme for the weekend was “love.” The Bible was quoted many times. My thought was: “Maybe we all do reincarnate through many lifetimes until we evolve into “higher consciousness,” and really learn to love and be wise like the guru. Maybe this guru could help me.”
Outside the ashram was a statue of the guru, who was in India at the time. Following suit with others, I actually bowed before the statue, and asked him to help me through that tumultuous time of my life! As I remembered this in Kansas City, sobs wracked my body. I groaned inwardly, and said, “Oh, God, I’m so sorry! How can you possibly love me?!” Then I heard Him gently say, “I love you more than My own life.” I was completely overcome by His mercy and forgiveness, as His cleansing love washed over me.
My heart has been so touched by the following scripture: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NKJ)
As the hymn says:
“Amazing love! How can it be?
That Thou, my God, should die for me?”
All of us are tempted to bow down to idols of some kind, and they don’t have to be made of stone. The idols may be our jobs, our children, our intellect, money, “success” in the world’s eyes, a person, material things, tv, or food. I’ve learned that anything that interferes with Jesus taking first place is an idol. Many of us have been carrying that guilt, or the guilt of a secret or repressed sin that we believe is unforgivable.
We can take comfort from God’s Word that says: “When we confess our sins before him, He is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
We can all rest in knowing that Jesus loves us more than His own life. God is good, and He speaks today!