When I Sin On Purpose

Do you ever sin on purpose? I don't like admitting it, but I do. It breaks God's heart. Thankfully, when I turn to Him, He forgives and washes it all away.

This summer God wooed me to a study of some of the most treasured promises found in Scripture. This one was especially meaningful for me. It came when I needed to know and understand God’s forgiveness.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

After mulling this over for a bit, I read the entire chapter to establish the context. Isaiah used vivid word pictures to describe Israel’s condition as a result of her rebellion. Battered from head to toe. Covered in bruises, welts, and infected sores. God said that her heart was sick, too. Likewise, Jerusalem was abandoned and in ruins (v. 5-8).

God told Israel that even an ox and a donkey recognize their owners and respond to their care. Think about your own pets and how they respond when you feed them, play with them, love on them. Our pets return our affection. (Well, most of them do!)

Not so with Israel. Even though God provided and cared for her, she ignored Him, continuing in a sinful lifestyle (v. 3). Then she offered the appropriate sacrifices (without a repentant heart), thinking that would please God.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC) says this:

The people had the mistaken idea that they could live any way they pleased, so long as they made restitution in the sacrificial system. But instead of trusting in religious ritual (vv. 10–15) the people were to obey God and have the right attitudes toward Him and the right actions toward others.1

Sound familiar? It’s easy to read about rebellious Israel and get all judgy over her sinful choices. Or the sinful choices of many in our world today. But God stopped my thoughts and turned them inward.

You know, Selah.

I hate to say it, but sometimes this is me. Yes, sometimes I sin on purpose. Often I make mistakes and recover quickly. I confess my sin, ask forgiveness from those I offended, and move forward. Other times, my response pivots in the opposite direction. I choose to disobey God.

  • I realize I’m driving a few miles over the speed limit. Do I correct? Or push it even further?
  • I catch myself starting to share some juicy tidbit. Do I stop? Change the subject? Or do I barrel ahead, lambasting someone’s character?
  • I find myself frustrated with one of my kids. Do I pause? Shift gears and approach the situation calmly? Or do I set all reason aside and respond in anger?
  • I crave—whatever unhealthy food choice is available at my house. It might not even be unhealthy, but overindulgence.

What did God think when Israel sinned on purpose?

God was weary with Israel’s insincere sacrifices (v. 11-14).  He wanted her to stop and return to Him in genuine repentance.

The first phrase in Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us settle the matter.” Some translations use the word reason. The BKC explains that this is a legal term used for convincing the court of the truth. Israel needed to understand and be convinced that God was right. Her attitudes and actions were wrong toward Him and others.

What does God think when I sin on purpose?

I read this the day after an extended weekend of poor eating choices. After focusing on this passage for a while, God shone His light on my wrong attitudes and actions.

I’ve been on a healthy eating plan all year. It’s been tough. But God has supported me with mountains of His grace. There is a time, a place, and a way to enjoy “off plan treats.” But I didn’t do that. I abandoned my plan altogether. It was not a moral or social sin, but it was not God’s plan. And in that, I fell short of His mark.

It’s not comfortable to admit that I sin on purpose. But sometimes I do.

Why? Because my flesh craves something. Control. Pride. Food. Stuff.

But I don’t feel like being strong or asking God for His strength. And I know God will forgive me later.

There. I said it. I’m no different than rebellious Israel.

What God wanted from Israel and what He wants from me are the same.

True devotion. The right attitude of obedience from a heart of love, followed by actions that honor Him.

God wants true devotion. Obedience from a heart of love, followed by actions that honor Him.Click To Tweet

New Beginnings

Have you tried to remove a red blotch from fabric? It is difficult to get rid of. That’s how it is with our sin. It leaves an ugly stain that cannot be washed away with simple soap and water.

We’re going to make mistakes. (Hopefully most of them won’t be on purpose.)

But when we turn to God with the right attitude, convinced that He is right and we are wrong, He gives us a new start (Lamentations 3:22-23). He stands ready to remove our sin stain. When we offer Him the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17), God cleans away our sin in one fell swoop (1 John 1:9). What was once red, crimson, scarlet, becomes fresh and white as new snow–leaving no trace of what was once there.

True Change

Later in Isaiah, the prophet describes (the future) Israel when she is fully trusting her God. (We studied this beautiful promise, too!)

“We have a strong city! The Lord’s deliverance, like walls and a rampart, makes it secure. Open the gates so a righteous nation can enter—one that remains trustworthy. You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith, for they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:1-3 NET)

What a change! Now Israel has the right heart toward God. The result? A strong city–completely safe and secure.

How did she get there? She maintained her faith and trusted her God.

How do we get to this place?

It’s not easy. It starts with keeping our eyes focused on the Lord (Hebrews 12:1-3) and growing our faith in Him. As we delight ourselves in God, He replaces our earthly inclinations with desires that please Him (Psalm 37:4). And, they please us!

God provided Israel’s story for me at the right time. I was in need of a fresh vision for my personal goals, for God’s intent for my life. God wants me strong and secure in Him. At peace because my eyes are focused on Him and my heart is fully trusting Him (Isaiah 26:3 NLT).

Guess what, God wants the the same for you!

 

Dianne

1 Walvoord, John F., and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.


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18 replies

  1. Hi Dianne, I just wanted to tell you this post is SO good! It touched my heart! I, too, am no different than rebellious Israel. There, I said it, too! 😉 I pray today that I will live the true devotion that you mentioned. The right attitude of obedience from a heart of love, followed by actions that honor Him. Yes, may it be so, Lord!

    • Thanks, Alyson. So glad God used this to touch your heart. We serve a great God, who is ready to forgive! And to give us new starts. Blessings to you this day!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with obedience. I find myself getting that “check in the Spirit” when I start to move toward the wrong choice. Little things like not placing the buggy in the buggy cart parking at the grocery store, not putting an item back on the shelf where it belongs, or believing the rules don’t apply to me! Not proud of these thoughts. I learned a while ago, if you’re going to pray, you need to obey!

    • Good thoughts, Robin. The little things really do matter. When we evaluate our attitude toward them, it sheds new light light on our true motives.

  3. This is a.great.post! Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding us that we all have the same heart where we consciously or unconsciously choose to sin. Thank God that He is gracious, merciful and oh, so forgiving when we acknowledge our sin and repent. I love the fact that when our hearts’ desire is to have more of Him, how He will gently lead us to see/read what He wants us to learn so we can get right in those areas. Again, great post, Dianne!

    Visiting from Counting My Blessings.

    • Thanks, Cindy. Yes … my heart’s desire is to have more of Him, too. Was just praying this morning about getting right in certain areas … and He led me to the right Scripture … He is so faithful!

  4. Thanks for this post. It challenges me as I don’t really think about the fact that I sin on purpose but I do. It’s easy to let small things go and think it doesn’t really matter when it does. I’m grateful for God’s promises of forgiveness and restoration. Visiting from thr RaRaLinkUp.

    • Yes, Lesley. It is a challenge. We all mess up. But true devotion is revealed in our hear when we return to our God. I’m with you … there’s nothing like forgiveness and restoration. <3

  5. Dianne, this isn’t an easy subject to talk about, but I’m glad you did. Your words are speaking to me today. I recently decided to be more intentional in my obedience to God. I desire to have a heart with the right response toward Him and long for true and lasting change.
    KellyRBaker recently posted…Use Prayer Sticks to Spice up Your Family WorshipMy Profile

    • I”m so glad, Kelly. I love how God confirms His word to us in places we aren’t looking. I too long for for true and lasting change. Thanks for taking time to ready today.

  6. So true, Dianne! I’ve been studying the attributes of God this summer and seeing more clearly who we are against a holy God. Oh for grace to love Him more!

  7. Ummm….the one about being frustrated with the kids and choosing how to respond…yeah…I messed that one up big time yesterday! I made the wrong choice and God convicted me later that morning. I apologized to my child – so thankful she is so full of grace!
    Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

    • Ahhh, Aimee … your sweet daughter. You’ve trained her well, Mama! She is reflected the grace of her Savior! Blessings to you and your family!!

  8. Thank goodness God has given us new hearts to trust him. We have a wonderful God who shows us so much grace.

  9. I know God is weary with me often. Great words here today!

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