Summary: This is based on Max Lucado’s Fearless campaign week 3. The fear of disappointing God, being unforgiven, God remembering your sins. We are fully and freely forgiven, adopted, and can silence the voice of condemnation.
Fearless #3 The Fear of Disappointing God
A discussion I’ve often heard, a question often asked is: what is the unforgivable sin? When is that we cross the line and can’t come back? Is there a time when God is finished with us and we are beyond saving?
Why do people ask that? Because we are worried that maybe we have gone too far, done that thing once too many times, played with fire and now it’s too late, that we have really done it this time, that the door is closed and won’t open to us again. We fear that God has shut us out.
But maybe another fear is: are we really forgiven or does God secretly remember? If God is forgiven me than why do I remember? Or maybe our thinking tells us that the health issue we face is because God is mad at us, or that the rebellion of our children is God getting back at us for smoking, or that behind our back God is planning for us to fall.
Today is a third week in our fearless campaign today we want to look at this nagging fear that we’re disappointed God so much that he holds it against us. And we want to get fearless about believing that we are fully and freely forgiven.
Computers have a feature called system restore. System restore allows you to turn back the date on a computer to an earlier time when the computer work better? Unfortunately our life doesn’t come with the system restore because I’m sure some of us would unmake choices, not pick up that phone call, not go to that party, not accept that date, and a lot of other things.
Is anybody here haunted by a memory, a mistake, a sin that has just dogged your life, stolen your confidence, something that has been thrown into your face every time you were on the verge of moving forward?
- The baby out of wedlock?
- A financial losing streak that just about did you in?
- That same old sin that you’re afraid someone might find about?
- That crazy days at college?
- An opportunity that you completely blew?
- The failed marriage?
Somehow we figure we can’t forgive our self, then how can God forgive us? If we can’t forget, how can God forget?
It is time to get free the fearless about forgiveness.
Matthew 9:1 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city.
2And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, "Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven."
There are a couple things about this passage of scripture that stretches our thinking:
FIRST – there’s the obvious- coming for one thing and getting another. You had all the elements of a great miracle… Paralyzed man… The power of Jesus… An obvious faith. I’m sure they were surprised when Jesus said “your sins are forgiven” instead of “get up and walk.”
Can we just conclude from that that Jesus sees and wants to touch our deepest needs and our deepest needs aren’t always the most obvious ones?
Maybe you come here today and the obvious need of your life is for a family miracle, or a financial miracle or even a physical healing. But what might not be so obvious is that what you really need is a brand new start, you need a system restore, you need that unforgiven episode of your life to be dealt with because it’s holding you back everywhere else.
SECOND – notice how Jesus links courage and forgiven sins. We have probably passed over a scripture like this 1000 times and never noticed that link, I certainly have. But now I see it. Fearless living, courageous living, living with an expectation of God’s favor all have in common is the need to be forgiven, the need to have that deep dark secret removed from our life, the need for those major blunders to never haunt us again.
What was this guys sin? This guys sin was so big that it paralyzed him. It left him helpless and hopeless. Unforgiven sin has a tendency to do this to us, leave us paralyzed, leave us fearful, leave us on the outside of God’s blessing and leave us without courage. I don’t know what this guys sin was but Jesus knew that he would never be able to live a fearless life until he was free from that sin.
And for some of us here we may have cried out for forgiveness but the stain of what we’ve done still paralyzes us.
Maybe with real forgiveness we will find courage to live life on God’s terms and we will stop fearing that somehow God is behind why we are paralyzed. He wants you to be well! He wants you to be healed! He wants you to be living forgiven! He wants you free!