Proverbs 5:21 For a man's ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.
We might can fool some of the people some of the time. We might even fool ourselves. But we can never fool the Lord. He sees all and knows all. Our lives are an open book to Him--even to the very intent of our heart.
King David was a man of whom it was said that he was a man after God's own heart. Yet, he still sinned. He, at home when he probably should have gone out to war with his troops, observed a woman bathing and called her to his chambers and committed adultery with her. Then he tried to hide his sin by actually having her husband killed. God sent the prophet Nathan to him to remind him that God saw all and knew all. God pointed out David's guilt to him. But it's David's response to his guilt that we may learn from. Psalm 51 is recorded to reveal his repentance and turning away from his sin. Verse 3 says, For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. He further asks God to "purge" him and to Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. He asked God for deliverance and restoration. And as he offered to God a broken heart, God healed him. However, David suffered the consequences of his sin. In his own family, he reaped the consequences, as he dealt with betrayal, rape, and immorality from his own children, the seed he had sown coming to fruition. I sometimes wonder if he failed to convey to his children their need for repentance, as well. Perhaps they just didn't lay hold of it. Each of us must take responsibility for and give account for our own lives. Ezekiel 18 has much to say about this if you'd like to read further. Let me just mention the final few verses of that chapter: "Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
In the New Testament, in the book of Galatians, we are told, Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (6:7, 8). Ephesians 6 further clarifies our struggle. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. It goes on to tell us how to defend against such. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Read on and you will find the pieces of that armor. We need to be fully clothed in God every moment of every day. Jesus dealt on several occasions with demonic forces, spiritual entities that have oppressed those who have opened doors and welcomed them in, most times unknowingly. Those forces didn't just go away. They are still at work today. But Jesus is still Lord over all. The Jews, when repenting, would oftentimes tear their garment and put ashes on their heads as a sign of repentance. We need to tear our old garments and be clothed anew in the new creation to which we are called and birthed. There is much more to say about this subject. But for now, suffice it to say from 1 John 4:4, You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. I John also has much to say about this. It calls us to true repentance, not just saying we're sorry, but true repentance involves actually turning away from our sin, with the power of the Holy Spirit enabling us by the grace of God. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. Jesus did not save us from our sins only for us to be swallowed up by them and rendered powerless over them. No, His salvation is full and complete and He gives us victory over all that would oppose us. We just have to walk it out in our lives. Let us wash in the blood of the Lamb. Let us clothe ourselves with Christ, who is our armor.