What do you do when you sin? You’ve committed yourself to Jesus. You laid down your life before Him. You allowed His Holy Spirit to change your heart and your mind. Your habits and desires have changed. You see Him at work in the things you do. But you’ve sinned against your neighbor, against your God, against yourself. What’s the next step? Do you stay down, give up, wait for a later time when your feelings of guilt have subsided? Or do you repent immediately and come boldly before the throne of grace?
Jesus said to the man He healed at the pool of Bethesda and the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, “Go and sin no more”. He did not come to condemn us, but to save us (John 3:17). Our enemy, the evil one, would say to us, “Give up. Walk away. You’re just going to keep failing, so stop trying.” However, since he knows that most of us eventually crawl back to God because there is, of course, nowhere else to go, his most successful tactic is to convince us to wait. It’s in our waiting that the enemy makes his gains. It’s in the waiting that relationships are lost, wounds are inflicted, sadness, depression, and despair are cultivated. Waiting provides the opportunity for anger, rebellion, and bitterness to derail you and cause huge setbacks in your journey. So don’t wait! Go!
Jesus didn’t say to the woman who was caught in adultery to wait until her heart was right or until she felt better. He told her that He did not condemn her and to go and live a righteous life. “Sin no more”, He said. What can you do when you commit a really bad sin? You can go and sin no more. In fact, the quicker you turn away from disobedience and reengage in the good deeds that God has prepared for you to do, the more God’s kingdom and his people prosper from your role in His plan.
One more thing. Abandon your dependence on feelings to affirm your direction. Feelings are followers, not leaders. They are completely unreliable. Do the things that you know you should do, and your feelings will follow most of the time. And even if they don’t, determine that you will serve God anyway. Don’t worry though, God is faithful, and the joy of your salvation will come. So, don’t wait, go!