Read Ezra 10:1-4
Your task is not unlike Ezra’s. You have been called to put away sin and all its flock (v. 4). Yes, sin truly does breed more sin. This is mostly because sin hardens our hearts and thereby enables that deceitful thing to convince us that we don’t care what God says. We need then, if we are sensing a hardening in ourselves, to do as Ezra and the people did (v.1). Yes, we should weep over our sins and confess them before a holy and righteous King. There’s a song I absolutely adore these days, and one of the lyrics is, “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.” Repentance, that weeping and confessing is what will alter the course of our lives and eternities. The people who tremble at the commands of the Lord (v.3), who understand the fear of God and the wisdom it brings, they’ll be the ones on their faces weeping and begging for the power to walk away from sin.
It wasn’t enough that the people confessed, or even that they did it with genuine tears, abusive individuals do that all the time. They say sorry convincingly. No, when Ezra and the people apologized, confessed…when we do…there’s one more necessity. We must put away those worldly ways and life additives just like the Israelites had to (v.3). We must utterly renounce that old way. Walk out of sex before marriage situations, capture those impure lusty thoughts; deny the desire for a smoke or a drink. We must refute, and refrain from, sin on all fronts, not just say oops.
Father, You know our wicked hearts. Help us discern those deceitful motives they utilize to trip us up. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.