Purging, Purifying, And Pain
Read Isaiah Chapter 1
Isa 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
This is a great verse, one that gives comfort to all of us who have a checkered past in the area of SSA. As we consider the depth of our depravity which litters the highway of our past, it is wonderful to know that none of those things will be counted against us at the end of time. But there is more to the picture than just this verse. We all should take the truth written here and cherish it within our hearts. At the same time, we must realize that the promise is surrounded by some other thoughts that must be considered in connection with it.
Isa 1:16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
Just before His great promise in verse 18, this one appears. We know that we do not have the power to “make ourselves clean.” That work is done by the Lord. However, He won’t perform that marvelous work if our hearts are not pliable, willing to place ourselves into His hands. We must at the least be cooperative with Him in doing away with our same-sex actions. Over and over in His word, we see that He looks upon the heart. If our hearts are inclined toward Him, we will have a desire to listen to Him and obey His instructions. If our hearts are inclined toward Him, we will have a desire to “stop doing wrong.” Then, our mistakes won’t prevent Him from cleansing us because He knows we are repentant. And then there is this:
Isa 1:25 I will turn My hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. 26 I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.”
The process of cleansing is not likely to be pleasant. Within our lives, there is a lot of purging that will take place. As we undergo the process of being cleansed from our SSA, there will be some pain. There is the pain of separation from the people and things which brought us a measure of “happiness” in the past. There is the fear of the future as we enter the unknown world that God has prepared for us. There is the uncomfortableness of working our way into the world of masculinity, a very painful process for many SSA men.
But the end result is marvelous and will make us forget the pain! “Afterward, you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.” (Yes, I know the reference is to the nation of Israel, but Christians are the modern-day Israel). To put that into terms we can better identify with, “Afterward, you will be called Righteous and Faithful.” Such a thing seems to be impossible to me, and I imagine to you as well. We are painfully aware that we are neither righteous nor faithful. But we don’t have to be, in our own strength. We only have to want it, and turn our hearts toward our Lord and Savior. He will purge and cleanse us and our sins will no longer be as scarlet and crimson. They will be as white as snow and wool.
Prayer: As we ponder this truth, what else can we say but, “Thank You!”