I Know I’ve Got a Problem. Now What? (Part 2 of a 3-Part Series)

When God interrupts your life, He is calling you to follow Him in a new way. This is where the pursuit of a God-centered life beings, and where the shame of a self-centered life is exposed. Colin S. Smith, Navigating a God-Centered LifeI Know I Have a Problem

You wouldn’t believe the stories I hear from men who’ve had their sin exposed, especially the details of how God allowed it to come to light!

Sometimes their wives woke up in the middle of the night, feeling led by God to push a button or two on the computer, and then boom! Up came a history of secret porn use. Other times, the receipt from a porn shop showed up, even though the guy swears he threw it away. Regardless, God often allows exposure of sin as a means of getting a man’s attention. It’s divine correction, an experience many men mistake for
divine abandonment.

But think about it – when a racer’s vehicle needs repair, he doesn’t junk it.  He pulls it over for a pit stop, and he certainly doesn’t do that because he’s finished with the vehicle. In fact, he does it because he’s not finished with it! It’s a valuable car, and he has specific purposes in mind for it.

Just so, when God interrupts you, He pulls you over for a pit stop. You’re still a vehicle; your Driver has eternal purposes, and He’s determined to see them fulfilled. That’s why you got pulled over.

No one illustrates this better than King David. Looking at the harrowing episode in his life that included adultery and murder, you can see how the crises of truth God sent him became his painful salvation.

The “No Big Deal” Sins

I’m convinced David’s tragedy began with a compromise much less notorious than the “big sin” that followed. When he was anointed King of Israel at age thirty, the Law already made it plain what God expected of a King:

“But he shall not multiply horses to himself — neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.” (Deuteronomy 17: 16-18)

The standards were clear, and David complied – with most of them. When he conquered the Moabites, he destroyed their excess horses, in obedience to the command not to hoard them. (I Chronicles 18:4) And he dedicated the spoils of war to God, rather than to himself, in deference to the command not to multiply riches. (I Chronicles 18:11)

He was exemplary in many ways, but compromised in one. That’s all it takes.

He multiplied wives to himself, a direct violation of the Law committed by a man so obedient in other areas. (I Chronicles 14:3) You’ll notice his life didn’t fall apart the moment he compromised.  In fact, an observer might have concluded that his compromise didn’t matter much, and was just a “blip” in an otherwise terrific life.

I wonder how much of yourself you can see in David at this point. Maybe you were already familiar with the Bible when you began, or continued, your private sexual vice. When you used the porn, flirted with the co-worker, or got on the chat room, you probably weren’t ignorant of God’s standards. You knew; still, you indulged. The consequences may not be immediate, but they can be immeasurable.

“I Never Thought I’d Find Myself Here!”

David’s later tragedy with Bathsheba, as chronicled in II Samuel chapters 11-12, bears this out. He had reigned in Israel about twenty years by that time, was highly favored by God, and had a breathtaking resume of spiritual and political triumphs. Yet one night, while Israel was at war and he’d stayed behind, he was strolling on his rooftop when he spied a beautiful woman bathing. The King saw, lusted, then obsessed. The nightmare began.

He found out who she was, learned she was married to a man who was in battle at the time, sent for her anyway, then took her. So the lines were crossed quickly, impulsively –you might even say “effortlessly.” It’s striking how easily a good man slips into evil deeds.  There was worse to come.

Bathsheba sent word that she was pregnant, and David scrambled. As usual, the cover up was worse than the sin.

He tried to get her husband Uriah home from battle and into bed with his own wife thinking, no doubt, Uriah would have sex her and assume that was the cause of her pregnancy. But Uriah refused marital privileges when his comrades were still in battle, and David, now panicking, graduated from weakness to evil. He arranged for Uriah to be put in the front lines of battle and thereby killed. Then, having committed adultery and murder, he tried putting it all behind him.

Yet it refused to stay put, and a crises of truth was in the making. No doubt this sorry episode in the King’s life haunted him until his death, and it couldn’t have been anything but agonizing to go through. Yet the exposure of the problem led to its solution, and its solution no doubt helped further the character and humility of one of our most beloved Biblical figures.

If your sin has been exposed you’ve been spared for two reasons. First, it’s being dealt with in this life rather than eternity, which is a great mercy in itself. Second, you’re being stopped from doing further damage to yourself and others,
another mercy.

God knows his vessels all too well, knowing both when to quietly woo them out of their errors, or when to withdraw his protection and allow exposure if all else fails. Either way, He won’t allow our compromises to cripple us, even if we’re foolish enough to embrace that crippling.

Exposure freed a great man from great denial and great error. It was, for him, a redemptive, potent turning point. So why should it be any less for you?


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