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Aug 19, 2009

The Fear of Sinning

The fear of sinning must be taken away if we are to succeed in life.

fearI once saw an episode of “Fear Factor” where these people were told to walk across an iron beam that was supported by two chains and hoisted almost a hundred and fifty feet in the air. The beam was about 6 inches wide and ten feet long. All they had to do was make it to the other side without falling. 

What I found interesting is that while the host was explaining the task, the beam was lowered right next to the people about a foot off the ground. This girl walked over to it, jumped up on it and skipped across the beam with almost no effort whatsoever. She even jumped in the air and made a 180 degree turn, then landed on her feet and skipping back to the other side. She was letting the other contestants know that she was a former gymnast who had excellent balance and she felt confident that she would dominate this competition. 

Skipping across a beam that’s a foot off the ground in one thing, but once that same beam is raised to a hundred and fifty feet in the air, it becomes a whole different ball game. If the girl had fallen off when the beam was only inches from the ground, she would havehigh jumped back on and assessed what it was that made her fall. Perhaps she leaned too much to the right or the left. Maybe she stopped too quickly or jumped too high. Her mind would easily focus on the walk and nothing else. However, when the beam is raised high in the air, she would no longer focus on the walk; she would focus on the consequence of falling. When the consequence outweighs the cause - blindness sets in and people become spiritually crippled. Falling a hundred and fifty feet is a devastating consequence that is sure to dominate the thoughts of anyone walking that beam. That is exactly what happened to this young woman when her beam was raised. She didn’t even walk one foot on the beam. This former gymnast with impeccable balance and skill, held on to the chain for dear life until they lowered it again. 

The reason we focus on the consequence of sin instead of the cause, is because our religion has completely denied the fact that Christ destroyed the power of consequence through septhe cross. We foolishly still say that, “Sin separates us from God.” That statement alone is a long way to fall for any human being. Even godless Cain who murdered his brother, told the Lord that being without His presence would be more than he could bear. When we continuously tell people that their sin separates them from God, we are denying the cross and lifting the bar over a hundred and fifty feet in the air. The result is that rather than assessing the cause of a sin, people now only focus on the consequence because it’s more then they can bear. They become blind and crippled in their walk, and instead of skipping to the other side, they hold on to the chain for dear life. 

The moment a person understands that NOTHING will separate them from God, and He willgod never leave them or forsake them, the bar of life is lowered to inches off the ground. They can do cartwheels and back hand-springs across the beam because they aren’t terrified of falling anymore. The fear of sinning MUST be taken away if we are to succeed in life! 

When we see the gymnasts in the Olympics do back flips and twists on the balance beam it makes our heart stop. We can’t imagine how they learned to do something like that. The answer is simple. They learned by taking away the consequence of falling. They started with nothing more than a line drawn on a mat on the floor. They practiced staying on the line while doing walk-overs and cartwheels. When they got a little better, they graduated to a beam only inches from the ground. Over time, when they felt more comfortable and they had perfected their routine, linethey raised the bar to standard height. This is how all gymnastic exercises are learned. Someone “spots” them while they try new things, eliminating the consequence of falling. Once that’s taken away, people will try anything and discover that they are capable of things they never imagined. 

When people hear the grace message they immediately detect a lowered spiritual consequence to sin and It makes them nervous because they think people will intentionally jump off the beam. This is simply not so. When we receive God’s Spirit we are naturally inclined to walk the beam without falling. More than that, we are inclined to do flips,flips cartwheels, and hand springs across the beam. To a Spirit-filled person, the beam has new meaning. It’s an exciting place to be. Christ came so that we would have our full potential discovered on the beam of life. 

When you fall (sin), don’t worry for even a moment that you are separated from God. Nothing will ever separate you from Him. There are certainly consequences to any sin, but losing God is not one of them. Hell is also not one of them anymore. You belong to God. He will never let you go. Nothing in all the universe can separate you from the love of God. Nothing!

 


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Comments

  1. Gravatar
    Silas

    A very good analogy Darin! Hard-hitting facts explained in a simple and easy to understand way. Thank you!

  2. Gravatar
    debsfree

    Imagine belonging to a 'Bible based' 12 step program?! I went for yrs. hoping to get rid of the pain. Of course every time we met we reminded ourselves of the sin that was plaguing us. When I began to believe that I was the righteousness of God in Christ, was HOLY for crying out loud(!) and PERFECT...OH what sweet freedom!- I took a risk and mentioned it @ a meeting. ONE person commented that I must be hearing a different message and well, I was. @ the next meeting and (final meeting for me) during a DEEP discussion I quoted Roman's 8:1 and said we might want to chew on that one? You know the old saying, "if looks could kill"... The facilitator was not pleased that this one verse BLEW her crap right outta the water. Again SMS!!! and for SMY (so many years).
    Keep it up Darin!!!

  3. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    thanks guys.

  4. Gravatar
    Bones

    You nailed it again, Darin! This and the "License to Sin" post both hit it out of the park!

  5. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Bones, I appreciate that.

  6. Gravatar
    Tamie

    This is really good. I have found that God is the one that "spots" me when I am walking on the bar, and when I fall, he is the one who catches me, helps me figure out what I did wrong, and helps me back on the bar. It is much easier to live, and know God loves me when I know He will catch me when I fall.

  7. Gravatar
    Pete C

    I am sure when the gymnasts was up in the air she was harnessed or there was a net to catch her, but she did not trust in them. We have to trust in the harness / net of the Lord's Love to catch us when we slip and sin. It is a matter of what or who we are focused on.

  8. Gravatar
    Jenny

    Mmmmm, now that's a very good reminder. I was one of those who lived and taught that sin separates us from God, after all, the OT teaches us that, but I never had held it against the fact that NOTHING can separate us from Him and His love, which is in the NT. The Cross makes all the difference. One is so condemning and the other, so very freeing and reassuring. The truth not only sets us free but makes us secure. Thanks Darin!

  9. Gravatar
    Paul

    I was turned on to your message about a year ago by some dear friends, And havent looked back since. I was ready to leave my church when suddenly I was asked several times to preach when the pastor was gone. Sorry Darrin but I pretty much plagerised your grace message.(ok Im not sorry) It acually went well I know there is a great hunger for freedom out there,thanks for making it simple (i r a trucker)

  10. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Plagerise away my friend:) I'm sure I do the same with much of what I say:) I suppose the very act of spreading the message is doing just that.

  11. Gravatar
    Tammy

    I finally figured out that the only power sin had over me was to make me hide from God (picturing Adam and Eve even as I write that)and that is when I learned to run right into His arms, sin and all. I find myself running there with child-like abandonment daily.

  12. Gravatar
    Craig

    Thank you Darin. I have found myself in Tammy's place many times, allowing sin to separate me from the love of God. No more! I will be running straight into His arms. I am amazed at the freedom Father has given us. Jesus truly conquered sin and death. The only regret is the 35 or so year walk as a Christian without the message of grace (a very old word, but with NEW meaning, at least to me).

  13. Gravatar
    jenny

    I have been told that when we sin God does not hear our prayers until we get right with Him by confessing to Him 1John1:9. I believed that the Christian life involved continually searching our hearts for anything that is displeasing to Him and puting it right. I suppose that either puts you on a rollercoaster of nitpicking to get it right or you just give up. Actually I suspect if I follow the words of 1John through, it says if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, therefore if God does not hear us if we sin he never hears anybody. But the truth is our sin is gone because of what Christ did and we can boldly come to the throne of grace. And not just for salvation, but into a loving relationship with our Father. I'm thinking as I write here. Could you please explain grace. I have some

  14. Gravatar
    jenny

    muddled definitions of it in my mind I think

  15. Gravatar
    Debbie

    Living with the consequences is something I'd like to hear loads of discussion on.

  16. Gravatar
    Dale

    When I read the very last paragraph, that sin does NOT separate us from God, I felt like a ton had been lifted off of my chest. Even as I have been reading many of your blogs, I still abided by the belief instilled in all fundamentalists that until you confess your sin, God will not hear you. As stupid as it sounds, I have confessed to sins that I didn't commit, but may have in some big-stretch of a context. My prayer was usually 90% confession, concentrating, begging God to convict me of something I may be missing but not remembering. Even confessing over and over to listening to music that didn't give God the Glory he desevered i.e., any rock song.

    As I read through more of this site, I'm losing more and more of the fearfulness that God is eternally PO'd with me and basically "loves" me only because he bound himself to doing so in the Bible. I hope to lose all of this weight on my shoulders soon. Thank you, Darin.

  17. Gravatar
    Lynelle Morris

    debsfree, I had a similar experience. no freedom in those "bible based" 12 step groups.

    religion is all about fear and the belief that God isn't actually stronger than Satan/evil. Their mouths say God/Love are greater, even as their actions and the rest of what they say make it clear that we need to live in fear, so we don't slip off the beam.

  18. Gravatar
    James

    I left the pulpit 4 years ago because I was rejected everywhere I went for teaching the very things I've read on these blogs. It is nice to have a place of reassurance where I can finally escape the tired religious rhetoric, and reconnect with these truths which I discovered myself while struggling with my own insecurities and doubts. I only have one question:
    Why did it take me so long to find this particular ministry, and where were you when I was being called a heretic while attending Bible School?! lol

  19. Gravatar
    tam d

    thank u for letting me im not alone

  20. Gravatar
    Audrey

    This is very helpful! So many times I forget that I belong to Him. I'm so thankful that He loves me. Thank you!

  21. Gravatar
    Greg Ball

    Great stuff Darin. I have found so much freedom over the last two years because of the work yourself and others are doing. All of this makes total sense and I know only freedom given to us by the love of the father is the only thing to change our perception to love him back. I heard a great saying from Wayne Jacobsen: God didn't need the cross for Him to love us, we needed it for us to love Him! Absolutely brilliant. Please come to the UK Darin, the churches here need to hear this message........

  22. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Hey Greg. i'd give anything to come to the UK. If you have a group of people who would be willing to have me, let me know. I absolutely love the UK and have talked about going there about a hundred times in the last few years.

  23. Gravatar
    Dani

    Hi Mr. Darin! Thanks for the wonderful article.
    I do have a question or two though: I know Romans 8:38:-39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. But when we sin, doesn't that mean we can't hear from God until it is confessed? Because very often for me, I will realize I have sinned and then I'll repent and God just very comfortingly tells me, "It's okay, you're forgiven." And then He'll help me by talking to me about it. Other times I don't know if I have sinned or not, so I ask for God to help me and show me whether I did or not, and He'll always ask me what my motives were. Basically, it's like Papa is there to help me, and He doesn't stop talking to me even when it seems I have sinned-- but instead comforts me. It sounds similar to what you said here, but I wanted to ask this and have further explanation.
    Thank you Darin, and God bless you!

  24. Gravatar
    Chawla

    Praise God,
    I was suffering from a horrible thought of having commited the unpardonable sin. So my Dad who is a Pastor told me the following things.
    You are not alone there was even Martin Luther king who suffered from this.
    Do not fear God loves you.
    Whenever the thought comes in your mind. Say Thank you Jesus and ignore the thought.
    Don't pray again and again just beleive and thank Him.
    And I can really see me improving and getting better.

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