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Sin. It’s present in both our behaviors and our motivations. Too often, when we talk about sin, we focus more on our behaviors, on those things on the surface that are easy to see and pick out. Even when we begin talking about accountability partners- people that we hold ourselves responsible to- we really only focus on those surface things.

Why is that? Why do we insist only being so superficial? I think it has to do with not wanting to offend or hurt the other person; with not wanting to get our hands dirty. I’d go so far as to say we don’t really want to deal with the bigger issues in someone else because it means we may have to deal with our own deeper issues. And no one wants to do that. That’s the tough stuff. We are too afraid, to worried, to protective to allow someone else to see all those sins we hide so deep within. And even worse, in some twisted sense, we like our sins- we like being bad, we like our disobedience.


Why? I think it has to do with our human nature being so twisted by sin that what is bad for us looks so good, and what is good and helpful for us looks completely horrible. That’s why God stepped in and did something. There’s a song by David Crowder called “How He Loves.” The first line of the song speaks volumes about just how much God loves us: “He is jealous for me…” God is jealous for us. Jealous for us…that means God wants us so much that it effects the way in which He thinks and deals with us; loves us so much that Jesus gave His life for us. See John 3:16.

                                                                                                            

1 Peter 2:24 tells us that Jesus “personally carried our sins in His body on the cross.” Our sins, those things we do that disobey God, and even those things deep down in our hearts which motivate us, Jesus paid the price for those. The passage goes on to tell us why: “so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.” Dead to sin. Living for what is right.

                                                                                                       

If we continue our lives harboring sins so deep within that we don’t let anyone see, even ourselves sometimes, they fester, they spread, they kill. It’s like a horrible cancer cell that is hidden deep in some organ. Eventually it starts growing and infecting the areas around it, after a while metastasizing into other healthy areas of the body, often killing everything. Sin is the same way, especially that deep sin. If we refuse to bring it to light and do the diagnostic work necessary to identify it, then it too will fester and spread and eventually kill everything good within us.

                                                                                                                                                           

When you’re really honest with yourself, what do you desire more than anything in life? Is it to be closer to God and to love and serve others? Or is it money, power, a good reputation, comfort, a strong family, the love of another? When you’re with people, where do your thoughts drift? Do you think about what others think of you, who the hottest person in the room is, or how you can get what you want from them? What about when you’re all by yourself? What do you think about and focus on then? Or here’s the kicker: do you love anything more than God?

                                                                                                                                      

If we are honest, we don’t put God first; we don’t love God more than anything else; we don’t seek to serve others before ourselves. We are commanded to…but we don’t. That’s where sin is getting in the way of us being who we are called to be. And that’s the sin that needs to be rooted out of us. It won’t happen unless we are willing to do the hard work of seeing it and getting rid of it. If we won’t confess our sins and pray for healing, it won’t happen. If we won’t get past superficial niceties and get radical in our loving relationships, it won’t happen. If we won’t allow ourselves and others to start digging around into our behaviors and motivations, the sin won’t go away!

                                                                                                                         

Be honest with yourself. Get over your fear, and worry, and doubt. Start doing some serious heart excavating. Allow others to know you and speak into your life in such a way that these deep sins are brought into the light. Then they lose their power over us; then we can truly be healed and free!

Sermon Notes for “LWOA: Accountability- Heart Excavation” from May 18, 2014

Accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions

                                We are held accountable to God, and we are to hold ourselves accountable to one another

Heart Excavation: Unearthing Secret Sin

                Archeologists working off the coast of Haiti believe they found the remains of Columbus’ flagship, the                 Santa Maria

                                Through surface and sea floor analysis, historical accounts, geographical markers, and                                         guess work, they have determined that a wreck discovered a decade ago is Columbus’ ship

                                At this point, it is just guess work, until they get down in the water and begin excavating                                     the sight

Hebrews 3:12-14

                Main concern of the Hebrews’ author is to see his readers persevere and grow in their faith

                                To do this, he calls us to parakaleo each other: to “encourage,” “motivate,” “exhort,” “warn”

                                God, through the author, is calling us to speak and listen to one another in such a way that                                 we help one another see how sin is operating at the heart level

Sin is a reality that affects us all, down to our very natures

                And the painful reality is that we like sinning, we love putting ourselves and our desires above                             everything else

                This is why we need salvation; this is why God did all He did through Jesus Christ on the cross: to free                 us from that

                God’s salvific work frees us from the penalty of sin, but we still struggle with sin in our lives everyday

This is where Hebrews 3:13 comes in

                God tells us we MUST warn each other every day so that sin won’t deceive us and harden our hearts

                                We need accountability!

2 types of accountability

                Behavioral Accountability: This deals with the surface level issues

                                Involves choosing to be honest with another person about our obvious habits and                                                 tendencies

                                                Surface issues like: lust, overspending, laziness, gossip or slander, losing your                                                     temper, addictions, distractions, lacking discipline, neglecting opportunities

                                Confessing these struggles is very important- it stops bad habits from festering into deeper                                 issues

                Motivational Accountability: Dealing with the surface issues is only the beginning of accountability

                                Dealing with our motivations gets to the real sin issues in our lives

                                Involves choosing to be honest with another person about the desires and thought that                                     drive and move us

                                                Deeper issues like: what do you desire more than anything, where do you find                                                     your joy, what do you fantasize about, do you covet anything, any bitterness or                                                 anger, where do your thoughts drift to, do you love anything more than God

                                This kind of accountability requires getting past the niceties and fear of hurting or being                                     hurt

                                               It seeks to build each other up because of love, and is willing to get messy to do it

It’s like the excavation of the Santa Maria

                A lot of work has been done at the surface, but no real discoveries will be made until they get in the                     water and dig

                Discovering and overcoming the surface sins is great, but the really big deal is making the big                             discoveries, overcoming the secret sins hidden deep in our hearts that we may not even realize are                     motivating us

What would life be like, and how would it be different, if you intentionally and regularly shared your behaviors and motivations with another person?

                It’s a scary prospect, filled with fear and worry and doubt

Challenge:

                The fear and worry and doubt that we have when it comes to being honest is not from God, but from                 the devil

                Get over the fear, and trust that when God says He will work for your good in everything, He means in                 this too!

Do the work to have a meaningful, accountability relationship with someone else

                Be honest with them, so honest that you can get past your fear and worry and doubt and get some                     real heart excavation done!

Read Hebrews 3:12-14 again, keeping in mind that this is God speaking directly to you!

 


Comments

10/07/2014 2:01am

The plans and strategies must be analyzed carefully. The plans suggest the goals and strategies suggest ways to achieve the set goals.

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02/22/2017 3:06am

It's true that we have to search our hearts for what we truly believe in. The very nature of our heart will be seen through our actions. And in order for us to be free from our sins, we have to find the root of it. We cannot do it alone. We need to ask the guidance and help of our loving Father. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." May we be able to see the good in others and be free from our sins.

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I think dealing with the surface issues is only the beginning of accountability. We must see readers persevere and grow in their faith.

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07/01/2016 7:50am

Hi I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed my visit to your website and to wish you all the best with it in the coming years - Jaslyn Spain

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07/20/2016 3:21pm

I am very interested in all the information written on this page, for that I can only say thank you to all those I've read on this page.

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08/20/2016 12:54pm

Every person feel guilty when he does sin for the first time. If he does that sin continuously then he/she will not feel guilty any more. Most of the people don't know what is sins are they think what he/she doing is right. Although it is wrong.

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02/05/2017 9:42am

Do you want to excavate to the depth of your heart? This can be a dangerous journey

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