“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” Acts 22:16
Why do we wait to cast off sin? Whether we are just learning about Christ or we have known Him for years and yet given in to temptations, there is a deep hesitancy within us to give up that life. To truly turn and allow the power and mercy of Christ, the blood of His cross, to wash away our sins.
On our own, we always think we have time to deal with things later. We push them aside and turn our attention to other matters, ones that seem more urgent or perhaps are just easier to face. Because truly examining ourselves, seeking to get to the root of evil in our heart, is intimidating and extremely difficult. We face off with our very nature. Our wisdom, our logic, our preferences, the lies that we’ve been fed our entire lives about what will satisfy and what’s important. When God begins to show us truth, it goes against everything we thought.
So we wait. We contemplate. We try to decide if this is really worth it. And because it’s not an easy subject or a light task, we often don’t want to get too deep in it yet. So we set it aside and move on, intending to look back later when we have more time.
It’s important to really think about these things. I don’t want to imply that it’s an easy decision to surrender every piece of our lives and our hearts. So yes, we do need to dwell on it and decide if it’s worth it. But I think it can be hard for us to get fully through the process. I know it’s easier for me to leave it partway through. I can feel a bit better because I’ve thought about the issues I’m struggling with, but I don’t have to go through the harder task of doing something about it. I still haven’t allowed God to fully penetrate my heart.
I was reading in a book last night how it was love that held Christ on the cross. It wasn’t the nails, it wasn’t the Roman guard. It was love. The author linked it to our decision to be crucified with Christ. Why do we choose to wear our crown of thorns? It’s because of love. A deep, desperate, longing love for our Savior, the God who gave Himself to save us. We are held to our cross not by the nails, but by our choice to love, our decision that it’s worth it.
So why do we wait? If we truly know this God who holds all things together, our God of steadfast love, justice, righteousness, faithfulness, and peace, why would we choose to move forward in life without Him? It’s true that when we receive Christ, God never leaves us, but we walk away from Him willingly. Then we hesitate when faced with surrender. We struggle and fight and often delay our decision. Let us no longer delay. Run toward your Savior. Cast off sin and every hindrance, and run toward love. Run toward joy. Run toward the peace that will wash over your soul. Run toward the refreshing of your heart and renewing of your strength. He is so entirely worth it. You will never regret choosing the One who will satisfy your every need and delight your very soul.