"And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in Him." -1 John 3:5
Are you a pure vessel? Being a committed Christian involves a continual process of sanctification, and even more so if you are a teacher of God's word. (John 17:19, James 3:1) Although Jesus has paid the price for our sins and we continually receive His forgiveness, there are still things He will require of us so that we become complete and more like Him. (James 1:4) This most often has to do with issues of our hearts. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." -Proverbs 4:23
Recently my husband and I went to a marriage conference and one of the sessions was about transparency. The couple speaking talked about their journey of sanctification, which involved the man getting free from issues of adultery. This of course caused a lot of strife in their marriage, and even though the man had repented to his wife for those things that had happened long ago, he found himself in "sin management,” trying to manage the effects that this spiritual root of sin had on him.
This couple had been invited by a pastor to minister to a group of people at a leadership conference, but before they arrived, they had had an argument. The man felt convicted that they should not minister to this group of people due to the fact that there was strife in their hearts. As the pastor introduced him, he told him that they were not prepared to minister, and that their hearts were not pure. The crowd went completely silent. After a few moments the pastor held the microphone and repented for times when he and his wife ministered with strife in their hearts. A majority of the crowd got on their knees to repent and the Holy Spirit ministered to the large crowd for more than an hour. It was very powerful!
As this couple described what had happened, the woman said that when we minister the truth of the gospel but have strife in our hearts, people can receive a double message: One of God's truth, but then also of whatever unresolved sin is dwelling in our hearts.
Are you a pure vessel? Do you make repentance a regular practice in your life? Pray that God will reveal and remove anything that may block His grace, light, and power in your life. His word says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us from all unrighteousness, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." -1 John 1:9