What Happens if We Sin and We Can’t Undo It?

What happens if we sin and we just can’t fix it? Will God still allow us in His presence? Does our identity in Christ change with our actions?

Good questions, right? Hopefully, we can find some answers together.

When I was fourteen years old, I had a glorious conversion to Christ.

I went to church with a friend, not looking for anything but a night out of the house. I was a religious girl, but I’d never had a personal experience with the Lord. Didn’t even know it was possible. I met Jesus in that little church. He came into my heart with a rush of love that made me weep and laugh and raise my hands in pure joy.

I was born again. I felt His presence. I knew He was real, and I knew that He loved me. It was an experience I will never forget.

But then something happened. At the age of twenty-two, I got pregnant. Me—the young woman pastors pointed to when preaching to their youth. Look at Marilyn. Look at how much she loves God. Follow her example.

I was so ashamed and so frightened.

Things were different back then. Young women didn’t often raise children on their own. They usually disappeared for several months, returning empty-armed to whispers and unkind remarks and humiliation. Or they hurriedly married, hoping no one would notice the snug wedding dress or count the months when the baby was born a little too early.

Looking at my beautiful daughter now, I’m ashamed to say that I hoped for a miscarriage. I might have even prayed for one. I wanted God to fix this. I would never do it again! I didn’t see a future without shame. I thought if I’d just wake up in a pool of blood, everything would be all right. It would all be over.

No one would know what I’d done. I wouldn’t be looked down on or “have” to marry a man who would be doing the “right thing” only out of obligation. I didn’t see that the little button of life hidden in the depths of my body was a blessing from God.

But how can that be?

How can a child that is conceived in a sinful situation be part of God’s plan for good in your life? It boggles the mind.

So why would I expose myself to the whole world by telling you something no one remembers or cares about anymore?

Because I want you to have “words in your ears” when Satan tells you to give up. I wanted to give up. So many times. My long marriage was a difficult one. My husband was a good man, a pastor who loved God. Those of you who knew him know that to be true.

I was a young Christian woman who had known the presence of God intimately. But I’d lost that consciousness after getting pregnant.

My heart was a desert. I couldn’t feel my Father’s presence and, to me, that was the most frightening thing possible. I had repented over and over again, but accepting God’s forgiveness was difficult for me because my husband had been married previously. So, not only had I had sex before marriage, but I had married a divorced man.

“So what?” you might say.

Divorce is not considered the big deal today that it was back then. In that era, many people didn’t think divorced persons should even be allowed in church—unless they were at the altar repenting.

“How terrible those people were,” I hear some of you saying. And it’s true, many Christians were merciless toward people in my circumstances. They whipped out that “sinner” label and affixed it like a scarlet letter.

But whether we want to face it or not, the Bible does speak clearly against divorce—and because I believed the Bible to be the Word of God, I was tormented as I scoured through the scriptures looking for some loophole that would say it was all right for me to be married to a divorced man.

I couldn’t find one. There appears to be an allowance for divorce in the scriptures, but it didn’t pertain to my circumstances.

If that’s your situation, please stay with me. There’s something important coming. Something that will bring you hope and not condemnation.

So, I was in—what seemed to me—an impossible situation. I loved God and wanted to please Him. I revered the Word of God and feared to disobey it. I felt that if I stayed married, I would be “continuing” in sin. I thought my only option was to take my daughter and leave my husband.

But where would I go?

I couldn’t go to my parents. I had no skills to support myself. Welfare wasn’t what it is today. And what about my husband? He had married me out of obligation, but he didn’t want a divorce. He loved his daughter. And his former wife had been happily remarried for years. Reconciliation was impossible.

One day, Rebecca was in the playpen. I don’t remember how old she was, probably under a year. I was ironing. Almost everything had to be ironed back then. It was a tedious process which involved heavy irons and starch. Glad those days are over!

I wasn’t praying at the moment. I was concentrating on not scorching my husband’s white shirts. To tell you the truth, I was afraid to pray. I didn’t think God would want to hear from me.

All of a sudden, the Holy Spirit poured over me like warm oil. I felt the presence of God. I set my iron aside and wept with gratitude.

Unless you’ve had a similar experience, you can’t imagine how I felt. I thought I had been forever separated from the Savior I loved. But I knew His presence. I had experienced it countless times. And I knew His Spirit had visited me in that little house. I knew that He had not abandoned me, even though I was in violation of His Word.

In Psalm 51:11 we hear King David’s heart after he had sinned with Bathsheba, “Cast me not away from your presence . . .”

If you’ve known the presence of God, to be without it is devastating. That’s why Jesus cried,  “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me,”  Matthew 27:46 while He was hanging on the cross. He suffered the loss of His Father’s presence, so we wouldn’t have to.

As I was writing this article, I was listening to a CD by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir for the first time. The words of the song playing caught my ear and I stopped writing to listen.

“I’ve been changed, healed, freed, delivered. I’ve found joy, peace, grace and favor.
I won’t go back. Can’t go back to the way it used to be—before your presence came and changed me.”

God’s presence changes us.

No wonder the devil tries so hard to keep us from it. He wants us to walk in condemnation, so we’ll run away from God. He does everything he can to keep us conscious of our sin, instead of God’s grace.

The truth is, some things just can’t be fixed. Sometimes we can’t go back and undo what we’ve done.

But that’s no reason to run from the presence of God. On the contrary, that’s when we should run toward Him. We couldn’t outrun God’s presence if we tried. Where would we go? Psalm 139:7-10

I have to admit that up until my husband’s first wife died, many years later, I continued to struggle with guilt over my situation. I believe King David had the same struggle through most of his life. Every time he looked at his beautiful wife, he saw his sin. When his sons rebelled, he saw his sin.

But he knew where to go. And he knew he would be welcome there.

He kept running to the presence of God, and in doing so, he was able to thwart Satan’s efforts to destroy him and his legacy.

There’s no situation we may find ourselves in that will separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:29-31  We are His and He loves us. Our “identity” is in Christ and His righteousness. Don’t be afraid to run to Him.

Christ shed His blood for our sins before we even committed them. When God looks at a blood-washed soul, He doesn’t see his or her sin. He only sees the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to redeem that person.

Romans 8:33-34 says, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect when it is God Who justifies . . . puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us? Who is there to condemn us? Will Christ Jesus … who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?” (Amplified, emphasis mine)

Think of it! Who has the authority to charge or accuse us when God has already acquitted us? Who can condemn us? Will Jesus? No! He’s interceding for us! He’s pleading our case! Not even you, yourself, have that authority. And the devil, for sure, doesn’t have it.

It’s God Who puts us in right relationship with Himself. We may have to live with the natural consequences of our sin. King David did. I did. But we will never live without the love of God.