“But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:”
When I was a boy, it seemed to be the popular thing in churches to use people who once lived a sinful life but had gotten right with the LORD as the guest for a church’s big day. I can remember having a man who was saved out of the gang lifestyle come to our church and preach, and his story was amazing. I heard stories of people who were saved out of a drunken life to become preachers of the Gospel. I even remember hearing of one preacher talk about serving prison time for attempting to kill a police officer.
As I grew up, it was almost embarrassing for me to tell people about my life story because there were no “exciting” stories to tell how I was saved out of a life of sin. I remember the first time a preacher asked me to tell my life story; I urged the preacher to let me preach on something different because I didn’t feel my life story was exciting. This preacher said to me, “Bro. Domelle, I want my youth to see how living for God gives God a greater opportunity to use you than if you lived in sin.” From that point to now, I have never underestimated the power of living for God.
Ezekiel 44:14-15 shows the great blessing of doing right over the one who gets right after living a life of sin. In verse 14, God allowed those who had repented after going astray to serve idols to be “keepers of the charge of the house.” However, verse 15 says that those who “kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me.” Notice the difference between the two. God was certainly merciful to those who repented of their sin and allowed them a place to serve Him, but those who never went astray were able to come nigh to God to minister.
My friend, God is certainly a merciful God, but He rewards those who do right with greater blessings. One of the blessings of never living a life of sin is that you never have the temptations of those who lived in sin. Being free from the temptation of sin allows you greater freedom and confidence to serve the LORD. You can do more for God when you don’t have the baggage of sin slowing you down.
Moreover, God can use the clean life far better than He can the life that is marred by sin. The life marred with sin uses its scars to tell of God’s mercy, but the life without sin’s scars can testify of His blessings and regret-less life they have been able to enjoy. There is a closeness that those who live right all the time have that those who have come from a life of sin may never get. I’m not saying God can’t use them, but sin always limits what a person’s usefulness. However, the person who has never lived a life of sin has no restraints as to what God can do through them.
Furthermore, those who live right have more time to get things accomplished for God. Living right keeps you from wasting years of God’s blessings. My friend, never despair that you don’t have the “exciting testimony.” I contend that the most exciting testimony is the one that served God their entire life without going astray to the world. The pure life is the most blessed life; never apologize for living it.