Ezra 10:10-11 “And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.”
Israel had sinned, but Ezra reminded them that it didn't have to be the end of their story. He reminded Israel that God is still a merciful God who will forgive them and use them again if they would only come back to God. In other words, it was in Israel’s court to determine what became of their future. It was Israel who forced God to judge them because of sin, and it was Israel who could come back to God to find His mercy is plenteous.
Sin is devastating to the believer’s life. It is devastating to what God was doing through the believer before they chose to sin, and it is devastating to the confidence of the believer after they have sinned. Many who have fallen are never used again, not because God won't use them, but because they won't get up and do what it takes for God to use them again. In the verses above, there are several things you must do if you are going to get back to the point where God can use you again.
First, acknowledge your transgression. Ezra said in verse 10, “Ye have transgressed.” Israel could have gotten upset with Israel for telling them they had sinned, but instead of getting upset, they chose to do what the preacher said to do. Getting upset with the preacher for pointing out your sin only reveals your pride was damaged, which is a major hindrance to getting right. You must acknowledge that you have done wrong before you can go any further with God.
Second, confess your sin to God. You cannot get right until you admit to God that you have done wrong. Confession takes humility, and humility removes the pride that is keeping you from getting right. You will never get right until you are humble enough to come to God and say, “I have sinned.”
Third, it doesn't have to be the end. The fact that God is merciful enough to take you back after you have sinned reveals that there is still a future with God if you will get right with Him. Don't let sin be the end of your story, but get right and get up and become a display to others of God’s grace and mercy.
Fourth, do right. Ezra told the people in verse 11, “…and do his pleasure…” In other words, start doing what you are supposed to do even when you don't feel worthy of doing it. The only way to overcome sin is to do good. Focusing on sin has never been the answer to overcoming it. You overcome evil with good, and you overcome sin with righteousness. Stop waiting for the right moment to do right and realize that now is the right time to do right.
Fifth, separate from those who would cause you to do wrong. Ezra said, “…separate yourselves from the people of the land…” You cannot stay right by going back to the same crowd you ran with who pulled you away from God. There must be a complete separation from ANY person who pulled you away from God if you are going to have complete victory over your sin. To expect to overcome sin and run with the crowd that pulled you into sin is foolishness. Separate from the wrong crowd and go to God, and you will overcome your sin.