A couple of months ago, I fell into sexual sin, knowing it was wrong and knowing that Christ did not approve of my actions. I was deeply disturbed by my choice and examined my motives. As such, I recognized that I had chosen a fleeting moment of pleasure over the will of God - and had done so willingly.
This further disturbed me. I began to read in the book of Hebrews the reference to Esau and how he sold his birthright for a single meal and when seeking repentance, found that God had turned away. I resonate with this story and for months now, have been incredibly unsettled. I have read several articles and commentaries responding to similar concerns and have found several incredibly distressing. One such article on John Piper’s website reads:
"Oh, how patient he is. Oh, how many hundreds of times he has been willing to return to you and me. None of us deserved any one of those returns — not one. But we do not know when we may have sent him away for the last time. And let it be clear: If he never returns, it is we who sent him away. It is we who chose the single meal of lust. It is we who sent him away. ‘You go. I am done with you. I don’t want you. I want this. Right now I want this, not you.’ We have sent him away. And any talk of blaming God here is just another old victim card being played to justify our desires.”
In my understanding, God absolutely has the right to walk away when I choose sin over Him. Yet, in His patience and mercy, He continually remains faithful, even when His children are faithless. However, I also understand the gravity and severity of my sin and do not take it lightly. I have had a recurring image in my mind that has driven a wedge, blocking my intimacy with God, and has been slowly eating away at my faith; whenever I attempt to apply the verse you referenced at the end of the article, I am haunted by the question: does this still apply to me? Moreover, if I am unable to know whether or not God has turned and departed from me, then how can I fight for repentance and claim the promises of God?
This same article ends with Hebrews 12:2 in saying: "So let me end there. '[Look] to Jesus, the founder and perfector of [your] faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated’ — not as an Esau — 'at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrews 12:2). He did it for you, and he will do it in you. Look to him. See reality for what it is. Be strengthened by grace. Know that you are not helpless, and put to death the lie when it comes.”
Yet in light of the beginning of this article in conjunction with my own guilt, even though I have repented from my sin and am no longer engaged in such sexual behavior, I envision myself running towards Jesus only to have him turn away because I have become like Esau. I am not mad at God, neither do I see myself as a victim in any way - my rejection is justified.
Is such rejection true on biblical grounds? All of scripture seems to point to the mercy and grace that is to be received as a gift to God’s children in conjunction with a healthy fear of God as well. Should I be seriously worried that I have fallen away and become like Esau, or, is this a lie from the Enemy that is aimed at my faith in the nature of God?
I would be very appreciative of your responses.