Have you ever committed a terrible sin and asked God to forgive you? Sure. Every Christian has. But have you still felt guilty and ashamed EVEN AFTER you confessed that sin to God and asked Him to forgive you? What is up with that? Is God convicting you again about that same sin? Did He refuse to forgive you when you honestly, humbly and sincerely asked Him to do so? Or could it be that the devil, the accuser of the brethren, is at work to heap false guilt and condemnation on your head?
VICTORY AND JOY
In order to walk in victory and joy in the Lord, it is imperative to distinguish between the voice of the Spirit and the voice of the devil. Notice the differences.
1. The Holy Spirit convicts us of unconfessed sin. The Holy Spirit wants us to deal with that sin we are hiding and not bringing to the Lord for cleansing. Once we confess it (1 Jn. 1:9) and forsake it (Prov. 28:13), He forgives us COMPLETELY (no matter how bad that particular sin may be) and IMMEDIATELY (notice 1 Jn. 1:9 does not tell us that "He is faithful and just to forgive us" after two weeks or so of us feeling terrible about it).
Satan condemns us and accuses us of confessed sin. He will keep bringing up what we did in the past. even though we confessed it to God. He will say, "Remember that sexual sin you committed. remember that abortion you had. remember that lie you told. remember that hurtful thing you did to your parents, your spouse, your kids, your best friend? And you have the audacity to come to church and PRETEND you are right with God?!?" Have you ever heard that voice in your ear? The devil "is a liar and the father of lies." The moment you truly confess your sin to God (agree with Him that your sin was wrong and utterly sinful), He forgives it and forgets it (Heb. 10:17) and buries it in the deepest sea (Mic. 7:19).
2. The Holy Spirit convicts of specific sin. He will point His finger of conviction exactly where you have sinned. He does not convict generally. He is specific and faithful in pointing out to us where we have disobeyed God.
Satan, on the other hand, will throw up specific sins to us in order to make us feel bad ALL OVER. "You did this. and this. and this. You are just a bad, evil, hopeless person."
3. The Holy Spirit convicts in order to draw us back to fellowship with God. The goal of God in convicting us of sin is to get us to return to Him. He says in Mal. 3:7, "Return to Me, and I will return to you."
The devil condemns and accuses to get us to quit. to throw in the towel on seeking and serving God. to say, "What's the use! I have sinned too greatly for God to forgive me!" What a lie from the pit!!!!
ARE YOU CARRYING AROUND GUILT AND CONDEMNATION?
God's will for you today is to be free of all the guilt and condemnation of your sins and of the accusations of the devil (Rom. 8:1). Bring all the guilt and shame of your past to Him. Once and for all, confess it to Him. and claim His promise for complete and total cleansing.
If and when you stumble again (and we all do. no one serves God perfectly all the time), confess your sins immediately to God and BELIEVE HIM for cleansing. Do not let the devil steal your joy in walking with the King.
When Satan brings up your past, be quick to bring up his future - the lake of fire. When he condemns you over past sins you have already confessed to God, remember the cross. That sin is paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Take off the garments of guilt and shame and wrap yourself in the robe of His righteousness (Is. 61:10). Praise Him for forgiving and cleansing you! It makes all the difference in the world!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Without the proper perspective, people can make terrible decisions by easily believing lies. To avoid that, we must see the whole picture. In this eye-opening series, Pastor Jeff Schreve shares the biblical truth about how we can see the true nature of God and the nature of man. When you gain true perspective, you will stand amazed at the goodness of God and His patient dealings with mankind. Click here to find out more!