Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. – James 4:9-10
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. you will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God – Psalm 51:17
Just because we are Christians does not mean we won’t sin and fall short of the glory of God. We will make mistakes. Thank you Jesus, God’s grace covers our sin and then goes a step further to help us by empowering us to live righteous. By the power of His Holy Spirit we can overcome the sin, temptation, and the struggles we will face in our every day lives. We don’t have to continue to be enslaved to the wrong thinking which leads us to the sin which tries to dominate us. (Romans 6:5, Romans 6:16-17)
The choice is ours to be truly sorry for our sin, humble ourselves, confess our sin, repent, and receive God’s grace to change. We can also foolishly choose to harden our hearts to the leading of the Holy Spirit and continue to do things our own way. I can’t help but remember the verse that says,
People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. – Proverbs 19:3
We can’t blame God for our troubles when we ignored the Holy Spirit nudging us about the wrong thoughts that were coming up in our hearts and minds. We can’t blame God for our bad choices and the consequences they bring.(Galatians 6:7-8)
Instead let us see our mistakes, humble ourselves, and accept the fact that we need God to help us in our every day lives, that is if we are truly sorry and want to change. He gave us His Word, His Holy Spirit, and other believers to help us on our journey. The more we try to do things on our own the more messy we make things. We need Him. We need His people, who are our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We need His Word!
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Mediate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. – Joshua 1:8
God has given us His Living Word to guide and lead us through this life.
He has given us His grace and forgiveness so that we can be set free from the power of sin, not as an excuse to sin. His Spirit empowers us to fulfill God’s will and purpose on this earth. His Spirit helps us to overcome, win battles, and take dominion. The Spirit leads us into Truth and makes a way of escape when we are tempted. (Philippians 2:13, Romans 6:1-4) However, if we do sin, there should be sincere sorrow in us that leads us to repent, change, to turn away from that sin and whatever leads us to it. God’s Spirit will rise up in us and will comfort us, because He never rejects a broken and contrite spirit.
Sweet Holy Spirit shows us where we went wrong and helps us to do what is right and pleasing to God. He will bring to our remembrance the Word of God that is in us to comfort, confirm, assure, correct, and direct us. He gives us hope. ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
When we sin it won’t just be the voice of the Holy Spirit that will come to speak to us. The voice of the spirit of condemnation will also come. This spirit wants to torment us by reminding us over and over again about our shortcomings and our old nature. Condemnation will try to dominate our minds by overwhelming us with critical words and thoughts, causing us to feel hopeless. It wants to make us believe that we will never change and that we are bound to this sin forever. (John 14:26, 15:17, 1 Corinthians 10:13)
When we have missed the mark and messed up terribly we don’t need to listen to the voice of condemnation. We need to allow ourselves to receive comfort and correction from the Holy Spirit. We may confuse the correction of the Holy Spirit with a spirit of condemnation because both reveal sin in our lives. However One sets us free and the other keeps us burdened down and in bondage to shame and guilt. One draws us to the Spirit of God where we can find help in our time of need. The other makes us want to hide from the One who loves us no matter what we’ve done.
So now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1
Knowing the difference between God’s correction and condemnation is vital to overcoming sin and to making true change in our lives. The Holy Spirit confirms, encourages, and assures us of what is right. He also tugs at our hearts and causes ‘flags’ to rise up in us when we are going the wrong way. The Holy Spirit shows us that we are wrong in a way that encourages and then empowers us to do better. He reminds us of who we are in Christ Jesus, showing us that we do not need to submit to the thought or sin that is trying to entangle us. When we have sinned He draws us to God where we can humble ourselves at His feet and receive healing, restoration, and power to overcome. (1 Corinthians 12:9)
Condemnation shows us our sin, but belittles us saying, “This is the real you. You’ll never change”. The spirit of condemnation waits for you to fail and then says, “See I told you so.”. It causes you to hide and run from God. Condemnation causes you to make excuses to stay away from those whom God can use as conduits of truth and love in your life. It will overwhelm you with shame and guilt, leads you to harden your heart and then draws you into isolation away from God’s throne room and away from His people. It lies to you making you feel like everyone is much better than you and you are just hopeless. Before you know it you are sitting a pile of ‘woe is me’ dung. But these are lies of the enemy.
Here is the Truth:
Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. – 1 John 1:9
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16
There are times when I fall short of the glory of God and I find myself feeling so much shame and guilt. I allow myself to be tormented by a critical spirit of condemnation. I get so upset with myself because sometimes I make the same mistakes over and over again and I wonder, “when will I get it right? When will I get it ‘together’ in this area that I am struggling in? At times I find it hard to forgive myself. Then I give way to much attention to the nagging negative thoughts that say that I will never change or that I am unworthy of God’s love and mercy, and grace. The thought that hit’s me the most is, “Look at you, why would God use you?”
But God’s precious Spirit reminds me that I have been saved by grace and that because of God’s gift of grace I now am covered in His mercy. All I needed to do to receive God’s grace and forgiveness was to believe in Christ Jesus. It is by faith that we receive God’s grace and mercy. Once we receive it His grace doesn’t run low. It’s unlimited and we can run to His throne of grace for help. Thank you Jesus! (Ephesians 2:8)
Once Christ saves us He doesn’t sit over us watching for us to fail. He doesn’t criticize our every mistake. Instead He gives us His Spirit to live inside of us to work in and through us to help us become more Christ like. To help us to live as more than conquerors. Receive God’s correction, comfort, and direction. Don’t allow the spirit of condemnation to make you feel like your mistakes define you. Repent and allow God’s Spirit to use your mistakes to refine you.
I leave you with this last verse. So many quote it, but I just love how it reads out of the Amplified Bible;
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].