You may have failed at a relationship, a ministry opportunity, or in another area of your life. God makes messes out of our mistakes, but the enemy whispers in our ears,” You shouldn’t have done that, now you’ve really messed up.” If we listen to the voice of the accuser for any length of time, we begin to get discouraged and not want to take any more risks or chances in life.
As important as it is to forgive others, we must forgive ourselves! Even if you sinned against God and others, all that you need to do is sincerely repent and turn from that sin. God may convict us in an area of our lives to bring us back into a right relationship with Him, but never to condemn us. When God convicts it is done lovingly, gently, and with a way out. When the enemy condemns there is discouragement, feelings of inadequacy and failure, and no way to rectify the situation.
Condemnation leads us believe that we will never change and we are not worthy of God’s love. The reality, Christians mess-up, fail, and are prone to weaknesses at times, but God picks us back up and gently shows us our error and He points us back on the right road.
Condemnation causes us to wallow in self-pity. You may hear a faint whisper, “Poor you, you just can’t get it together.” God however says, “Learn, grow and get up again my child.” When the enemy condemns he is harsh, unloving, and unrelenting of reminding us of our mistakes. The enemy likes to rip open old wounds and pour his bitter salt over them, but don’t be deceived he will not give you the exact package of old wounds every time; he repackages them. The enemy is a master deceiver, he likes to use what is in our past to inflict us. Why would the enemy use new tactics when the old tactics still work? The enemy knows your blueprint and has studied what schemes have worked before to trip you up. If you have battled with rejection, unworthiness or inadequacy, best believe the enemy will expose those weak areas. The exposure comes only to condemn you, to make you feel like quitting and giving up, and for you to come into agreement with the lies of the enemy, “what’s the use, I will always mess up. I am a failure.”
The enemy uses your past hurts, wounds and other weak areas to remind you that you have not really changed when current similar incidents transpire. The enemy loves to use our past against us. There may be times we do fall back, but if we get back up and continue on the race set before us, the enemy can’t use our sin against us any longer.
Why does the enemy condemn? To cause us to shriek back, turn inwards, and give up. If you ever hear yourself saying “What’s the point…I will fail anyways,” the enemy is behind it. Most likely if you are moving forward, beating some sin habit in your life, or choosing to serve Christ over man, and then a “hiccup” occurs to throw you off balance. The enemy gets you cornered by bringing relentless distractions and then you blow-up. You did not mean to get angry or lose your peace or even say something negatively about the person who has now rubbed you wronged for the tenth time, but you did and the enemy comes in to capitalize on your weakness and sends condemnation like, “Who do you think you are? You call yourself a Christian? You really blew it this time” We all have weaknesses and areas that bend and try us, we will at times fail. During those times where we fail, it is important that we get back up quickly in the fight, don’t stay down. You may have been knocked down, but don’t stay there-get up! It can be more difficult to climb out of a pit, then just tripping over the pit and then moving past the pit.
Reflect and ponder: Are you feeling bad about yourself over a situation that you have already asked God to forgive you for but it continues to fester and cause those wounds to be exposed again and again? Are you listening to the lies of the enemy (the accuser of the brethren) over the voice of truth? What are you listening to in your ear that then penetrates your very soul? Do you believe that you really are a bad_____________ (you fill in the blank) and deserve to be alone or it is your fault the way things have turned out?
Counselor’s Corner: If you have let the voice of the accuser condemn you, it is time to get washed in the truth of what God says. You may not initially believe what God is saying, but speak the Word of God over your life, and the lies of the enemy will have to bow down to the truth. If you have already asked God to forgive you, there is no need to keep revisiting the should have, could have or ought to have-these keep you tied to your past and bring condemnation.
To condemn means to pronounce guilty and convict means convince of error or sinfulness. If we have been made in right standing through the shed blood of Jesus Christ then our sins are under the blood of Christ. Does that mean we can continue in sin after receiving Christ? No, it means that when we do sin, we can go straight to our Father and ask for His forgiveness and He no longer remembers that sin. It is the accuser who torments us with past sins that we have already been forgiven for. The enemy reminds us we are not worthy to receive such grace for our sins and weaknesses. His love, grace, and forgiveness are limitless. We are not perfect, in fact, really far from perfection. We will stumble, we will sin, and we will expose our own weaknesses, and because of that we are in desperate need of a Savior who can forgive and cleanse us when we do falter.
MEDIATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:
- You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
- You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
- You are not condemned by God. Romans 8:1
- You can never be separated from God’s love. Romans 8:39
- You are a child of God. John 1:12
- You have been justified-completely forgiven and made righteous. Romans 5:1