The evil one is masterful at convincing us we will always be defined by what we have done in the past.
The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17).
But the enemy doesn’t want us to believe that… and he certainly doesn’t want us to live like we do!
In Revelation 12:10, Satan is called the “accuser of the brothers”. (Satan, in Hebrew, means “accuser”)
Pay attention to the accusations you hear about yourself. They are often an assault against you meant to keep you from doing all God wants to do through you and keep you from living free from guilt and shame.
The accuser wants to rob us of all joy and peace and contentment. He is the one who reminds us of sin God has already forgiven because he wants us to believe the blood of Jesus is not enough to remove THAT sin and shame from our lives.
What a liar.
I know he is a liar because he has lied to me.
Just like most subjects God has ever allowed me to write or speak about… He has had me personally experience this. Can I just tell you I have been on the field trip of believing Satan’s lies, and it is no place to stay?
Maybe you aren’t like me. Maybe you don’t have any big regrets. However, I do. I cannot tell you how many hours I have laid awake at night with an ache in my stomach over something I have done or said.
And what about those really bad things we have done? What about those things which have so horrifically hurt someone else and have consequences we cannot fix?
How can we live with shame and regret so deep that we dare not tell anyone about it? What about those sins that everyone knows about? What about when asking for forgiveness from the one we have hurt is not even possible? What then?
How can we be free from that choking, heavy burden and live life abundantly? Is it possible?
It is possible but only in the light of the Cross.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
“As far as the east is from the west” – I read those words, yet how I have struggled to apply them to my own life.
Why does it seem so easy to tell others God has forgiven them and sometimes so hard to accept it ourselves?
For many years in the past, I spoke and gave my testimony and had people coming up to me telling me how it encouraged them. I would then get in my car and want to throw up because my mind would remember my sins of the past.
I knew those women in the audience didn’t really know everything about me; and I knew (back then) they certainly didn’t know that I had told my first husband that I hated him only a few days before he committed suicide.
For years, I had told no one. For years, I had pleaded with God that Rick remembered my words of love the last morning that I saw him and not my stinging horrible words the night before.
Many times, I drove to his grave and watered the grass with my tears. I could not take those words back. I prayed to God to somehow tell Rick that I am so sorry, and I prayed that God would forgive me. Yet, for years I did not accept God’s forgiveness and the awful scene played over and over in my head like a horror movie.
Yet, one day the Holy Spirit helped me realize it was not God who wants to remind me of those hurtful words – it was the enemy who wants to drown me in shame and make me feel unworthy to tell others about my story of God’s goodness in my life.
This I know –without God, I am nothing but a heap of tears and regrets, but because of the Cross I am forgiven.
Completely, forever forgiven!
As I daily follow God and seek out His truth, I can fend off the lies of enemy and keep on walking in freedom. I am not perfect, and I never will be; but because of Jesus, my sins (the old ones and the new ones) are removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12).
Daily I seek to live my life as He would have me live it; not because I could ever be good enough, but because He is the one who knows all the answers, makes no mistakes and perfectly loves the sinner that I am.
He did it all. His blood is enough. He is my everything. AND He is my freedom over sin, guilt and regret.
Those truths that are true for me are true for you too!
You have not out-sinned God’s ability to forgive you, and shame is never a place our Father wants you to live.
If there is someone who needs to hear your apology–go to them. However, if that is no longer possible tell your Father and accept the forgiveness He offers. Remember, God’s forgiveness is complete and forever, and He does not bring it back up and remind you of it. (That is the voice of the enemy, the accuser, (not God!)
And by all means, don’t allow the enemy to hold you down and keep you from serving God! Don’t give the enemy the joy of that! Instead, be eternally grateful for the grace that you have received and be deliberate to praise your Father on every remembrance of it… and serve Him!
And consider this…though you may have been knocked down by the enemy, though you may have cooperated with him in sin, like Peter, when you get up (get up!!), strengthen your brothers!! (Luke 22:31-32).
I will leave you with this… I have two friends. One had an abortion and one had two babies outside of marriage. These two women are serving on the frontlines of the pro-life movement with tremendous authenticity and amazing effectiveness.
I am sure the accuser would like to have kept them down and out, shackled by their shame and guilt. Instead, they are walking in freedom and being used by the King to set captives free and save lives of the unborn like few I have ever met.
I just wonder… what in your life did the enemy intend for evil that God most certainly wants to use for good (Gen 50:20)? Oh friend, there is nothing impossible for Him (Matt 19:26)!!
Remember, none of us are perfect. That’s why we need a Savior! In the words of Martin Luther, “We are all mere beggars showing other beggars where to find bread”.
So, let’s go show them!
I’ll be back in Philippians next week. Join us as we study by following this page or at kimjaggers.com