You can’t be a Christian very long before you experience the attack of guilt. You are just starting to feel as though you’re making some spiritual progress, gaining some victory, making some positive impact for the kingdom of God. Then WHAM! Smack in front of your face comes up some sin or weakness from your past, or some current sin struggle. “Who do you think you are? You have no right or ability to do anything for God. Even if your past is forgiven your sin disqualifies you, and you might as well give up!”
You feel guilty, and it’s overwhelming. It may sound like your own head saying those words, but it’s the accuser of the brethren up to his dirty tricks again. (Revelation 12:10) And he’s right as far as he goes. Your human nature is sinful. You have sinned. And you may even be sinning right now.
But praise be to God, Jesus has dealt with that problem already! He became sin for you, that you could become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus’ suffering was real. His body was broken, His soul tormented, His blood spilled for your redemption. He took your sin so that you can be free, and He offers you forgiveness for your past and transformation for your future.
Sin makes us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. Sometimes it’s our own sin, sometimes it’s someone else’s. Jesus is the only One who voluntarily made Himself vulnerable even though He was sinless. “For the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” (John 14:30) And once you and I choose Jesus as our Savior, we can come to the place where the enemy has no hooks is us as well.
You don’t want to live with fear and anxiety. You want freedom, victory, joy. Guilt is one of the surest ways to keep you from experiencing that freedom.
Ask yourself if you know Jesus as your Savior. Have you allowed Him to wash you clean from everything in your past? Have you humbly and gratefully accepted the forgiveness He offers you? Have you determined to continue to allow Him to transform you into the person He needs you to be? If the answer is Yes, rejoice in the freedom He brings! If the answer is No, what are you waiting for?
There’s nothing in the Bible about needing to be perfect or mature before you can experience Christ’s victory. The more you grow, the more victory you can experience. But even brand new Christians can live in freedom. The point is that you’re clean – not perfectly clean in the ultimate sense, but clean in the washed and forgiven and submitted-to-Christ sense. You’re not trying to stand against the enemy with your own righteousness, and you’re not living in shame and guilt.
How do you get there?
- If you haven’t already, ask Jesus to forgive you for everything you’ve done or thought that was wrong. (1 John 1:9)
- Agree with God about what He says about you, that you’re a new creation in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Remain humble before God and increasingly grateful for the unspeakable gift of Jesus. (2 Corinthians 9:15)
- Stay close to Him, and allow His presence to transform you into His likeness. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
How long are you going to allow the enemy to hold guilt over your head? There is a way out. You have a choice. It’s time to get up off your face and move forward.
Don’t wait until you don’t feel guilty. Choose to believe the forgiveness and transformation that Jesus offers you.
Your Turn: What do you do when the enemy attacks you with guilt? What helps you experience God’s forgiveness? Leave a comment below.
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