“Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why have you become restless and disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.Psalm 42:11 AMP
We have been talking about fear: unpacking what fear can do, its role and how we ought to be vigilant when it comes to guarding our hearts, minds and immersing ourselves in God’s word. Today, I want us to talk about condemnation and the fear of ‘whether God has truly forgiven me’.
No Fear in Love. No condemnation in Love.
As I was praying and reading my bible for the post on ‘FEAR’, one of the key verses that spoke on the matter was 1 John 4:18a, which says that there is no fear in love. Part b is quite an interesting one. It says “…because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgement] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
The first thing that came to mind was condemnation – doubt that we are actually forgiven. FEAR that God is still mad with us and wants to punish us.
I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine concerning this topic and she admitted having fear of approaching God; fear of coming into his presence. She said she felt unworthy and that every time she came into God’s presence it was for the same reason: “Lord, forgive me for I have sinned.”
I related with her cause I struggled with the exact same thing!
A gripping fear that held me, leaving me in a state of mind where I couldn’t approach God with my sin and my sinful habits yet remaining in that state of mind that gave birth to condemnation- self condemnation.
Does it sound familiar to you?
Tactics of the enemy.
Now that I think about it, it sounds like a mind-game; a tactic of the enemy to hold us back and keep us in condemnation.
Why? Because God sent his son over 2000 years ago to die on a cross for my sin- he didn’t just die; He SUFFERED for my sin – for the forgiveness of my sins; for your sins.
He sweated blood in the garden of Gethsemane, crying to His Father for the strength to carry out His will. He was whipped 39 times with a whip that had metal lead balls at the end with hooks that bore into his flesh and ripped it out. He carried a cross on that lacerated back, was nailed to that cross and died because of suffocation- so that He could forgive my sins. So that He could forgive your sins.
“…and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain [useless, amounting to nothing], and your faith is also vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit].1 Corinthians 15:14 AMP
So, beloved, Are you really Forgiven?
YES, YOU ARE.
You are cleansed with the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on calvary’s tree. The price was paid over 2000 years ago. The curtain was torn so that you could, you can access the throne room of God through the blood of the lamb. And he arose from the dead, having all power and dominion over everything.
“I enter the Holy Of Holies, I enter through the blood of the Lamb…“Holy of Holies by Paul Wilbur
So then, why this lie?
Why this unending cycle of I sin, and I remain in that place of sin?
Why the gripping fear and the self condemnation that you are ‘too far gone’ or ‘God has heard it with you this time’?
Simple: The devil wants to stop you from stepping into the freedom and joy and peace that God has for you.
He couldn’t hold Jesus down. He couldn’t stop Jesus from getting to you.
But he can stop you from getting to Jesus.
If he can keep you on a leash; keep you tethered- the same way animals are tethered/tied to a tree with a rope so they can graze just in the area that its limited to.
That’s what the devil wants- to keep you tied up and for you to go round in circles and circles of fear, of condemnation, of sin, of self-pity as your head is faced downwards, feeding on his lies as he just sits by mocking you, laughing at you, telling you God doesn’t want you. What a liar!!
Furthermore, you begin to develop a mechanism of ‘penance’- a lie that you begin to believe (more so subconsciously) that you got to do more, be more, do better. Because somehow, it will ‘fix’ what you have done or you can say ‘At least I did this to compensate or make up for what I did.’
When Jesus declared that “IT IS FINISHED” before he took his last breath, He meant what He said. The price was paid so you can now enter God’s presence without fear.
“Jesus paid the ultimate price. If you could save yourself, then he died for nothing.“Renee
“Approaching his throne to receive mercy for your failures and to receive grace” – not to be condemned!
“Therefore, lets us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]. “Hebrews 4:16 AMP
Rise up !
Rise up knowing that God loves you, that He is not mad at you, He is not seeking to punish you because He punished His son for you. You are redeemed; you are not condemned, you are saved and you are the righteousness of God the Father.
Kick the enemy out of your life and out of your mind. He has stolen so much from you and deprived you of walking in freedom. Take it back, run to God repenting and admitting that you need Him and agreeing with His word that indeed you are saved and you are forgiven because “whoever the Son sets free, is free indeed!”
Jesus is calling you. He is calling you today out of your fear, your condemnation and drawing you to himself.
He Loves You.
Heed His call this day, and let him engulf you in His love, in His grace, in His mercy, in His presence; breaking off the grip the enemy has on you and ushering you into freedom and joy.