Satan's Secret Weapon
Satan has a secret weapon in his arsenal. You see, once we have confessed our sins, they can’t limit us anymore. This freedom scares him into pulling out his secret weapon. If you missed my blog about confession last week, it’s a great time to catch up with the link at the bottom.
Right about now, enter Guilt stage left. As soon as Satan sees that you aren’t buying his temptations, and you are walking in the Spirit, he knows he’s disarmed. When he sees that you are tasting the freedom, he will come up with a sneakier plan. Guilt is like his devious, heavily disguised assassin. Remember Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation in Christ. That means there is no guilt once we are in Jesus. Not only did Jesus pay for our sins, he took the guilt and shame from them. I am constantly forgetting that Jesus died to set me free from sin and from paralyzing guilt.
Guilt always plays on our forgetfulness of our forgiveness, and sometimes even an unbelief in our forgiveness. Sometimes I will know the truth, but I forget to remember it. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here. I find it comforting that God knows this about us so He gave us the Holy Spirit as a constant companion to remind us of the truth. The Bible also repeats the truth over and over. I have wondered at times if that was just for me because I am so forgetful, but the more people I talk to, the more I realize it’s all of us. It takes discipline to remember the Truth. Conviction may come from unconfessed sin, but the voice of guilt is not God. Freedom from guilt and shame is part of the free gift that Jesus died to give us. When I don’t accept that, it’s just like saying that Jesus wasn’t enough. Putting it that way changes how I feel about guilt. If I think of freedom from guilt as a gift that Jesus died to give me, I’m more likely to humbly accept it.
“When the enemy comes with shame and blame,
tell him to go and measure the distance from east to west and get back to you.”
In Psalm 103:12, God reminds us that He has removed our transgressions as far as the east is from the west. I love this picture because I love sunsets. I love sunrises too, but somehow sunsets speak volumes more to my heart. No matter what the day held, they are a reminder that God knows how far the east and west extend, but He keeps me safely in the middle where my sin isn’t even on the horizon. God knows my limitations and failures, and I am still not a disappointment to Him. According to Romans 5:8, Jesus died for me while I was still in my sin. I don’t need to impress God, He knows who I have been, but because of His choice to send Jesus, He can choose not to see my sin but to see Jesus in me.
Maintenance is the key to keeping guilt silent. I love new things, but I especially love when something old gets a new facelift. There is nothing like a well-loved room with a fresh coat of paint. This freshness is available to us every day, but it requires the work of maintaining our hearts. Ezekiel 36:26 tells us that God comes to take the places our heart has become stone and resurface them. He makes them flesh again. I love the way the Message rephrases it, “I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands” (vs 25-27).
Guilt wants to tell us that we have failed and there is no hope for us to change. That is the opposite of the truth. Jesus resurrection is the proof of our hope. His life is the promise of our transformation. He didn’t just die for our sins; He beat sin and death. The Holy Spirit is Jesus alive in us to beat sin and death.
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free
in Christ from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1b
We are free when we confess our sins and run our race unencumbered by guilt because of our belief that Jesus is enough.