I’ve been on an incredible journey through Scripture this past year and a half, and it’s led me to know and understand the character of God on a deeper level. I’ve been studying the Names of God or Titles that have been attributed to God throughout the Bible…Almighty, Bread of Life, Comforter, Defender, Emmanuel, Faithful, Gracious, Healer, Infinite, Just, Kind, Lion of Judah, Messiah, Name above all names, Omnipotent, Prince of Peace, Quick to answer, Refuge, Strong Tower, Trustworthy, Unchanging, Victor, Wise, Yahweh. Every name or title that I uncover through study in Scripture not only adds to my understanding of who God is, but it serves to inform me of my own identity in Christ.
Interestingly enough, Satan is also given some names or titles in Scripture. He’s referred to as the Father of Lies (John 8:44), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), and my least favorite, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). In other words, whenever he opens his mouth, he lies. He breathes out accusation unendingly. He never stops deceiving and accusing. Say hello to the content of our study this week: Guilt.
If there’s one thing that I love about the promises of God for the believer, it’s our freedom in Christ. Every repentant sinner receives full pardon from God. Every single one. Every single time. The moment we confess our sins and acknowledge our need for the Savior, our prison doors swing wide open. Whatever held us captive before no longer holds its power over us. Satan knows this, sometimes more than we do. So what’s his next best move? He’ll try to keep us in our open prison cells by reminding us of what got us in there in the first place. “You’ll never be free of this addiction. How can you live with yourself after what you’ve done? You belong here. You don’t deserve forgiveness and freedom.”
In my study of Overcoming Guilt, there is one powerful truth that struck me:
Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, and always addresses unconfessed sin in our lives.
Condemnation comes from the Enemy and always focuses on what has already been confessed.
Believer, if you are feeling conviction over sin in your life, run to Jesus. This conviction is the Lord’s kindness toward you that leads to salvation.
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10
However, if you find yourself stuck in a constant cycle of guilt (worldly grief) over past failures that have already been brought under the blood of Jesus Christ, this is the work of the accuser. Why does he work so tirelessly to keep us bound by the stronghold of guilt? Because, if we remain in our opened prison cells, we’ll never be able to be the agents of God’s freedom to other captives. Jesus wants us free. The enemy will do whatever He can to make us believe that we are still bound.
It’s time to shed the weight of guilt today. It’s time to discern between guilt and condemnation today. It’s time to be FREE.
Below are a few of the Scripture prayers from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word from the chapter Overcoming Guilt. Pray these words out loud. As you pray, listen for those chains to break.
Father, I thank You that You’ve had mercy on me according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion, You blot out my transgressions. You can wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…You can create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:1, 2, 10)
O Lord, I have examined my ways and tested them, and returned wholeheartedly to You. (Lamentations 3:40) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24) Lord, if in examining myself, I have overlooked sin, please show me and lead me to full repentance and restoration!
Wash me, Lord, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice! (Psalm 51:7-8) Break this bondage, Lord, that seems to keep me from sensing or believing Your forgiveness. Help me to rejoice that the only thing whiter than snow is a repentant sinner!