2. Washed clean. New Slate.
3. No record of wrongs with God.
4. Accusers stand on no power.
5. If God is for you who is the person who is against you?
One reason we end up dragging ourselves around, as opposed to walking tall in victory, is guilt. Guilt over many things or one big thing. Guilt over something we’ve done, or something done to us by another. Guilt, defined as deplorable, disgraceful, despicable, unacceptable, criminal, bad shameful, evil, depraved, impure…you get the picture.
A powerful benefit we receive for following Christ is that through him, our sins are, Number One, forgiven. That means anything we’ve done to hurt others, hurt ourselves, create havoc, cheat, lie, steal, etc. gets forgiven.
There’s a catch, a caveat, a stipulation, a big fat condition – we must mean it.
We can’t just give lip service.
We make a deeply and sincere heartfelt confession, and we can do this quite successfully on our own. We don’t need a priest – who was seen as an extension of God in the Old Testament - an anointed, holy person between God and us. Beautifully, Jesus did away with that keeping things separate factor. Jesus stated, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6. So, through Jesus, we receive forgiveness. Then amazement happens.
We are immediately forgiven. Presto. Done. Instantly.
What’s more, God keeps no record of wrongs. Say what? That’s right. Once we’ve confessed it, Number Two, slate wiped clean.
That means any confessed sin, thought, or event that recurs in our mind after we’ve given it up to God through Jesus, that baloney business is not of God. Either we snatched it back and breathed new energy into a dead thing, or the enemy whispered in our ear to deflate us. And, yes, if we believe in God then we must believe there is a devil because Jesus talks about the devil quite a bit. And the devil, Satan, enemy – take your pick – is in the business of using some mighty weapons against us. What are they?
Fear, guilt, anxiety, resentment, despair, anger, depression, and shame - to mention a few. But we are not called to live with our are noses constantly pushed into the crap we are trying to leave behind, from which we are trying to disconnect.
Number Three, God keeps no record of wrong. That is such a phenomenal, cleansing, freeing event we experience within our human spirit - a beautiful washing from the Holy Spirit. God wants us to be strong. If we are hindered by mental despair, how can we thrive? How can we uplift others if we’re crawling around trying to tend to our own wounds? We were created to live in joy, peace, and happiness. Not that it’s going to be easy street here on out after we give up our dark secrets weighing us down. But little by little, we grow stronger in ourselves through Him as a result.
And it is critical, I mean c.r.i.t.i.c.a.l, to remember that once our sins are forgiven, if anyone, I mean ANYONE tries to throw them back, slap us upside the head with them, that is their problem not ours. Now, we may need to make an apology in some instances…a phone call, a letter, a card, whatever. But, when God clears us, we’re good to go.
No one has authority over us to push our nose back into darkness. Oh, they may try. And if we are not smart, they will succeed. That’s why it’s so important to spend time with Him each day, so we know when some fool is trying to bamboozle us. Once we choose Christ, we are a new creation. We immediately receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Yeah, we can choose to sin again, but we will be much more sensitive to it and do it less and less because the Holy Spirit now lives inside us.
People like to assert authority over us, sometimes for more than we care. Number Four, but if someone is using something we did to keep us down, make us feel like crap, control and manipulate us, and we’ve sincerely asked God for forgiveness, then we have the power to take the authority away from our accuser. Well, how do we do that? During Jesus’ ministry on earth, a woman was chased by villagers. They wanted to stone her because she’d committed adultery. Standing around her, holding stones, ready to bash her head in, they saw Jesus. They wanted to trap him because he’d been upsetting their authority applecart. He’d been healing people, curing the blind, being kind, teaching people about mercy and compassion over rigid rules the elders of the law used to keep people in bondage.
So, the crowd essentially said to Jesus, “This woman is a sinner! The law says to stone her! What do you think we should do?”
Jesus waited a few tense minutes. You can only imagine the hands tightening around the rocks. The excitement that the woman had been caught in the act! How utterly delicious. Just like when a celebrity or politician crashes and burns. And just like this crowd holding stones, the media, article after article, chronicles their horrible behavior. It’s electronically blasted onto our phones. News anchors stretch out the story for as long as they possibly can. Reporters are assigned to dig up every, nasty, gritty detail from the dawn of time in the person’s existence.
The crowd was silent, waited for Jesus to give them their yummy go ahead. How sumptuous it was to focus on another’s sin; then we are temporarily distracted from our own sin, our own nastiness, our own guilt. The woman was on her knees, head bowed, shamed, humiliated, her lover nowhere to be seen, certainly not defending her. The sun beat down lending to the tension. Jesus bent down, wrote something in the sand then stood. I can only imagine what it was like to look into the eyes of God when he responded, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone,” John 8:7. Seconds later, one by one, the crowd dispersed. Jesus took away their authority because they had none.
Number Five, Romans 8:31 “If God is for me, who then is he who is against me?” We’re talking GOD. Ruler of the Universe. Master of Creation. Creator of Humankind. Who on Earth has authority over God? That’s right. No one. When we’re right with God, washed clean of our sin, set on a new path, intent on pleasing Him first, not our peers, with goodness and integrity, we FEEL Him working powerfully within our lives. And that is the MOST delicious place to be.
Psalm 91:4 “You cover me with your feathers; under your wing I find refuge.”
Have a beautiful day.