Do you find it hard to accept the love and forgiveness of the Lord, especially when you know you have sinned or fallen short?
I sometimes do. These feelings of guilt and shame attack me most when I have neglected my prayer and fellowship time with the Lord. I have this desire to be with Him and do more for Him, but then I get busy with work and other commitments that I end up “to tired” to now go and pray. If this happens for a while, then it gets even worse.
I don’t know what you struggle with, but regardless of what it is that makes you feel condemned, guilty or ashamed before God does not come from God. These thoughts and feelings come from your own conscience and the accusations of the devil. Satan uses your shortcomings and failures to condemn you before God and man. If he is able to get you to agree with him, he will gain control over you.
Accepting God’s forgiveness and righteousness must be done by faith. You have to make a decision to choose the benefits of the cross and what Jesus accomplished there. From a humanistic and self-introspective point of view you will never see yourself the way God does – righteous, holy and blameless. It is easy to say you are righteous, but it is not easy to grasp. This is why we are told to renew our minds. Renewing your mind is simply bringing your thoughts in line with God’s thoughts.
When it comes to seeking the Lord, there are two things that you need to do if you want to find Him. The first is to forsake your own way – that means doing things God’s way instead of your way, and the second is to forsake your thoughts – thinking that the way you think is right. When you think your way and thoughts are better than God’s He calls you wicked.
Isaiah 55:6-9 Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him and to our God for He will freely pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
When we come to God thinking and feeling we are unrighteous and unworthy because of our behaviour, we are coming before Him in a way that to him is wicked. We, through religion and our own philosophies often think feeling sorry and calling ourselves as bad, or failures, or sinners, etc., is what will make us acceptable to God. Worse than that is when we think we deserve God’s blessing because of all the “good” things we have done to honour Him. Both cases are based or rooted in wickedness.
God, throughout the New Testament declares that those who are born again are righteous. He calls them His sons and daughters, born of Him and not of natural, earthly parents. I know your brain is freaking out (we obviously all have parents – duh!) but He only sees them as being born of Him. The problem is not in the way God sees us but in the way we see ourselves.
Here’s the dilemma we face. GOD WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND! He is the truth and He is the way and He is the light. End of story. Either we forsake the way we think and do things and align ourselves with Him, or we remain in a place where He says we are behaving wickedly. By the way, the wicked do not inherit the promises!
How do you do things His way? Simple, when He says you are righteous, you say you are righteous. When He says you are forgiven, you say I am forgiven. When He says you are holy, you say you are holy. when he says you are sanctified, you say you are sanctified. When He says you are healed, you say you are healed. Going God’s way means you will have to forsake your own way – which is normally the way of everyone around you. Peer pressure is one of our greatest enemies as we do not want to look like the odd one out and don’t want to suffer ridicule. Ridicule is what Jesus calls suffering the contradiction of sinners. You suffer because you contradict the way the world does things.
The toughest part of this is not what others will think and say of you, it’s what you think and say of yourself! The way you see yourself is your greatest problem. Once you are able to see yourself the way God sees you and think of yourself as He thinks of you, you won’t care about what anyone else thinks. As you align yourself with Jesus and become one mind with Him it will dramatically change who you are.
When your thoughts and emotions draw their sustenance from who Jesus is and agree with all that He has done, your life will flourish. Your words will change, and blessings come to where you feel like they are overtaking you. Battles still come but your fight is different. Instead of fighting from a position of weakness you now come from a position of strength. Instead of breaking you down they build you up. Instead of longing for a breakthrough you’re looking for a breakout!
Understanding God’s eternal judgments is crucial to your success in walking in His ways and thinking the way He thinks. I will share more on this next time.
Have a “breakout” day! 😊
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