Condemnation The Counterfeit For Conviction
[content_box_red width=”75%”]WOW Word of Today: Cast not away your confidence (faith): it will be richly rewarded.”4 Faith is a lifestyle not a one act deed.5 Strive to be diligent in your faith. We learn about God, His love, His acceptance, His ways, His righteousness, His Word—then we ultimately decide to believe or not believe. -Earma[/content_box_red]
We often struggle in frustration to change ourselves to be what we know we should be like. For example, I knew in my mind that I should be more confident and bold in God. But as I tried to do this using whatever method I was involved in at the time I would find myself further withdrawn. I would reject myself more, giving into more feelings of insecurity, which led to hating myself more and feeling guilty about it all.
Change did not come through my efforts alone. Nor will it come through your efforts alone. Change in our lives comes as a result of renewing our minds to the Word of God. The more we agree with God and believe what He says is true, the more we will see the changes manifest. We begin to think and talk differently then finally we begin to act differently.
Line upon line precept upon precept will begin to manifest in our life. In the mean time as Joyce Meyers says, “Enjoy the journey! Be joyful about your progress, not depressed about how far you still have to go.” One of the first steps in renewing our minds to a right image of ourselves is deciding to be confident. Confident in whom you may ask?
I used to minister in the Dallas county jails with an older woman in her 50’s. This woman was so confident that the prisoners in the hallways often mistook her as a lawyer or judge. I asked her one-day what was the secret to her confidence. I wanted to know if she was aware that any room she walked in people automatically looked to her for guidance.
She chuckled and without missing a beat she said, “Yes, I am aware of it. But my confidence is in the Lord and flows from there.” Therefore, it is not self-confidence we seek, but confidence in Christ. The prophet Jeremiah put it this way, “Most blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.”2
Our goal as a believer is to be confident in Christ. It is a sin to be confident in ourselves alone. Philippians 4:13 says in part…I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. My husband often says, “Earma, whenever there has been a need, you have taken loads of pressure off of me because I know you trust God with me and you are not just depending on me.”
Also in Philippians 3:3 Paul says that we are to put no confidence in the flesh. That includes family as well as our friends and ourselves. That doesn’t mean we don’t trust anyone. I am simply saying our confidence should be in God alone.
Again Prophet Jeremiah reminds us, “Thus says the Lord: Cursed (with great evil) is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak (human) flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord.”3 Confidence in God is faith. In Hebrews Paul says, “Cast not away your confidence (faith): it will be richly rewarded.”4 Faith is a lifestyle not a one act deed.5 Strive to be diligent in your faith.
We learn about God, His love, His acceptance, His ways, His Word—then we ultimately decide to believe or not believe. If we believe, we have confidence (faith.) If we don’t believe, we live in doubt and duplicity about everything. The Apostle James said a double-minded man would receive nothing from God.6
At times Satan will attack our confidence level. He will attempt to steal our confidence in God and cause us to doubt, feel insecure and even live in fear and inadequacy. When those times come, (DWJD) do what Jesus did: Jesus used the Word when Satan came to distort his identity.
Remember he tempted him twice with, “If you are the son of God? Each time Jesus pulled out the sword of the Word.7 Condemnation will destroy your confidence. I have often had to ask myself, is it conviction or condemnation?
Apostle John wrote, “And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment.”8
Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit’s personal ministry to us. Every time we are getting off track the Holy Spirit will convict us (show us) that our actions or decision is wrong. He usually does this by a knowing in our spirit that what we are doing is not right or through the Word of God. Any mental attack on your self-worth does not come from the Father.
He will correct your behavior, but he never condemns your worth.9 It is Satan who sends the thoughts like, “I am no good.” “I will never amount to anything.” “I am a failure.” “I am not important.” When we feel convicted, our response should be to repent and change our direction.
Satan does not want us to know the difference between condemnation and conviction. Condemnation is his counterfeit for conviction. Here are some contrasts that will help break the cycle of condemnation and guilt:
• Know that God is the lifter up of our heads. Satan is the accuser and enemy of the brethren.10 God has sent the Holy Spirit as our encourager.
• Conviction will point to something specific; a specific sin. The Lord will tell you exactly what you have done. Condemnation will be a general feeling or a vague accusation. You may feel guilty but cannot identify any specific sin.
• Conviction of the Holy Spirit will lead you to repentance. The sin will be recognizable. It is something unconfessed and unforgiven that you recognize—usually in the immediate past. Condemnation will produce feelings of guilt. Using something imaginary or something already taken care of that the enemy will bring back up to torment you with.
• Repentance after conviction will leave you with knowing God’s mercy and grace. Because of the blood of Jesus, God forgives our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.11 The Holy Spirit will tell you how to take care of the sin. When you obey, you get relief from soul-pain guilt. Condemnation will push you into a cycle of guilt and remorse. There is usually no solution offered. If any solution is offered, it is irrational and unscriptural. The soul-pain intensifies.
• Conviction will offer you freedom and liberty after repentance. Condemnation will trap you in bondage to oppression and heavy burdens that we don’t have to bear.
Decide to renew your mind with the Word of God in this area of self-righteousness and self-image.12 Then when our enemy the devil comes to steal, kill or destroy in your life through condemnation. (DWJD) Do what Jesus did: pull out your sword (the Word of God).
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21 Day W.O.R.D. Challenge Exercise
(Memorize Memory Scripture, Pray and Say it aloud throughout every day of the challenge.)
- Memory Scripture: For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. -2 Corinthians 5:21
- Confession: I am the righteousness of God through Christ.