“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, KJV).
Nothing gets me more upset with the devil then when people email me or message me and say that they are struggling with sin and they feel like God is too upset with them to take them back. They feel as though God is disappointed in them because they messed up and they just can’t seem to get things back on track. They feel condemned and they have all of this guilt and shame and the devil has an absolute field day in their minds convincing them that God will reject them if they came to Him so they just continue in the mess. I want to share with you a few things that the devil doesn’t want you to know.
1. There’s no such thing as too messy for God. There was a point when I was saved, I really had a relationship with God, I was reading my bible, I was praying, and I was a complete mess. I felt like I had made such a mess of things and life just seemed to be spiraling out of control and I didn’t know how to get things back on track. It just seemed like every time I tried to “get right” or do right it was always something that cut in and caused me to fall all over again. I was trying to do this whole “Christian” thing but I felt like I was failing at it miserably. Since I felt like it was too messy and too much for me then that must mean it’s too messy and too much for God, right? WRONG! Who are we to think that if we can’t handle it then that must mean God can’t either?!? Please tell me where in the bible does it say "The Lord your God can handle your mess, well only if it’s not x, y, or z because whew dealing with those sins wear Me out!” (Book of Lies, 6th chapter and the 6th verse). God can handle it, no questions asked.
2. You need to repent quickly. First John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (KJV). Isn’t it ironic that confessing our sins is what frees us and allows God to forgive us yet confession is one of the main things that we struggle with because we feel like God is upset with us. It’s not ironic it’s simply just a tactic of the enemy to keep you in bondage to your sin! The longer you go without repenting the more time the devil has to plant seeds in your head to convince you that God is mad at you, or what you did wasn’t really all that bad especially in comparison to other people, or that you don’t even need to repent. Cut out all that nonsense and repent. When you mess up, acknowledge it and repent for it at that moment. You can never repent too much; if you have to question whether or not you should repent for it just go on ahead and repent.
3. You need brothers and sisters in Christ that you can confess your faults to. Now I’m not talking about chatty Kathy and gossiping George that will have all your business plastered on the church bulletin and the 6:00 news. I’m referring to people who you know have a solid foundation in their relationship with Christ, provides you with a judgment free zone, BUT also loves you enough to not sugar coat or condone your sin. In spite of how people may act, it is very possible to not condone a person’s sin and also to not condemn them. Need an example? Jesus Christ, I digress. James 5:16 says confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (NLT). You need praying folks in your corner that can pray for the very things that you need deliverance from. Yes God can lead a person to pray for you even if they don’t know why or you don’t tell them to but once again there is healing and freedom in your confession!
4. God is not like people. That statement alone requires a pause for a praise break! Excuse me while I have a Hallelujah, Thank You Jesus, won’t He do it, yes He did moment. So many of us have trouble turning to God and trusting Him with our lives because of how PEOPLE have treated us. So your family and friends turned their backs on you when you messed up; your boyfriend or girlfriend left you because you messed up; the ones who promised they would always stay and would rock with you in season and out of season peaced out. God’s not like people! The amazing thing about God is that He never leaves us, we however leave Him but He’s always willing to receive us back in spite of it if we would just turn from our sin and pursue Him. One of my favorite books in the bible is Hosea because of the redeeming love aspect in spite of the mess of Gomer and the Israelites. That same redeeming love is available to you as well.
O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him (Hosea 14:1-4; KJV).
5. You cannot save/fix yourself. So many people have the mentality that they have to get themselves right first and then they’ll come to God. They think, well let me clean up the mess first and make myself presentable and then I’ll go to God. You’ve got it all backwards! There is absolutely nothing that you can do to make yourself presentable to God outside of faith/salvation through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8; Isaiah 64:6). If we could fix ourselves, or even needed to fix ourselves, before coming to God, there would’ve been no need for Jesus to have died and be the ultimate sacrifice for us. You have to realize that God doesn’t love you just when you’re perfect or doing everything right. Romans 5:8 gives us the beautiful yet humbling reminder that God showed His love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (NLT). So while I was still in my mess and pursuing everything but holiness, God sent His Son to die for me because He realized that there was nothing I could do, no matter how great, that could make me acceptable enough in my own power to reconcile myself with Him. Due to this however, He sacrificed His Son so that I could be. The change will occur in Christ, not in your own strength. You cannot pursue Christ, holiness, and righteousness in your own strength! You desperately need the help of the Holy Spirit. You will continue to fail if you try to fight sin in your own strength; remember this is a spiritual battle! Allow God to fix you; trust me, you are not capable of doing it yourself…ever…no seriously…just stop trying.
6. Stop comparing yourself to what the other Christians look like or are doing. It is easy to look at other people and think wow they’re an amazing man or woman of God and I wish I could have a relationship with Christ like they do because it just looks so perfect and they seem so solid. Let me tell you something, Christians be fronting! Improper grammar used for emphasis. Yes the grass may appear to be greener on their side but the reality is a lot of people are using artificial turf for their grass. The image they portray is not real but they want the people looking in to think that it is so perfect and pretty when it’s really not. The other side to it is the people whose grass is real, their water bill is higher! If you knew the sacrifices they had to make and the valleys and pits that God has required them to walk through you would not be willing to pay the cost that they did to get the relationship that they have with Christ. Bottom line, worry about your own lawn and use Christ as your example for holy living. People fail, Christ doesn’t, the end.
7. Sin/backsliding doesn’t happen overnight. Okay here comes the tough love part. There is a difference in struggling with sin and actively practicing it. For people who are struggling with sin it is no joke! It bothers them, it hurts them, there is uneasiness, and it leads to repentance. People who practice sin, the sin doesn’t really bother them; they don’t really want to be delivered from it because they’re okay with it. You have to be real with yourself; if you are really struggling with sin you should be actively pursuing a solution, not the sin. We have to stop playing with sin and convincing ourselves that we will be okay. The thing about the fall is that it doesn’t happen overnight. There are always “small” steps that preceded it that we convince ourselves aren’t a big deal and are not affecting us. Once our hearts are so far away from God we wonder how in the world did I get to this point??? The devil wants to convince you that a little bit of this or a little bit of that won’t hurt; you have will power and you’re strong enough to be okay. The only fact about that statement is that it is a lie. Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23); I don’t care what everybody else is doing or what they have to say about you. They have no heaven or hell to put you in so you can wave bye to them and their opinions. Guard your heart and be intentional about pursuing Christ because He is more than wholeheartedly pursuing you and has always been.