Thursday, November 07, 2013
CONDEMNATION OR FORGIVENESS?
At first, Allen held his shield of faith high, deflecting those fiery satanic darts, extinguishing them quickly. But as time wore on, his shield seemed heavier and his focus scattered so it wasn’t held as high. A little space is all Satan needs for those darts. He is an excellent marksman.
Time passed, Allen’s attention shifted, his shield dropped lower. More darts hit their mark. Allen seemed less positive about his faith and standing in Christ. He found doubt to be a normal part of his life, slowly replacing faith, slowly dropping his shield.
Until finally, Allen didn’t bother to put on his armor at all. His shield of faith was somewhere in the closet, under a pile of doubt and insecurity.
If only I'd (done or not done) that. I should’ve seen that coming; saved more money; got rid of that credit card; been more honest with them; studied harder; finished the project on time. . . and so the little accusing voice (fiery darts) within our minds goes, piling on guilt and condemnation. The Bible clearly says, however, that there is no condemnation for believers. Will I listen to the condemning voice (not God) or the uplifting, encouraging one (God)?
Romans 8:1-2 So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit—and this power is mine through Christ Jesus—has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.
Romans 8:9-11 But you are not carnal but spiritual if the Spirit of God finds a home within you. You cannot, indeed, be a Christian at all unless you have something of his Spirit in you. Now if Christ does live within you his presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive because of the righteousness he brings with him. I said that our nature is “dead” in the presence of Christ, and so it is, because of its sin. Nevertheless once the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives within you he will, by that same Spirit, bring to your whole being new strength and vitality.
Romans 8:14-15 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba! Father!
Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father!
Romans 8:28, 31 Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good. What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
God's rescue is eternal and very personal. He prepared the way by allowing Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God, to be crucified so we may experience not only joy for the moment, but a joy everlasting. Well aware of our weaknesses, He implanted His Holy Spirit in our hearts, our souls—preparing an immediate, incorruptible two-way communication system between us and Himself.
And what of your shield of faith? Is it shiny and dent-free, hanging on the wall or hidden in the closet? Or is it covered with dings, dents, scrapes and black spots where those fiery darts were extinguished?