This week Life Palette is focusing on forgiveness and the freedom that God wants us to live in as His masterpiece. Today I want to wrestle with the question “How do we continue to believe we are forgiven even when the enemy tries to remind us of our past guilt and shame”?
Guilt versus conviction
First we need to recognize there is a big difference between guilt that the enemy brings into our lives and conviction that God’s Spirit brings into our lives. Guilt is a tool the enemy uses to try to convince us that God is not forgiveness. Even though we are forgiven he tries to convince us that God is mad at us and that no matter what we’ve done our sin of the past will still be held against us. Conviction is when God spirit is telling us or prompting us that something in our life is sin and we need to confess it and repent from it. (For more on confession and repentance check out yesterday’s life palette blog)
Cause your faith to grow
Make this a part of your daily life. Fully live your potential as a masterpiece God created you to be. Develop habits and disciplines that will cause your faith to grow. One of the most important of these habits is to be a part of a local church community. This isn’t about religion, this is about relationships with others who are headed down the same path, going in the same direction, that you’re going. There’s nothing more encouraging than to gather with others on a weekly basis who are on the same faith journey.
Tap into God’s power
Did you know that once you put your faith in Jesus, God gives you the incredible gift of his Holy Spirit? Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit living in us is greater than any other power in the world (1 John 4:4). It’s important that we recognize this and learn to tap into His power and will in every situation. In Galatians 5: 22 the writer Paul describes what the power of God’s Spirit will do in and through us: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.(NIV)
Never Give Up on your faith
There’s nothing more that the enemy would like than to see you give up on your faith. Don’t! He is especially working overtime on moments of doubt. When in doubt dig in and just believe. You will recognize that you are in good company. Look at what John the Baptist went through after already proclaiming that Jesus was the Lamb of God: “When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Matthew 11: 2-3(NIV)
Apply the Benefits of Gods Promises
Having the incredible benefits that come with God’s forgiveness is one thing, knowing how to apply them is another. At the end of every talk I give, I always ask people to take specific next step to live out what I’ve just spoken about. This is because information without application is worthless. One question that will help you always apply the benefits of God’s forgiveness is this: “so what?” As you read, as you learn, as you grow, ask yourself this question, “so what difference does this make in my life, what do I need to do different?” This will help you to live in the application of benefits that God has for you through the freedom of forgiveness.
Don’t let anyone or anything talk you out of the truth that you are forgiven. Look at Jesus’ words in John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (NIV)