Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Dealing with Guilt

And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. (Hebrews 10:19 NLT)

Sometimes our consciences can condemn us. They go into hyperdrive and won’t let us alone, whispering, “You are unworthy. You have done wrong. You can’t approach God.”

Yet the Bible tells us that God’s Spirit can cleanse us of a guilty conscience because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Hebrews 10:19 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus” (NLT).

And in 1 John 3:20 we read, “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything” (NLT).

This means that we can approach God no matter what we have done.

However, the devil doesn’t want us to know this. He wants us to think that we can only approach God when we have done well. He wants us to believe that if we have been walking closely with the Lord, then we can pray. But if we’ve fouled up, we can’t.

For example, maybe you’ve had a disagreement with your husband or wife. You think, “Maybe we should pray before we go to bed. But that would be hypocritical because we just had a fight. How can we pray after we’ve had a fight?”

Or maybe you’ve thought, “I can’t pray because I lost my temper in this situation” or “I can’t pray because I just had an impure thought.”

That kind of thinking is from the devil himself. The Bible calls him “the accuser of our brothers and sisters” (Revelation 12:10 NLT). And as you prepare to go into God’s presence in prayer, he’ll say, “Do you think you are worthy to approach God? You call yourself a Christian! What a hypocrite you are! What a failure and disappointment to God you are!”

But he is a liar. And when Satan talks to you about God, he lies. He lies to you because he wants to keep you away from God. He also wants to keep you out of the Word of God, because he knows that is where the power is. That is how changes will take place in your life.

When the Spirit of God convicts us, He will use the Word of God, in love, to seek to bring us back into fellowship with the Father. In contrast, when Satan accuses us, he will use our own sins in a hateful way to drive us away from fellowship with the Father.

God’s Spirit will make us aware of what we’ve done wrong, but He always will bring us back to the cross. When we have messed up, we need to go to the cross. When we have done something wrong, we need to go to the cross. We always need to go to the cross and to God in prayer.

The devil wants to keep us away from God, and his accusations always will drive us away from the cross. God’s Spirit, however, always will bring us to the cross.

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