by Tammye Hamilton
I awakened before dawn to my heart racing. My thoughts immediately went to my actions the day before. I made some bad choices and did not act like the godly person I long to be.
I felt so condemned. I lay in the bed beating myself up for quite a while. I was paralyzed with feelings of worthlessness and failure.
The battle raged on but not against the enemy. It raged against me.
The enemy wants us to look at our own actions and not realize we are under attack. He wants us to feel guilty and beat ourselves up over our sin. If we stay there, attacking ourselves, then we miss forgiveness and deliverance.
We quote the scripture “We battle not against flesh and blood…” when we are under attack from others but we must remember that we are “flesh and blood”. We should not live in a place of constantly judging ourselves.
Jesus wants us to remember His forgiveness not our sin.
Of course we want to guard our hearts and live holy lives but we must remember that freedom isn’t found in recognizing our sin or our weaknesses. We definitely need those moments where we say, “Ah, I’m responsible for this.” But if we stay there, nothing is accomplished.
Your mind may be filled with torment or fear, your body may be suffering the consequences of your own choices, but blaming yourself and focusing on your failures keeps you from actually getting FREE and walking in FREEDOM.
Trying to solve spiritual problems with natural solutions may feel right and look right for a season. You may be able to get a handle on it. You confess your weakness then you get busy trying to fix it.
If you just do the right things, try harder and stay focused, you might see results. But we overcome, the Bible says, “by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.”
We may affect change by our efforts but we can’t overcome without total dependence on Him. Without recognizing and believing that He paid the price. It’s about Him.
One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 12:9, which says, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” His power doesn’t kick in when you’ve fixed yourself. He doesn’t show up when you’ve proven your ability to overcome.
No, when you acknowledge that you absolutely don’t have the answer and you cannot overcome without Him, then the miracle happens. His power is made perfect in your weakness!
Yes, I must repent and change my behavior. I can make better choices. But right at the point of acknowledging my failure I also acknowledge that I am a spiritual being and this issue must have a spiritual answer.
In my own life I have learned, the hard way unfortunately, that much of this self-condemnation comes from a root of spiritual pride. The first step in getting out of this cycle of judging myself and living under a cloud of accusation is to humble myself.
I cannot get caught in the place of focusing on my failure and how I’m going to fix it. My focus must be on Him and my dependence on His power to make all things new.
If we mess up, the best response is repentance. When we acknowledge our sin, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us. THEN we move on. We refuse to focus on it, blame ourselves, stay guilty or struggle with condemnation. We turn our backs on judgment and focus on His grace.
When the voice in your head points to your failures, point to the cross.
Spiritual problems need spiritual answers. The answer, the defense, the victory, is found in Him and in His grace.