STRENGTH FOR THE WEEK: Flood Church’s Weekly Devotional
SERIES 3: Pried Out With A Cross
The Pride of Self-Condemnation
“Even if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” – 1 John 2:20
Your heart is often the last judge to absolve you of guilt. It is often a judge so unyielding and unmerciful that no amount of penitence will move it to pardon your offence. The result is a self-condemning voice you hear inside your own head, haunting you with your past blemishes, robbing you of your present blessings, blinding you to your future benefits, and insulating you from your eternal beauties.
When your heart condemns you for an offence that God has forgiven, it is making two prideful and false assertions about God. The first is that your heart is more powerful than God. In matters of justice, a judge of a higher court has the power to overrule the decision of a judge of a lower court. This means that no matter what offence you have committed, anyone who condemns you for it after God has pardoned and acquitted you is in essence overruling God’s authority to render a final judgment and verdict concerning you. An attitude of self-condemnation regarding sins of which you have already repented and for which you have already been forgiven is motivated by pride. Self-condemnation is an attempt to overthrow God from his throne of judgment.
The second prideful and false assertion the self-condemning heart makes about God after being forgiven is that your heart is wiser than God. In matters of truth, there is nothing possible or actual that God does not know. This means that when God forgives us and declares us righteous, it is not a declaration of his wishful thinking. Since nothing can be hidden from God, any residual feelings of guilt and condemnation after God forgives us is not a product of God’s ignorance of how stained we really are. It is we who are blinded from ultimate realities and whose perception of the world is guided by apparent realities. Esteeming ourselves as guilty when the God whose word created everything we call reality has forgiven us is presuming to overthrow God from his throne of truth.
So if you have sinned, repent of your sin by confessing it to God, expressing to him your sorrow for it, and committing to his righteousness. Do this believing his promise that if you do so, “he is faithful and just to forgiven you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness”. Once you have done so, be watchful against the condemning voice in your head, because the moment you believe that voice, it will cause you to sit in God’s chair. But if you sense that you are already sitting in that chair, then get out of it. In the kingdom of God, a throne or a crown is not given to you for winning or wanting it the most. It is given to those who are worthy, and once God forgives you, there is no one worthy to sit in God’s chair of judgment against you, not even you.
Keep the Faith