[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] L [/dropcap]ast night I practiced the technique from Will You Hear from God Part 2: How to Hear from God for YOURSELF!
The Lord took me on a bunny trail which began at 1 Peter 3, and ended with my meditating on the differences between condemnation and conviction. Hop down this trail with me a little ways.
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3: 14-17)
Every so often a mini-attack is launched my way, and it often comes through a believer. I’ve learned to deal with the person as gently as possible and to never to get into a debate, so the verses above really spoke to that situation. I often to ask the Lord why would a believer come so strongly against another, and He said “Because of their own heart issues.”
See… God points out our heart issues in one way, and that is through conviction. The enemy works in the heart of a believer (and nonbeliever) through condemnation. I didn’t get this in a sermon, you understand. He spoke this to me last night, so walk with me.
Imagine if you will, two packages. One is a ragged, misshapen box with outdated, torn wrapping paper. The other is neatly and attractively wrapped with a beautiful matching bow on top. Both boxes are handed to you.
Let’s take a look at the differences between the contents of the two boxes and their affect on our lives.
Condemnation does the following…
- Issues you a sentence for your wrong & points to you as worthless, stupid, and unable to do anything right, etc.
- Says “You’re never gonna change. Look what you did again.”
- Sings songs like I’ve “Gotta clean up what you messed up. I’ve started my life over again.”
- Makes you feel dirty and insignificant, so you have a hard time receiving the love of the Father.
- Causes you to become hypersensitive and thus critical of others who are enjoying their freedom in Christ.
- Keeps you walking on a tightrope to maintain your salvation.
- Makes you a sourpuss that no one wants to be around. Oop.
- Disconnects you from God’s spirit and causing you to be self-sufficient.
Conviction does the following…
- Issues a judgment on the action and heart intent while reminding you that the price has already been paid!
- The message inside says “It’s time to change. Here are the tools.”
- Sings songs like “Oh the blood of Jesus! It washes white as snow!”
- Reminds you that the Blood of Jesus is enough, and that a righteous man falls seven times but gets back up!
- Removes the bad feelings that come from sin and guides you to seek out spirit-led support and accountability.
- Frees you from guilt and shame and allows you to live a life in Christ through freedom and liberty.
- Causes a genuine change in heart followed by repentance which is followed by JOY!
- Keeps you hooked in to the life line of the kingdom causing you to grow and blossom into your full destiny!
If you struggle with condemnation (i.e. feeling cursed, incompetent, worthless, destined to fail) in your walk with Christ, you will not get far! You must send away the bad feelings and accept Christ’s love for your shortcomings. This is one of the MAIN reasons people do not even come to Christ in the first place! They don’t think they deserve to be forgiven of their sins, and so they won’t be. Let this unbelief not be among those of us who call ourselves Christ followers. Read Romans 8 until you get in your spirit that your walk in Christ is not all doom and gloom!
The message of the cross is heal, set free, deliver, proclaim good news… any doctrine outside of this is NOT the Gospel of Christ. Yes, we have to tighten up some areas of our lives to become free in our spirits but those things should never come through control or manipulation. As a last point, be careful who you allow to feed you spiritually. Many preachers in this time share their personal preferences and opinions which are NOT the Gospel of Christ. Don’t allow others to bind you up over their personal issues.
We all slip up from time to time. Which box do you choose?
The Father’s conviction which heals and delivers or the enemy’s condemnation which brings a curse?
With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,