“You’ve blown it as a parent.”
You’ve wasted so much of your life, you are such a failure!”
“You call yourself a Christian; look at all the people you ignored over the years. Look at all the missed opportunities.”
“You blew it!”
“You failed.”… Have you ever had thoughts like these bombard your mind? Recently, I was struggling with these thoughts coming to my mind like so many artillery shells. One zinger, “I can’t believe you are 61 years old and you are just learning (insert recent revelation).” I was overwhelmed with my own self-focus, contaminating pride, laziness, and weaknesses. As I was getting in the car one morning, the song “Greater” by MercyMe was in my mind. As I was about to turn on the ignition, these lyrics went through my head, “And greater is the One living inside of me than he who is living in the world” I turned on the car and those exact lyrics were playing on the radio! Some would count this as a coincidence but as one who believes in and follows Jesus, I have learned there are no coincidences and when something like this happens; it is God giving me a message. But I didn’t really examine it at that time. Later that day I was sharing my struggles with my dear friend and prayer partner and she said, “That’s the enemy! God does not talk to us like that.” Then it was like a light going off in my heart and I remembered the song God brought to my attention. Later I read all the lyrics and realized all He was saying. I was under attack and the enemy was filling my heart with his accusations and reminders of my sin. But the blood of Jesus Christ has covered my sin! As it says in Ephesians 1:7-8a “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”
I then realized when the attack started. A few weeks ago God spoke to me through a sermon at my church. I took the challenge to give God the first minutes of my day to pray. Not just a brief prayer but a sacrificial time to seek God apart from all distractions. I started getting up earlier than usual to pray and it was a blessed time. But things came against me, I missed a few days and then I spent a week under this attack. The enemy did not want me to spend that time in prayer! That tells me how important it is. When the enemy attacks, it feels like oppression not conviction. The Holy Spirit will convict of a specific sin and call us to repent of that. He does not oppress us with a general feeling of failure and condemnation. I praise God for His love, His forgiveness and His grace. And I thank Him for this song.
Are you under attack?
Are you feeling condemned and overwhelmed by your sin? If you feel that conviction but you have never given your heart to Jesus, know this truth from Romans 10:9-10,
“If you declare with you mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” And once you are His, Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” Once we belong to Jesus, when we sin, He promises in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Once He cleanses us, our sins are gone. They are wiped away. The enemy condemns; Jesus leads us to life.
If you belong to Jesus and you are convicted of sin, confess it and move on yielding to Him. If there is a general sense of condemnation and accusation, that is the enemy! Resist him!
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 Meditate on the truth of Scripture. Spend time praising God. Pray and tell the devil to leave you alone. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 Praise God for the victory!