Skip to main content

The Life Robber of Guilt

"But the one who comes to the cross of Christ knows with certainty that the debt has been paid. This is the grace of God that faces the guilty one head-on and is big enough to forgive." ~ Ravi Zacharias; Cries of the Heart

Guilt is a great life robber. Guilt holds us back, keeps us locked in fear, and prevents us from building the deep relationships we need to live the life God has for us. We will never be the people God has created us to be when guilt is allowed to flourish in our lives.

I have this sense that God is calling me to do something, but I have yet to do it. The reason is guilt. In my mind what God is asking me to do I am unqualified to do because of my past. It is the very same sin that I allowed for so long to exist in my life that God is now asking me to challenge. "But God," I say, "wouldn't someone untainted by this sin serve you better?" I am ashamed over what I have done and the guilt weighs me down. To step out in faith seems to be hypocritical. What I have forgotten is that my past is gone, my sin is atoned, and my guilt removed. The death and resurrection of Jesus make it possible for me, for us, to step out in faith no matter what we have done in the past.

Erwin McManus wrote; "No matter what kind of life you've lived, no matter how many wrong choices you've made, the next moment is waiting to give birth to new life"(Seizing Your Divine Moment; pg. 23). That is the truth we find in the life of everybody God has ever used, except in the life of Jesus (he never made a wrong choice). A prime example of this truth is a woman we meet in the book of Joshua.

Rahab was a prostitute. Her life was an existence of humiliation, abuse, loneliness, and rejection. She came to hear of the God of Israel, and when her time came she chose to step out in faith. She helped the two Israelites spies to escape Jericho. As a reward for her faith, not only was her family saved, but she became an ancestor of Jesus. She chose to forget the past and step out in faith.

Peter is another example. After Jesus is arrested Peter follows at a distant to see what is happening. Jesus is before the high priest Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin (the Jewish High Council) while Peter is outside in the court yard. The apostle is recognized as one of the men who followed Jesus. Peter denies that he is a follower. As the people around him probe further, Peter curses and denies that he even knows Jesus. Peter was guilty of the very thing he said he would never do.

After his resurrection, Jesus pulled Peter aside one morning and provided Peter with a choice. "Do you love me?" Jesus asks Peter three times. "You know that I love you," Peter responded. A few weeks later Peter stands up on the day of Pentecost and preaches to the crowd in Jerusalem. He chose to forget the past and step out in faith.

19 And so, dear brothers and sisters,we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.20 By his death,* Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's house,22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22, NLT)


The point is when we put our faith in Jesus, repent, and are baptized (Acts 2:38) our sins are forgiven. They have been dealt with and they no longer matter to God. We need to take a hold of that promise and stop letting guilt live in our lives. Since we have been forgiven we can choose to do the right thing and step out in faith to do whatever God has for us to do.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Perhaps God is calling you to the truth of the Catholic Church?
Paul said…
What truth would that be and how is it different from the the truth you think I hold?

Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…