January 13, 2014 - Radical Hope


Guilty Dog

It’s everywhere—stalking, pursuing, and determined to thwart that with which God has commissioned us.

He has commanded Christ followers to go to all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He has instructed us to make disciples and spread His Gospel everywhere we go—to the corners of the earth.

Satan can’t let that happen without a fight, and he knows where to hit each of us. The sins that plague mankind are on his list with each of our names written beside them. He knows. But that’s only the beginning.

Once we sin, guilt takes control and prevents us from spending time with the Lord. We even struggle to read our Bibles because it convicts us.

Here is what Satan tells you when you’ve sinned:

  • You are hopeless
    • Hopeless is a word Satan uses that puzzles me. As a Christian, the one word that cannot pertain to you is “hopeless”. Christ made that clear in 1 John 3:3,
      • And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as he is pure.
      • And in Roman’s 15:12, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”
  • You have sinned against God and he can’t even look at you
    • Ephesians 1:7 states that in Christ we have redemption through His blood and forgiveness of sins. Satan would have us believe that those words pertain to more deserving people and not us. Our sins are too great, too often, too . . . something. But the fact is that Christ’s blood is sufficient for every sin, every person, every time.
  • Whatever it is God has called you to do is too hard because of your sin
    • In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul states, But he (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
    • God may call us to a task that is not possible for us to do on our own. We may see no way to carry it out, but if God calls us to do it, we need to trust that He has everything under control and will make a way.
  • Your life is never what it should be
    • That’s true—it isn’t. But Satan wants you to believe that until you get your life straightened out you need to stay in the shadows. There is nowhere in Scripture that indicates this to be valid. Guidelines are given for those carrying out specific roles of leadership in the church, but we don’t have to be paralyzed with fear from doing what God has called us to do. Sin does not prevent us from serving unless it is unrepentant. All have sinned.
  • You are not worthy
    • You can’t earn forgiveness. To imply so is blasphemous. I sometimes wish I could pay something, do some form of penance, or suffer physically in order to express my anguish over sin and pay just a token against it’s penalty. But forgiveness is the free gift of God through Jesus Christ His Son. There is nothing we can do to contribute toward it in any way.

The bottom line is that if guilt is getting in the way of you doing what Christ has called you to do, search your heart prayerfully. If sin is in the way, confess it, repent of it, seek God’s face and turn from sin. Then, be obedient and go to that mission, talk to that co-worker about Christ, and don’t let Satan lie to you anymore. Christ paid the price—the entire price.

If Satan convinces you that you are not able to do God’s work because of your past, he just wants you to give up. That’s how he wins.

Bottom line: Confess you sins, repent from your sins, receive forgiveness from Christ, and get to work.