There is a reason so many Christian men and women hang on to the guilt of their sin even though they know about God’s total forgiveness. There is someone who does not want you to be free; his name is Satan. He does not want God to have the glory shown through the miracle of forgiveness. He would much rather Christians walk in a cloud of shame instead of dancing in freedom and praise.
Not only is Satan called the father of lies, he is also called the accuser. His job description is to make you feel guilty. Revelations 12:10 tells us that Satan accuses us before God day and night. Can you hear his voice accusing you?Embracing God’s forgiveness may be a theological concept, but it can also have practical implications for your daily life. We want to share with you three steps you can take to find freedom from the enemy’s accusations.
STEP 1: Recognize the Voice
When you have thoughts that bring on condemnation, can you tell the difference between God’s conviction and Satan’s accusations? God convicts us of sin for the sake of leading us to freedom. Our enemy taunts for the purpose of keeping us in bondage.
One way to discern the voice of God is to distinguish between guilt and shame. Guilt is related to what we have done; shame speaks condemnation over who we are. When God convicts us, we may feel guilty for our sin, but along with that conviction is the invitation to confess our sin and to embrace the forgiveness Jesus offers. Satan’s accusations inevitably lead to shame—an overriding sense of help-lessness and oppression. He will convince you that there is no positive way forward and that you can do nothing to be free.
God longs for you to know and receive His forgiveness for your past. Satan wants you to dwell on how bad you are. His flaming arrows (Ephesians 6:16) make you doubt that God could or would completely forgive you. Satan will discourage you with thoughts like these: What you did was so bad. You can never be a true Chris-tian with a past like yours. When you discern the condemning voice of your enemy, remember that God would never cover you with shame. His voice always offers freedom. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
STEP 2: Remember the Cross
Satan’s accusations feel powerful because in one sense, they ring true. In our sinful state, we are not worthy of fellowship with God. As the Bible says, we have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). If it were not for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we would be forever burdened with the condemnation of sin. Satan desperately wants you to forget the cross. He’s happy for you to wear one around your neck or hang one in your house, as long as you don’t remember that Jesus’ death on the cross forever cancelled sin! “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
When she remembered the cross, Lorraine refused to believe the enemy’s lies. She responded, “Satan, you are right. I am a murderer, but that isn’t how God sees me. I have been cleansed, forgiven, and clothed in the righteousness of my Savior.” When Satan accuses you of your past, remind him that your sins have been for-given by God. You are FREE! You are FORGIVEN!
STEP 3: Declare the Truth
When you feel the sting of accusation and guilt, what do you do? You pull out the enemy’s fiery dart and throw it back at him! You refuse to believe his lies and you declare God’s truth out loud, “There is no condemnation for me because I’m in Christ Jesus” (paraphrase of Romans 8:1).
In the powerful passage about spiritual warfare, Ephesians 6, we are told to put on the armor of God and then to stand. In fact, we are encouraged “to stand” three times in those few verses (Ephesians 6:11, 13, 14). Holding the shield of faith in our left hand and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, in our right hand, we stand. And just as Jesus did when Satan tempted Him (Matthew 4), we declare Scripture in response to Satan’s taunts: “Satan, you don’t want me to forgive other people or myself because you don’t want me to be free. You want me to be in bondage. You are not going to outsmart me. I am familiar with your evil schemes.”3
When guilt whispers condemnation, what do you do? You worship your King, who forgave you and brought you out of darkness into His glorious light. And you sing His praises loudly! When you are refusing and resisting the fiery darts of the enemy, worship is a wall of protection around your soul. So worship, declaring the truth of God’s great love for you!
Forgiving yourself may bring about the breakthrough you have been looking for. Your fear of intimacy or determination to stay in control—are they rooted in bondage to the guilt of past sin? How would your life be different if you were truly free?
Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). Do you believe this? In Surprised by the Healer, readers heard what Lorraine said, “A time comes to let yourself off the hook.” The name of Lorraine’s hook was abortion. What is the name of yours? Will you name your hook and agree with God that it is time to tear up the record of your wrongs? Will you pray?