Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Was ... Wrong

By Bridgette O'Hare

I was wrong.  Deep down I knew I was wrong...but I did it anyway.  And this wasn’t the first time...I’ve done it before. 
Justifications swirled around in my mind, muffling the little voice that was trying to remind me to do the right thing. Man, those self-righteous justifications sure are loud...aren’t they? 
Have you ever wondered why the voice of reason - the voice of truth - never seems as loud as those arrogant, sanctimonious voices that often drown it out?  Have you ever wondered where that subtle voice comes from and why it doesn’t just shout at you:
“Hey...dummy...yeah, you... STOP THAT!” 
Why does that voice speak so quietly when so many other voices are barking loudly around you?  I have asked that question - many times. Always after the fact, I hate to say.  The catch is, if I listen to the right voice I don’t have to ask myself that question afterwards.  Yet somehow I find myself asking it time and again.
Have you ever done something that you were pretty sure was wrong, but you justified your actions to yourself?  Hard to drown your own voice out, right?  I know you have.  We all have.  It goes with the territory of being human.  We make mistakes.  Sometimes big ones.  Sometimes we do things that we feel like God couldn’t possibly forgive us for.  But He will, He does, He has.  If we have truly gone before God in prayer and confessed our sins, asked Him to forgive them truly from the heart, then we are fully questions asked!!! 
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Don’t you wish it were that easy with people?

I know from personal experience that sometimes it doesn’t seem so simple to us.  We wrestle with those voices in our head that say God couldn’t possibly forgive us for something so horrible.  Those voices are liars!  Those voices are Satan-sent and want nothing more than to see you suffer and not TRUST GOD.  It’s this point that I personally would like to say:
“Hey...dummy...yeah, you... STOP THAT!”   
(ok...I really don’t think you’re a dummy...just trying to make a point)
No matter what you have done, no matter how horrid you think it is, no matter how repulsive it truly is...God has already forgiven it if you’ve already sincerely asked.  What you are dealing with now is guilt.  Guilt is a powerful weapon in Satan’s arsenal.  I should know...I’ve been attacked with it over and over.  But God’s forgiveness trumps any weapon Satan has - every time.  You only need to have faith in God’s forgiveness.
If you aren’t sure how to come humbly, yet boldly before God to ask for His forgiving grace...keep reading.  As always, He has already given us the instructions.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
God wants us to approach His throne with boldness...boldness He bestowed in us when we became His children.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Guilt is nothing more than heavy chains Satan wants to keep draping around your neck as he pushes you closer and closer to the edge, hoping to push you over and watch you drown as they anchor you beneath the dark waters. Matthew 11:28 tells us that God doesn’t want us to carry that weight around.  He wants our burden to be light.  He wants us to give that burden to Him.  Hand over the chains...they don’t belong to you anymore.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)
Jesus has already shouldered the sin, He has already paid the price of forgiveness, He has already bore your guilt as His own...He has done all of this through the blood that He shed for all of us on Calvary.
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
We still have to make amends for our wrongs, we will still have to face the consequences of whatever our actions bring, but that doesn’t mean God will never bless us again.  It does mean we are forgiven and we can go on knowing that by His blood, we are forgiven, we are healed of our transgressions, we are new in the eyes of Christ, all of our sins are passed away and our slate is wiped clean.  
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)