Aside from genuine desire to please myself in every way without consequence, there’s one other thing that kept me from Christ. It’s a small thing, really, when you aren’t aware of its existence. An inconsequential nothing, when you don’t have a name for it.
It seems keeping things out of our minds, names of feelings or problems or solutions is one of Satan’s best tactics.*
You know how sometimes the aftermath of doing certain less than noble things leads to just feeling weird. You don’t feel good, but you don’t feel totally horrible. But you don’t like what you’re feeling. It’s not overwhelmingly apparent, sometimes maybe. But your emotions are kind of in this limbo of “eh, I don’t know whatever.”
Until you hear a bible verse, go to church, get a call from your parents, see a certain person who you know is living a certain way that is probably the better way.
There are other triggers; those were the main ones for me.
Those triggered the sensation I didn’t know was called condemnation.
A night shacking, getting trashed, avoiding prayer, being selfish, these were almost always accompanied by a morning of the little nothing called condemnation.
Often, I woke up with an indescribable uneasiness and discontentment. A feeling that led to thoughts like “Ugh, crap I’m a horrible person. God probably hates me, great.”
Back to bed to sleep off the thoughts.
Unconsciousness was much more comfortable than repentance, so back to sleep I went.
That way of thinking is condemnation. Feeding into the lies that God hated me, looked down on me and didn’t want anything to do with me.
Why didn’t I just say “God, I’m sorry for doing (blah blah), please forgive me. Please change my heart and give me pure desires. Help me desire You more than anything else and give me the strength to resist the things I know don’t please You”?
Because I couldn’t believe God wanted to shower me with love, not after last night or the last 10 years.
Because Satan, self, the world, told me my God is mad at me; told me He will harm me because I have done bad things; told me He will withhold every good thing from me because I keep messing up.
Let me explain: I do believe if we are not operating in God’s good and perfect will, we are choosing to live out of his protection and blessing, and as a result, things that could’ve been avoided may interfere in our lives.
HOWEVER, I want to show you the error in the lie I operated my life under and avoided God for.
John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, SO THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.”
(Take note: This God does not desire to condemn his children. This God DESIRES to give ETERNAL LIFE in place of a much deserved death.)
One of the most common, shouted, preached verses in the Word and I still operated under that lie. It never occurred to me, I suppose.
Verse 17 goes on to say : “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
(Sound the alarms: NOT TO JUDGE BUT TO SAVE.)
To rescue, to free from.
Verse 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him.” (NONE)
If we will profess our belief. If we ask God to help us believe, to change our hearts and strengthen our belief and reveal to us his glory and why He should be praised and revered, the following will transpire:
1. He will.
2. We will have no judgment against us. Ever. Even when we fail and mess up.
“…But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. (But if you ask Christ to help you believe, which He ALWAYS WILL, He will spare you from judgement.)
A year ago I would’ve countered those words in the parentheses with “Well, you know what it’s too late for me. I’m too far gone.”
But, 365 days later I’m here to say:
You’re still breathing aren’t you? That means He’s still giving you a chance, inhalation after exhalation.
Verse 19 “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light for their actions were evil.”
(God knows this is the struggle of humanity, so when you ask Him to help you love the light, when you pray scripture to The One who inspired scripture, He will recognize that.)
Verse 20 “All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.”
(Yes, been there, felt that…BUT this is when we have to push through. When we start to fear the light, it’s one of Christ’s many opportunities to receive grace. In Him allowing us to recognize that we fear the light, He is granting us an opportunity to pursue the light. He’s warning us that what we’re doing isn’t good for our souls. BUT condemnation, and some pride too, told me to run and hide.)
Instead of letting that fear propel me from the black, I let it shackle me to it.
That fear kept me wanting to go back to sleep instead of confronting the Father of Kindness.
Verse 21 “But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
Pursue the Light.
Like my friend once said, “In the morning, when the light first hits your eyes, it’s uncomfortable, you don’t want to get out of bed; so it is with your soul.”
Make the conscious decision to chase the light, and when you do, when you encounter Him, you will see how little you had to be afraid of. In fact, you will see the face of compassion, you will see eyes filled with the joy, you will see a Savior beaming with pride at the courage and boldness of His child to reject the confusion and convulsion of this world, and He will rain blessings on you.
You will see that for the first time in a long time, you can walk around that room of yours without having to stretch your arms in front of you to make sure there are no heartbreaks to trip over or liars to stumble on because you will have total clarity of vision. You will see what’s in front of you and be able to walk confidently, without fear of stumbling.
You will see that your soul, which was once drenched in fear and discontentment was actually created for peace and ease.
“I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path,” John 8:12
*“It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”