"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 (NIV)
Do you ever hear the whispers of condemnation telling you that you're not what you should be, that you're always disappointing someone and that you'll never change?
I do. Unfortunately, self-condemnation is a default for me and, if I let it, it can wipe out my confidence as a woman, wife and mom.
Thankfully, I'm just as familiar with God's promises as I am with Satan's lies. My heart has heard Jesus' gentle reminders of His love and goodness, like His "there is now no condemnation" promise in today's key verse.
However, although I know this truth that He speaks over me, I've learned that it's up to me to pause and respond to it. If I don't keep my ears tuned to His voice and my mind set on His thoughts, I forget His promises.
Condemning thoughts come back in and drown out the confidence I have through Christ.
One morning I was struggling with self-condemning thoughts and God guided me to these words written in my morning devotion: "Do not listen to voices of accusation for they are not from Me."
I opened my journal and responded from my heart:
Hello Lord. You know I often feel disappointed in myself and call myself names. You know my feelings have been hurt by someone's comments. Comments that cut me down and stole my confidence. Instead of feeling worthy, I feel like a loser. I hear You telling me not to listen to voices of accusation. Thank You for this reminder right when I needed it.
The devotion continued, "Pause before responding to people or situations, giving My Spirit space to act through you. Hasty words and actions leave no room for Me."
Again, I reached out to Him:
Lord, You know I spoke unkind words to my friend. Thank You for gently reminding me to "pause before responding." You are so faithful to speak truth to me. Thank You for these words—a reminder of what You want from me. I needed this today, right now.
If left to defend ourselves from self-condemnation or the condemnation of others, we'd be defeated every time. Thankfully we don't have to defend ourselves. In fact, God's Word promises, "the Lord himself will fight for" us. (Exodus 14:13-14, NLT)
We have the greatest defender in God and His Word. His truths re-build confidence that condemnation breaks down.
Our part is to know God's promises, respond to His truth, and believe it! Staying saturated in His Word and taking time to listen to His voice is the only way we can overcome condemnation. Reading devotions, digging into books on our specific area of struggle, participating in Bible studies and talking to Jesus through prayer helps re-build the confidence that is ours in Christ.
As we take the time to listen to Him today, let's ask Him to remind us that He is with us, He loves us, and that it's true: "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." And, that means you and me!
Dear Lord, when I forget, please remind me that I am not condemned. Help me to keep my eyes and thoughts on You. And to accept Your Word as truth so my confidence stays strong in You. In Jesus Name, Amen.
When spending time with the Lord, pause and ask Him if there is something He's trying to tell you. Ask Him to help you apply His Word to your life.
Are there condemning thoughts about myself that I believe?
What are some of God's promises I can read, hold onto and believe to replace my accusing thoughts with His affirmations?
Exodus 14:13-14, "Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." (NLT)
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things." (NIV 1984)