Contrary to what many may think – the Christian life isn’t a one-way street. It comes with ups and downs, turns and twists. Many believers do not know how to handle the “downs” well. One “down” moment is when he/she is overcome with guilt and feels disconnected from God.
A major reason why some people’s relationship with God is like that is because they treat it like a contract and the devil knows it- and he exploits them. God is not your boss. God is your Father. When you hurt your Father or miss it, do you disown him? Mostly, we go back.
God is our heavenly Father. He loves us with such an incredible love- this is a fact that is signed and sealed. When we do wrong, we must know that we can always come back. This doesn’t mean we should not feel bad. In fact, feeling guilty is proof that our hearts know something is off – we are no longer indifferent to sin. However, we must learn to always COME BACK again and again if need be.When we do wrong, we must know that we can always come back. This doesn’t mean we should not feel bad. However, we must learn to always COME BACK again and again if need be. Click To Tweet
Take, for example, the prodigal son. He realized his wrong after a while and he felt guilty. He could have stayed in guilt and allowed the devil guilt trip him. Instead, he said in Luke 15:18 – “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.”
This is what my pastor calls “Gutsy guilt” – Yes, I am wrong. But I can still boldly approach the throne of grace because of what Christ has done. This is what Christ died for – for the remission of sins, for the times when you miss it. In God, there is not condemnation and not even your shortcomings are enough to keep me from the love of God. When a believer misses it, there’s no point wallowing in guilt. As long as you are downtrodden with guilt, there’s no going forward in your walk with God.
You must also understand that the devil takes advantage of children of God in this state. Let’s look at this a little more closely. Even though a lot of believers castigate Judas for being greedy, Judas was like any of us. He believed enough in Jesus to follow Him (for the space of three and a half years) but he had his weakness (just as many of us do). We see how guilt consumed him and eventually, led to his death.
Peter on the other end, faced the same thing- maybe even worse- not only was he in Jesus’s inner circle (favourite three), he was also forewarned. Despite this, Peter still fell, not just once but three solid times. However, his approach afterwards made the difference. Peter didn’t allow this to deter him. He repented when he realized his wrong. Peter wept but he didn’t allow the guilty to consume him! He came back up and came back quickly too… he kept following and stayed until the day the Holy Ghost came and then, he was transformed forever!
Do you see the difference?
When we fall, we shouldn’t stay down. We should go back to God and do so quickly, lest we are overcome with guilt like Judas was. When we miss it and do not know what to do or the steps to take, we could consider the following:
1. Run back to God. Talk to God about it.
Remember, God isn’t the big guy upstairs holding a whip to deal with you each time you fall. He is your Father.
2. Understand you can actually come back.
Like I said earlier, God isn’t your boss. God is your Father. You CAN come back repeatedly. However, please note, this isn’t a license to sin. I mean, we can’t continue in sin and say grace should abound.
3. Understand that God has done all there is to do pertaining to the forgiveness of your sin in Jesus Christ.
God doesn’t charge your sins to you anymore. That was done 2000+ years ago. It has been settled.God doesn’t charge your sins to you anymore. That was done 2000+ years ago. It has been settled. Click To Tweet
4. Forgive yourself.
I think that Judas’ suicide was partly due to the fact that he didn’t forgive himself. God has forgiven you- why then do you hold back forgiveness from yourself?
5. Remind yourself of the gospel.
The gospel isn’t just for unbelievers. The gospel is also an avenue for believers to remind themselves of how much of a good news it is. The gospel reminds you of scriptures that talk about God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. This renews your mind, unseating all those thoughts of guilt in your heart.
6. Speak back to the devil. Resist Him.
Guilt is of God. ”So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1). Condemnation is not of God. Just like Jesus replied the devil in the wilderness when he was tempted, YOU can do the same. If the devil reminds you of your life’s mistakes and your past sins, speak scriptures that tell of your redemption and the total forgiveness of your sin (because of what Christ has done).
God never gets tired of us coming back. The love God has for us is so incredible, our minds cannot imagine it all. So when next you think you can’t come back, remind yourself that it is God we speak of here – God, your Father. And when you remind yourself of that, waste no more time.
His arms are wide open, always.Remember, God isn’t the big guy upstairs holding a whip to deal with you each time you fall. He is your Father. Click To Tweet