Hebrews 10:21-23 (NLT)
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
Guilt is a horrible prison that restricts the flow of God’s Grace in our life. Yet time after time, it seems to creep up in the things that we do, the words we say and how we feel. I know I struggle with “mommy” guilt quite often when I feel that I do not adequately meet the needs of our five children. This may seem ridiculous to you as three of them are grown adults but the young mother struggling to meet the need of her growing family may identify with the same emotions. We want to do all the right things. We want to be present for everything. We try to listen to every word. Meet every possible need while anticipating the next one before it is uttered. I have paid a great deal of attention to our second son for obvious reasons over the last few years. Returning home from his recent transplant, I fell headlong into wedding planning for our oldest daughter. My heart is sad that I feel as though I missed her final years at home. The enemy pounces on that telling me terrible things that make the guilt feel overwhelming. I look at our younger daughters. When we began battling cancer, they were so small and now they are both growing into young women. How did it happen so fast? How did I miss it? Why do I feel so guilty? Maybe you are struggling with other kinds of guilt about things that you can control or even those uncontrollable things in your life? I completely understand. I have decided that the enemy uses guilt as a weapon to destroy the connection we have with the Lord. He wants to eliminate God’s Power in our life by stifling His Grace. Can the enemy stop the Grace of God from flowing through our life? Absolutely not! However, we can by believing that there is any need for guilt or shame now that we know Jesus Christ. As believers, guilt and shame are washed away. The void is to be filled with joy and peace. It is time to build a bridge and get over it.
Psalm 103:11-13 (NLT)
For his unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
God’s Unfailing Love for us was demonstrated in the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. His Love for us is far greater than human comprehension which is why we must rely on the Spirit and Truth to ever begin to understand and fathom the potential of His Love. He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. In the Eyes of God, we no longer are sinners which means we are not guilty. When God looks at us He sees Jesus and knows that we are no longer following our old nature but have surrendered our life to the Light of His Love. Jesus did not come to condemn the world which would make us guilty but through Him we might be saved. (John 3:16-17) Again, it was all because of love. Transgressions and trespasses produce anger. Forgiveness produces love. The overwhelming guilt of all of mankind would not allow for a quick cover-up. (Romans 3:19-23) Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s Glorious Standard. But God’s Unfailing Love and Tender Compassion cried out for reconciliation. His Sovereignty required perfection. The guilty could not make it to Him. Only those who were not guilty could become righteous again.
Proverbs 14:9 (NLT)
Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.
As the parent of five children, I have many different personalities to contend with. With all these individuals that the Lord has given me to mold and shape each has required their own custom made plan of instruction and discipline along the way. I have a particular child who will remain unnamed who would rather be tortured than apologize. For example, if this person accidentally steps on your foot an apology will not be extended because they did not mean to do it. If it is unintentional, they do not feel it is owed to the other person because they did not mean to do it. I have tried over and over to explain that it doesn’t matter if you meant to do it or not what matters is the other person’s feelings about it. Our entire household is filled with jokesters. There are times when we must draw a line between good-natured ribbings before it becomes an offense. “Well, I was only joking.” Yes, I understand. The moment that joke hurt the other person’s feelings it is not funny anymore. God gave us His Word to show us the many times that we fall short of His Glory so that we will understand the sin that separates us from Him. It is not a source of guilt but a guide to His Glory for those who decide to exchange their shame for salvation and guilt for His Glory.
Psalm 19:12-14 (NLT)
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Grace reconciles us to God. Guilt removes our right standing with Him. Why? It is an act of disbelief. To live in guilt is to acknowledge that there is one sin left uncovered by the Blood of Jesus which makes us subject to the Law again. Some people live in guilt and shame long after confessing Jesus is Lord because they do not believe. Religion says we have to do something to change our life. All that God is after is a reconciled relationship with us. He didn’t say that we have to follow the Letter of the Law. He didn’t tell us that we have to feel guilty when we do not measure up to His Glorious Standard. He just said work out your salvation with fear and trembling which equates to “build a bridge and get over your sin” rather than fishing off it every day because your pride won’t let it go. Forget perfection. Just seek prosperity that begins in our soul. The Holy Spirit will cleanse our hidden faults if our heart is surrendered to Jesus. He will make sure that they no longer control our mind, will and emotions so our intentions are pure. When the words of our mouth and meditation of our heart are focused on Jesus, we will not be caught up in our guilt. It is impossible. He took our sins away.
Psalm 38:4 (NLT) My guilt overwhelms me—it is a burden too heavy to bear.
Is guilt overwhelming you today? Perhaps you are thinking but you don’t know what I did. You are right. But I know all the many things that I have done wrong, yet I still dare hope. His Mercy met me this morning and the Lord said, “Let it go! You are doing just fine! Keep wading in my Grace, Mercy and Love. You will get there.” I think He might be telling you the same thing. There are those who tread on the Grace of God living in sin and then pointing to a Savior obviously not worth surrendering one’s life to or serving day by day. They are disillusioned. The Grace of God is reserved for those who love Jesus. Those who desire to serve Him daily and try to do so. Not those who mock guilt by celebrating their sin. When I fall short of God’s Standard, or miss the mark, I feel overwhelming guilt that is washed away by amazing grace. Grace is not an excuse not to try but gives us the opportunity to successfully live in the Presence of our God!
Psalm 32:1-2 (NLT)
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
Yesterday I felt like a failure, today I felt guilty about it. What next. Joy and peace are on the verge of my heart beginning to flood my weary soul. His Grace is all that I need. His Grace has proven its sufficiency in my life so today I choose to let go of guilt and shame allowing it to float away with my sin as far as the east is from the west. I watch from the Bridge called Grace as it flows beneath me into a vast of ocean of God’s Loving Kindness and His Faithfulness. My disobedience though not deliberate produced doubt that has now washed away and so His Joy is beginning to overtake me. I am transparent in this process. Too often Christians do not live in complete honesty, because honestly their life is a mess. I think that is sad because other people cannot meet them where they are. The “disconnect” created has divided the Body of Christ. Everyone has fallen short of the Glorious Standard of God. Get over yourself. You are going to fail and fall short sometimes. Get over it. If you are not living in complete honesty, people are led astray by the façade of perfection that you have created behind a manmade wall. The ugly truth is better than any painted picture. When the storm comes, all is washed away and the only thing that remains is faith, hope and love. Without the Love of God, it is impossible to have faith in our life that carries us through the wind and rain. If disobedience has been forgiven then our guilt is removed and we will have overwhelming and inexpressible joy. If our record has been cleared by the Grace of God, then it is our privilege to tell others what the Lord has done for us. To live a life of fake perfection creates temporary relationships that will fall apart when truth is discovered, but to live transparently before God and mankind will lead to reconciliation. Grace allows us to live an open and honest life before the Lord and other people.
Psalm 51:7-12 (NLT)
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
I have wonderful news for you today! You are not guilty anymore. You have been set free. There is no penalty for missing God’s Mark now you are called to win. You do not have to live in shame any longer. Release it today. Let it go. Drop in the overflowing grace of God and watch it race away with the current of mercy and love that flows through our life as believers. Now let the Holy Spirit get to work by surrendering your heart, your day, your life to Him moment by moment and step by step. He will work out your salvation and knit you in close relationship with God the Father through care-full obedience. Suddenly, your heart will burst with joy in your salvation and it will overflow from your belly like living water and shoot out of your mouth as praise. See God is working in us and through us so we don’t have to build a bridge – Jesus did and He called it – Grace. Now we just have to walk in it and to get over all guilt and shame!
Psalm 51:16-17 (NLT)
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.