“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1 NKJV
Read this verse over and over. What is the Holy Spirit whispering to you?
This morning the whisper I hear is “walk with me.” The whisper is gentle yet definite. It is inviting yet strong. The Holy Spirit convicts but does not condemn. If you feel condemned, you hear the devil not the Holy Spirit. So, let us walk with Jesus.
It is hard for me to focus this morning. This year Day Light Savings time has kicked my butt. I can’t seem to wake up an hour earlier. I may get up with the alarm, but I am in a daze. I guess it is a sign that I am getting older. With this struggle has come some crankiness. I’m a little short tempered. I find myself getting bothered by things that I can usually let go. I’m feeling the pressure of little things. I feel like things have suddenly been dumped on me. Where was all this a week ago?
I need to step back and let go. I think this is why the Holy Spirit is whispering “walk with me.” With my lack of sleep, I am reverting back to wanting to be in control. It is my natural response when I struggle, when I am under pressure. It is evidence that I still have a long way to go. I am convicted but not condemned. There is a difference.
The Holy Spirit convicts us, finds us guilty, but then offers a way out. Repent, and you will be free. What does this mean? It is more than confession. It is a change in direction. It is turning around and going toward Jesus instead of a way from Him. The devil on the other hand, wants us to feel condemned so that we will not turn around. He wants us to feel hopeless. He wants us to stop trying. He wants us to give up. But Jesus is our hope. Jesus is our strength. Jesus is our way out.
It is easy to get the two confused, condemnation and conviction. When we are convicted we are found guilty and brought to the sentencing. If we repent, if we accept Jesus as our Savior the sentence is time served, penalty paid, you are free. If we are not in Jesus. If we do not accept Jesus as our Savior then we are condemned, judgement is passed our verdict is death and eternity in hell. The devil wants us to feel this torment so that we will not look for anything else. He wants us to think we are not good enough for mercy. We don’t deserve grace. He is right but that is what grace means, undeserved mercy. The devil is the king of half-truths. He is a deceiver. He will tell some truth to get us to listen then lead us astray with lies or deception by not telling the whole truth.
We are sinners. The devil will use that as his half-truth. He will point out our sins but then he will say we don’t deserve to be forgiven. That is also true but what he won’t tell you is that God loves us so much He forgives us anyway. Out of grace we are forgiven for the worst of the worst. The worst of the worst is following our own desires instead of looking to God to lead us. This is all sin. Now if the devil can’t get us to believe that we are too bad for forgiveness he will make us think we are too good to ask for it. He will make us think that we deserve forgiveness. That we have earned our way into heaven. That is also a lie.
Hear the Holy Spirit whisper “walk with me.” Don’t get caught up with trying to do it yourself or that you can’t walk with Jesus. God loves you. This love goes beyond anything we can do or not do. His love saves us if we are willing to accept it. Don’t feel condemned and don’t condemn people. It is not our place to give such judgement. Instead follow the Holy Spirit and point others to Jesus. Give grace, live grace and follow grace.