April 25, 2013

Feeling Convicted

Have you ever had one of those days (weeks) where you feel as though something is not quite right? Where you are constantly looking over your shoulder, feeling as though you have done something wrong, and that you are about to get into trouble? I am feeling this way today. I know what the Bible says about guilt and about conviction:

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 NLT

I have repeated this verse over and over in my head, and yet I still feel the pangs of guilt.

Earlier in the week, I had a dream whereby I was being convicted by a woman. I didn't know this woman, but she was continually harassing me, convicting me (yelling, abusing, and saying things about me). I remember asking the Lord about it, and wondering why I would dream such a dream. He told me to be prepared, that there would be a time this week where I would be accused and would need to stand up for myself. Of course, I was thinking that I would face spiritual accusation -- which is a common thing for me. I didn't think of it as a personal experience. In truth, I didn't think that I would find myself in a position whereby I would have to face an accuser directly and stand up for what I believe in.

It is a weird feeling, to be spiritually convicted, to be harassed with guilt feelings, and to keep repeating that same mantra over and over again: I am free, I am free - there is no guilt or stain on me because of the blood of Jesus. Yet, here I am today, feeling still as though there is some issue, some error that has not been resolved, and that I am waiting while the jury is out for the conviction to come.

God is Good all the time, and all the time, God is Good. I know this, and I know that I am no longer condemned before Him. I struggle though with these feelings, and with knowing that I did something I shouldn't have done, and that I displeased Him with my behavior and my words. Oh, how I wish now that He would have stepped in and reminded me of His Word. Oh, how I wish my feet would have been prevented from stumbling on this point.

The Word tells us that He will keep us from stumbling - but there is a part of me that believes that sometimes - God allows us to stumble over things so that we will be reminded of our own actions. I believe that we are partners with the Word of God, that we must remain aligned with what the Lord declares for us. We can agree with the Word, but not obey it. We can recite the Word, but not believe it.

There must be no distinction between what we say we believe and what we believe. Likewise, there must be no distinction between what we think and how we act. If we say we are His Children, then we must behave as His Children. We must be One with His Holy Spirit, and we must not do things or say things that are contrary to His Nature.

I know that I have done both - not purposefully - but nonetheless - I did them. I was a party to something I should have walked away from, and because I didn't do it, I am being condemned for my lack of action. I sat by and participated in something I didn't want to do, but rather than stand up and walk away, I gave in and remained. It is guilt by association. I am condemned.

Dear Lord -

I know what I did, and I have confessed this sin to you. I have acknowledged my weakness, and I have surrendered to your hand of discipline. I know that I should have stood up, and that I should have walked away when things started to turn. I didn't do it, I misread the signs, and I didn't see what was coming at me. I guess in my defense, I am naïve in such matters. I am also not the most apt when it comes to picking up on feelings and emotions. I struggle to perceive sometimes, and that has caused me in the past to find that I am just "a little too late" in moving out of the way. I get it now, and I see that my lack of reaction led me to remaining too long. I take responsibility for my actions, and I stand now before you, humbly asking your forgiveness and for your Grace to learn from this lesson. May I understand that I am not the most savvy when it comes to reading intention and emotion. I need to be aware of what is going on so that I can avoid these kinds of situations in the future. Please empower me to refrain from these activities, and help me now to repair the damage I created by my lack of action, and my unwilling acceptance of something that I should have clearly rejected. I ask this now in Jesus' Name, Amen (so be it). Thy will be done. Selah!

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