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Guest Post ~ Naomi Fata Discerning the voice of guilt

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How often do you hear yourself or someone else saying,  “ I just feel so guilty for not______________”?

Many times we fill in that blank with something we feel we should be doing but aren’t doing or some area we feel we aren’t measuring up to a standard (God’s or men’s).

Among women I find this to be more prominent than men – maybe because guilt is imprinted on our hearts since Eve first ate the forbidden fruit and so for that rest time women feel like it is our fault – we aren’t good enough – the enemy grabs onto our floundering emotions and continues to speak these lies into our minds.

As women we have a standard of perfection – the perfect house – the perfect kids – involvement in every activity under the sun (whether in church or out of church) – if our kids are lagging behind in some area we feel we have failed as a mother and feel guilty that it is our fault. The list goes on and on.

Is there a difference between false guilt and true conviction of the Holy Spirit when we have sinned against our Father? I believe there is. The guideline for me is that repentance of false guilt brings no alleviation to our feelings – conviction brings reconciliation and restoration. When we are convicted of sin and confess our sins He will forgive us and cleanse us (I John 1:9) Also Romans 8:1-4 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (http://biblehub.com/niv/romans/8.htm)

But if you step back for a minute……ask God this question

Is it God’s will for you to continue to live in continual guilt?

Before we can move forward in dealing with our guilt we must understand that God does not intend for us to constantly be in a state of guilt. Jesus died on the cross, paying the price for our sin, bringing us to reconciliation with the Father when we receive Him. Therefore the only time we should feel guilty is if we have sinned and not confessed. Continual guilt that stems from what we think we should be doing or how we think we have failed God’s standard often has to do with a false set of standards.

It is easy to build our Christian lives on standards of involvement with church, attaining holiness and becoming a great Christian. However God’s standard is ‘Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’  (John 15:4-5) To abide or remain is to fellowship continually with Him – to have our hearts resting in His presence – to be listening to His voice – receiving spiritual food from His Spirit (through the reading of the Word and through our personal relationship with Him)

Guilt can be a form of bondage. I say this from experience. False guilt held me in a place away from the love of God. It had to do with inner issues of insecurity, shame, lack of self-worth. All this comes when we do not know who we are in Christ and therefore do not know how to protect ourselves from the attack of the enemy when he speaks to us as the voice of guilt.

A common problem is that many (including myself at one time) never consider guilt as something that could come from the enemy but always think it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). Guilt kills, steals and destroys our fellowship with God. And false guilt has no avenue to reconciliation because repentance of false guilt only brings further condemnation rather than restoration to fellowship. Often this false guilt has more to do with a vague sense that we should be doing better for Christ than a true conviction of sin which comes from disobeying God’s law.

Once we know the truth about guilt – that it is not God’s will for us to live in a continual state of guilt – we have a choice.

We can choose to continue to live in the condemnation of guilt which is also choosing to deny the power of the cross, through which we can be set free from this bondage. Or we can choose to go to God moment by moment, day by day, asking Him to give us the power through His Spirit to discern between false guilt and true conviction. We can diligently seek to work with Him to renew our minds with truth, counteracting the enemies’ lies with the truth of Scripture. We can read books written by godly people which will help us recognize our inner issues which may have been feeding our guilt.

The choice is ours – what will we choose?

 Naomi writes for Christian Resource Ministry you can find her here : http://naomifata.com/

Cross:  http://www.freefoto.com/preview/05-08-5/Cross-on-a-Hill

Dark clouds: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/pictures/20000/nahled/dark-clouds-1300481177Gy4.jpg

We are enough

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God cares for me, and He has the ability to relieve my worries, my stresses.   I relinquish control onto Him.   Two sentences that seem so simple…..

But why has it not been that simple for me in my life.   On a day to day basis, there are instances where I let my thoughts go down a path that spins out of control.  

All He wants is for me to come to Him in those times.  He wants me to believe that in all things, He is there.

                Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

He cares for me, unconditional, never ending love and power.  He is at the center, and just wants me to lean on Him in everything.

My shelter in the rain, my protector, my everything.

Simple….

                Never-ending…..

                                Love…..

                                                He is in control….

Sometimes I feel like there is a battle that is going on inside of me.    I am not worthy,  I don’t fit the mold, I am scared, I worry, I try to control.

I pray,

I ask for help, 

I give thanks….

I am thankful for the experiences, for the pain, and for the perspective He has been given to me.   The scars are visible, but they do not define who I am.

I believe in Him, in Love, and that He reigns.

He holds me, He carries me, He is my strength.

We were meant for so much more than this, we were meant to live a life of abundance in all things. 

To feel light,

To see the light….

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

There is a place for us, beyond all comprehension.

Where you feel love, where you feel whole.

There is no fear, worry, or heartache.

A place where life is light always.  Where the warmth of love feels like the first time you were held as a babe.

Where brokenness is restored again.

In Revelation 21:1-5, God gave John a vision of what will happen when God restores broken things:

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”

Today, we are here on Earth, and God promises He will carry us, and He is in control.   Give your worries to Him and rest.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30 NIV)

 

My Prayer

Dear Lord God,

I thank-you for watching over me, and showing me how to trust.   I ask You to keep me strong, and to protect my mind and the minds of all that I love from the devils evil whispers.  I ask that all that are going through hardship and pain, that they hear the voice of your Holy Spirit.  I ask that the words are Your truth.   You are the healer of the sick, you give rest to the weary, and Your wisdom is beyond comprehension.  You are our Father that cares for each one of us.  I give my worries to you as you will take care of them.   I ask that You help all those that are searching for You.   I pray for this in Jesus’ Name Amen.

Sincerely,

Your Lamb