“They’d never understand.”
The thought exploded in my head from out of nowhere. With it came tremendous doubt and insecurity, along with a nasty and repetitive lie of the enemy that shouted, “No one is as evil as you. You’re the only one here who could do such a despicable act.”
I looked around the room at the men and women in my church family. As we sat together preparing for a worship service, I was tempted to agree with the lies. My friends would never understand what I’ve done and if I were to share my testimony, they’d surely reject me. I had listened to the whispers of the enemy many times before, convinced that no one sitting near me could ever stoop to the level of sin that I had.
I chose God’s redemptive truth
Over the years these words of the accuser became a familiar and accepted declaration. But, that day, I made a choice. I chose to invite the Word of God to wash away the stain of my past. The Holy Spirit brought God’s Word to mind, and I allowed it to cleanse my thought life. I recognized His Word as truth and embraced its grace and the freedom that my Savior offered.
I have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of sins by the richness of His grace that He lavished on me with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
It is for freedom that Christ has set me free and I will not be burdened again by the yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
God proves His love in that while I was still sinning, Christ died for me. Romans 5:8
He presents me as holy, faultless, and blameless before Him. Colossians 1:22
By the Word of the Lord and the power of my testimony, I began to take my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. I found victory that day from the ugliness of shame which threatened my security. Its aim was to rob me of my identity in Christ by slinging mud at the robes of righteousness the Lord Himself has wrapped around me. I resisted the enemy and felt him flee. Indeed, it was a day of victory.
A work in progress
I’ll admit that I don’t always win this fight or embrace Scripture to find triumph. I could write a long tale about the ugliness of my sin and the millions of lies I’ve been known to embrace. The truth, however, is that my sin doesn’t matter. It’s in the past. Whether it was murder or adultery, abortion or anger, addiction or jealousy. . . that’s not the issue. It’s what Satan does with our sin that we must fight so hard to overcome. The whispers of our accuser (which sometimes feel like loud, obnoxious assaults) keep us in as bondage, chaining us to the mistakes of our past. The enemy wants us to believe that our sin defines us, but Jesus Christ has a different message for us.
While I’ve made great strides, I’m still learning that I am just who Christ says. I am nothing at all like the enemy of my soul describes me. Satan is an accuser and a liar who desires to steal not just my joy, but my identity. This type of identity theft utterly ignores the reputation and status that our world holds dear. It damages far more than my bank accounts and credit ratings. It reaches, it seems, into my very soul to blind me to the truth that I am washed, redeemed, and fully forgiven. While the enemy wishes to blanket me with a false identity that says, “You are defined by your mistakes,” I must cling fast to the truth that by the blood of the Lamb, I am made clean from my past. I must embrace Christ’s work; he has washed me white as snow.
Knowing the enemy’s lies
The enemy accuses us with words like:
Alone. Disgusting. Broken. Unusable. Worthless. Stained. Ruined.
But Christ reminds us of the truth, using words like:
Accepted. Beloved. Forgiven. Set Free. Cleansed. Loved. Redeemed. Holy. Righteous.
The struggle to embrace the truth is real. We are susceptible to the lies of the enemy because we already believe them. This makes God’s truth hard to accept, but it’s proven in His Word and so accept it we must. My sweet friend, call out for the Spirit’s help in realizing that Christ uses kind and loving descriptions for you. For me. When God looks upon us, according to His Infallible Word our Father says something like this: “Look at my lovely daughter. There she is, holy and blameless. What a beautiful creature. I’m so pleased with her.”
Those words aren’t intended just for everyone else. They’re intended for you, too. Yes, He knows your past. But while you were in the midst of that mistake you can’t put out of your mind, God sent His Son to take it away. He has removed us from our sin as far as the East is from the West. His work on the cross is finished and cannot be disputed or undone. Because of the blood of Christ – that which was given freely for you and for me – we’re washed and clothed in robes of righteousness. And this is the triumphant result:
God sees us as holy and blameless.
It’s miraculous. It’s a gift. We can’t earn it and we’ll never deserve it, but God presents it to us every day.
Let’s renew our commitment today, shall we? Let’s promise to take God at His Word and choose to believe that He sees us as holy and blameless. We may not feel it, but let’s make a choice to believe it. Through our obedience, feelings and emotions are sure to follow. Today can bring greater triumph than we ever imagined. Let’s stand together and embrace freedom from shame.
When you battle negative thoughts about yourself, which Scriptures do you use to battle lies with truth?
How can I pray for you as you step into the identity that Christ gives to you, His beloved daughter?
If you’d like to read more from Cathy on a similar topic, you might enjoy one of the following:
Cathy McIntosh is the author of Victorious: Finding Triumph When Hope Seems Lost. When you can’t see God’s activity in your situation, you might begin to feel hopeless. You’re tempted to doubt His care and involvement in your life because He feels so . . . absent. Victory feels elusive as if God intends it for everyone but you. But God is never absent. He is as involved in your life today as He was when He protected Queen Esther and the entire Jewish nation from annihilation, and He will bring victory.
She blogs at strengthenedbytheword.com. If you’d like to read more from Cathy on a similar topic, you might enjoy one of the following posts: