A great privilege as a believer is the journey of growing with God from glory to glory. At each stage we mature and become more like Christ, while removing who we are not to be in Christ. This daily transformation journey is immersed in the power of God’s grace.
Grace is God’s operating power. It is His divine work on a human heart, so that we can be formed into who God says we are. Grace is the favor of God, giving us the ability to do what we could never do on our own. It gives us a measure of time to work out our issues, because God knows we need time to process our transformation each day.
We all have times of spiritual triumph and days where we will fall. Through it all, God’s grace is available, not to sin more, but to give us the chance to become free from sin’s grip. This is the power of God’s love and grace towards us as His children.
We have this tremendous gift given to us. Although we may not be perfect, we are being perfected. As we seek to grow in the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, God works with us daily in our transformation journey.
God Does Not Condemn His Children
It is important to know that Father God does not condemn us in our journey. He does not use shame, guilt, regret or accusation as a way to change or motivate us. God transforms willing hearts in an atmosphere of love, and in a Father-child relationship. He engages us through the lens of loving relationship; teaching us the power of His love, grace and forgiveness.
On the other hand, it is the mission of the enemy to condemn us. The work of condemnation attacks the power of love, grace and forgiveness in ways that can be very subtle, yet deadly. Condemnation uses the Old Testament law for its validation, yet it often leaves out the beauty of New Covenant relationship, which puts the entire Scriptures into focus. Condemnation leans heavy on the side of law without seeing grace and love.
Today, we may not have a problem where churches follow the exact letter of the law in sacrificial offerings of animals, yet the spirit of the law and the mindset of condemnation still chase us down nonetheless. We can se this spirit manifesting in every facet of church and religious practices today.
Condemnation seeks to create an entire way of thinking and living, built on performance, works, man-based righteousness and legalism. This mindset will lead us into a lifestyle of earning what Christ paid for while the whole time never feeling that what is done in service is ever good enough.
The Old Covenant is not something the church should throw out by any means. Its teachings give us examples and admonitions that are for our benefit. Yet it is dangerous to establish a walk with God on a foundation built by the mindset of the law. The law helps us to understand what sin is and to see God’s absolute opposition to unrighteousness. We must also recognize that the law could only show the problem, but not a solution. If we read the Scriptures and only see law, we will get rules, but no relationship. This will give condemnation an open door to keep believers limited in the freedom they were destined to possess.
Even though the covenant of the law, called the “ministry of condemnation” had a glory to it, the New Covenant ministry of righteousness exceeds it tremendously in glory. When a believer gets a hold of this incredible love and grace, he or she will be empowered to overcome and live a life of power that the Old Covenant could never offer.
A Common Plague
When ministering to large groups and individuals, we found that many deep struggles and areas of bondage had a common deeper root. It was a spirit of condemnation, attacking the foundation of their faith that would not allow them to walk in the freedom that Christ paid for. When we begin to pluck up this root, we can begin to see tremendous fruit. When we remove condemnation, we build a stronger foundation of who we are in relationship with God.
Condemnation goes back to Lucifer’s fall. Lucifer rebelled against God, was condemned and judged. He was cast out of the glory of God and was sentenced to a punishment that would be final and permanent. The problem is that Lucifer, who is now satan, comes to take the condemnation that is on him and inflict it on those who are God’s children. He knows that if you experience the grace of God, you will be empowered to overcome like never before.
If we give into his traps, we will forever come under the onslaughts of satan’s accusation and the accusations he throws at us through others. Condemnation will point out every place where you have not arrived and magnify each area where you do not qualify to be used by God. Condemnation will remind you of your failures and keep you in shame regarding your current struggles. He won’t let you recover from mistakes, and he will put a standard of perfection on you that you can never achieve.
In this process, condemnation will place a set of religious rules that will bind you and keep you from authentic relationship with God. It will all be based on how well you perform, keeping the weight of life on your shoulders; rather than being yoked together with Christ. The more religious and performance oriented we become, the more powerless we will become, and satan knows this. Condemnation does not allow you to be in a process of growth, but will daily remind you of every shortcoming you have in your life. When you sin, condemnation will be right there waiting to destroy you over your struggles.
Being Accused Day and Night
Satan goes before the throne and accuses believers day and night. His accusation can be felt in our thoughts and in the words of those who speak to us. The accusation can often come so strong, because it will speak to our deepest failure and shortcomings, keepings us from remembering our foundation in Christ. This accusation seeks to put a cloak of uncleanness on us, keeping us from feeling clean as we come before God. Those who struggle with deep feeling of unworthiness as a believer have been bought by condemnation. Deep battles of shame and regret regarding the past come out of condemnation’s work to magnify your failure to arrive.
One of condemnation’s greatest allies is guilt; an absolute counterfeit of the Holy Spirit, one that is hard for people to detect and come out of agreement with. Guilt becomes challenging to discern, because it takes Scriptures and rules of morality and runs them through a ringer of torment against you in accusation. Guilt will create an inward world of conflict, leaving us in a torment of having to be perfect and please everyone all the time.
Please understand, when the enemy accuses you with condemnation and guilt, he will point to things that can be true under natural man’s terms. The enemy is a legalist and always comes with a list against you. Guilt will drive you into binding relational patterns and will always keep you second guessing where you stand with God and others. It will put all the pressure of your righteousness on every little decision that you make, with no room for error.
Receiving from God
In order to receive from God, we must remove the lens of condemnation and receive our acceptance as God’s children. We will never grow and show long lasting fruit listening to that lying voice. We cannot agree with the thoughts that religiously train us to be hard on ourselves with standards of perfectionism that torment us and nag us. God is content to work with us as His children to grow us. We must discern the counterfeit voice that masquerades as God that is keeping us from the freedom we were designed to possess.
I have noticed that it can be very challenging to minister to someone regarding root issues of their life if they carry a lens of condemnation. Addressing issues are seen as an indictment against their spirituality. Yet in a condemnation-free zone, God can freely deal with any issue of our hearts, because there is no fear we will be cast aside, shamed or rejected.
Getting free from condemnation will help every aspect of your journey to get free in due process. You must receive God’s grace for you, so that you can be patient with yourself in this journey. You must also learn to be patient with others in their growth journey. This is what grace is about. If we do not resolve this condemnation battle, we will fail to possess true inward peace. In addition, we will struggle in relationship with others, failing to see them as God sees them. We will become very accusatory, harsh and judgmental over people’s flaws and shortcomings. Removing the lens of condemnation helps us to see people the way that God truly sees them, because we see ourselves through the lens of love and grace. The true mark of a believer is their ability to see themselves and others through the lens of God’s love and grace. It is the only picture by which we can truly be changed.
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
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:11b
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Revelation 12:10