Monday, January 29, 2018

You've Been Acquitted!

Have you ever experienced that accusing voice from the past that wants to label you with accusation and shame? The voice of the enemy is always waiting, ready to launch a fiery dart when he sees an opportunity.

That sinister voice will tell you, “You’re not good enough.” Whether Satan accuses you to yourself using your own negative self-talk or perhaps memories from the past that remind you of a moment of failure or shameful behavior, it’s important to recognize the spirit at work.

“You’re a lousy mother.”
“You should just stay home. No one wants you around anyway.”
“You alone because you are incapable of being a good friend.”
“You don’t pay enough attention to your kids.”
“Your kids reject you because you are a bad parent.”
“You are a bad son/daughter.”
“No one loves you. You’re defective and unlovable.”
 “You will never recover from what you’ve done.”
“You haven’t really repented because others still won’t forgive you.”
“You will live under a curse because of what you’ve done.”
“God can’t forgive you yet; you haven’t earned it.”
“You’re a failure. You can’t do anything right.”
“After what you’ve done, you don’t deserve that blessing.”
“You are that person, you know…you did a lot of wrong things. People will never forgive or forget what you’ve done.”
“You caused people a lot of pain. You haven’t repented enough.”

LIES, LIES, LIES! It’s time to throw the spear and pierce the heart of those lies!

The enemy loves to bombard people’s minds with accusation, toxic shame, fear, and dread. He wants people to feel insecure, inferior, and intimidated because if they do, they spend all their time battling negative emotions rather than taking authority over the voice of the accuser and getting the victory.

The harder the enemy works to rage a battle in a person’s mind, the more determined they need to be to launch a counter attack. It’s like throwing the javelin right in the heart of the enemy.

When the enemy comes to remind you of your past – however he chooses to do it – enlist this visual aid as a form of help. See yourself walking into a courtroom. On one side, you are sitting behind a desk with your attorney. Who is your attorney? Jesus, of course! He is standing right beside you. Ask Him, “Jesus, what do You say?” Listen for Him to speak!

On the other side of the room, there are all your accusers. Say them out loud, one by one.

The judge has been seated. The court is now in session.

Out loud, say, “Your honor, these are my accusers. They are accusing me of _________________. (Say each name and what each person lists as charges against you.”)

Jesus: “Excuse me, Your Honor, but I shed My blood for my client. I became sin for my client. Everything that the accusers list as charges against my client, I became for (insert your name) when I took his/her sin upon the cross.

Jesus: “I became a bad parent. I took on the role of the rebellious, disrespectful child. I became an alcoholic, a gambler, a pedophile, a thief, an adulterer, a rapist, a drug dealer, a murderer. I became a failure. I became a source of pain to others. I became every one of their weaknesses, failures, and sins. I became the curse on behalf of those for which I died. I was called every foul, shameful name people could muster up. I was accused of every sordid, wicked thing that people did in secret. I became despised, rejected and an outcast – for them. I willingly took it all upon myself, and every sin and sick, evil deed was absorbed into the power of My cross. I paid the price for them with My life and My blood. I insist that You must acquit my client!”

Judge: “Granted. Defendant is acquitted of all charges. Case dismissed!”

I love what Jesus said in John 3:16-18. This is from the Message Translation:

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave His son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust Him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the One-of-a-kind Son of God when they were introduced to Him.”

When the enemy comes to remind a person of their past, it’s not a reflection on the individual as much as it is an accusation against the cross of Christ. 

Verses 19,21 say this: "This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world but men and women everywhere ran to the darkness. They ran for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so that God-work can be seen for what it is."

We either live in the light and the truth of God's word, or we reject it, embracing lies and self-deception. Sometimes those lies come from others that have not yet worked through their own ability to process things that we may have done that affected them. Everyone has the ability to take whatever time they need, but delayed obedience to the word of God can also have consequences. A failure to fully forgive others, entertaining self-pity, blaming others and other negative behaviors can put people in a spiritual prison.

When someone's pride gets offended, the first thing they do is form a negative judgment. Pride will cause a person to sit in the place of prosecuting attorney, judge, jury and executioner towards others. That puts them in alignment with the accuser instead of God. But, if someone is going to hold another person accountable to the law rather than extending grace, the law of reciprocation demands that they also be placed under penalty of the law. Is that what any of us want? Absolutely not! When someone brings up your past, it is usually because there is something that is still offended in them. Retaining judgments against others places those who are guilty of them under judgment themselves, according to Matthew 6:15 and 7:1.When a person carries a grudge against someone else, they are the one that stands guilty before God, because they fail to believe in the power of Jesus’ blood to redeem that person from sin. Therefore, the Father must judge them according to His word. Perhaps someone else feels you are not truly forgiven until you jump through their hoops or pay some form of penance that makes them feel better. Perhaps they are trying to avoid conviction concerning other matters of their life. Many times it is because they fail to recognize their own need for God's mercy or forgiveness.

On the other hand, sometimes we simply need to believe God's word and take it by faith that we truly are forgiven, then move forward. We have just as much a responsibility to take authority over the voice of the enemy when it attempts to work through a spirit of guilt, condemnation, discouragement, and unbelief towards the promises of God. It's our responsibility to BELIEVE GOD and put our trust in Him. We must put on the helmet of salvation and trust the blood of Jesus to cleanse our thoughts and renew our mind of constantly thinking we're under condemnation. If we are around others that place us under a false burden of guilt, then that too, is something we need to deal with and cut off. Discern what spirit is at work! Don't let the enemy feed you with lies, because he is coming against your identity in Christ.

God doesn’t point accusing fingers, telling people how bad they are. He doesn’t remind them of their painful past. He doesn’t continue to place negative labels on people or cover them with toxic shame. He never reminds people of their past because Jesus became every sin, every failure mankind would experience. The scripture in James 2:12-14 reminds us,

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. What good is it, my brethren, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?”

Take the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Hammer away at the lies. If the enemy is using someone to accuse you, even if it's in your own heart, accusing you to yourself, stop and take authority over those lies. Throw the spear of truth into the heart of the enemy. Remember that you have an advocate and an attorney that stands with you – and for you – against every accusation. It doesn’t belong to you; Jesus paid for it all! Let the cross of Christ absorb the pain, the wounding, the word curses, the negative labels that you’ve worn. Every person has the right to experience genuine forgiveness and wholeness. Every person should be able to live free from the labels that others try to force them to wear. Every person should be able to live out from under toxic shame and other debilitating emotions. Jesus Christ can do that for each and every one of us. His blood and His love are that powerful! Let God renew your mind and remind you that you are not what others tell you. Your identity is not tied to the past. You are made in the image of God and the blood of Jesus acquits you. Just remember, freely you have received; freely extend the grace of God to others as well. May His grace empower you to free those ensnared by their own judgments and set the captives free!