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For a true believer in Jesus Christ, letting God down creates one of the worst feelings you can experience. After all, we love God exceedingly and owe Him our very existence and Salvation.

Where there is sin there is shame. To put it simply, sin steals our joy and peace and replaces them with shame and unhappiness.

Satan is the one who tempts and tricks us into sin. Though he temps and tricks us, he cannot make our decisions for us, he can only influence them. Whether we reject or accept his wicked ideas is our choice. Therefore sin (and consequently shame) only becomes a part of our life when we allow it in.

God and satan continually battle for the hearts of men and women. When it comes down to it, man is left in the middle and has a decision to make: “whose Kingdom do I want to be a part of?”

A believer who continually keeps the commands of the Lord will enjoy both peace of heart and joy because these are the fruit of righteous living. “Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.” (Psalms 119:6) On the other hand, a believer who continually struggles with the commands of the Lord will find themselves fixed in spiritual displeasure.

No one who loves God can sin and feel guiltless. Once we genuinely repent for our sin against God however guilt and shame should no longer have a place in us. Initial guilt is good because that guilt will many times lead to repentance. Once you have asked God for forgiveness however you are no longer guilty before God and any thought to the contrary is from the enemy. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

We must learn to often ignore our feelings because often our feelings lie. We may say “I don’t feel…” but just because you don’t feel a certain way doesn’t mean that feeling is the truth. After we sin, once we recognize that we’ve sinned, we should repent. Many times when we repent after we have just sinned it “feels” foolish to ask God for anything because we still feel guilty. After all we did just sin! This feeling however is a lie! If you have genuinely asked God for forgiveness His Word says He is faithful and just to do it! You may “feel” guilt and condemnation still, but the truth is you are not condemned; you stand guiltless before God washed by the blood of Jesus!

Satan, who is also know as the accuser of the brethren, is the one who tries to get us hung up on guilt trips; he wants us to be in bondage. Understand how the devil works: first the devil plants the wicked thought in our mind, and then if we follow through with it he accuses us for doing it! Furthermore, even after we’ve asked for forgiveness from God, he lies to us telling us we are still condemned.

If satan can keep you in bondage to guilt after you’ve sought God’s forgiveness he can keep you defeated; this is what I want to explore further.

“I’ve sinned too many times, God won’t forgive me”, “God would never forgive such a sin”, “I am not worthy of God’s forgiveness”, these are all lies from the devil! If God didn’t consider you worthy to forgive, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to this earth in the first place. God knows you. He knows what you’re going to do before you even do it! You are not going to surprise God by anything you do, because whatever you have done, it’s been done before, and God has forgiven it.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. What He does expect from us however is a continual relationship with Him. God knows your heart, whether you are looking to do good or not, and it is your heart He will judge.

It is our regular, routine actions that reflect what is in our heart. With the grace and mercy of God, if you are truly for God and you are seeking His help to change something in your life, it is going to happen!

Seek the Lord in all you do, and repent when you have sinned. Many of us are too hard on ourselves however! Many times God forgives our shortcomings before we do. If you are genuine when you ask God for forgiveness, consider it done. His word says He will do it, and His Word doesn’t lie. If God, to whom you are accountable has forgiven you, you can too.

If we believe we are guilty before God when we are not we will act guilty. A guilty person many times feels so guilty they continue to do wrong because they feel unworthy of forgiveness. They feel that they’ve already blown it with God therefore there is no use in stopping their actions now.

Remember satan’s major priority is to get you to doubt the Word of God. Satan even tried to make Jesus doubt that He was the Son of God! “And (satan) saith unto him (Jesus), If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:6) If the devil tried to make Jesus doubt that He was the Son of God, he is definitely going to try and make you doubt that you are a child of God. In fact He will try to make you doubt that the Bible’s promises are yours or that it’s even God’s Word. Furthermore, what the devil really wants is for you to question God’s existence.

So what am I getting at here? We sin, then we repent however then many of us wonder “am I really forgiven?” Right there satan is trying to persuade you into believing that God is a liar! If the devil can get you to believe you aren’t forgiven when you ask, you won’t act in the freedom of forgiveness, he will steal your peace and joy and bring you from defeat to defeat.

Have you ever heard anyone say “I asked Jesus into my heart, but I don’t feel like I am saved; how do I know I am really saved?” Again this is a lie of the enemy. Scripture says "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9) God’s Word is infallible, but satan doesn’t want you to believe that. Believe what God’s Word says. Believe that when you ask for forgiveness God has indeed forgiven you.

It is important for us to forgive ourselves quickly so that we may continue to live in obedience to Christ. I am not saying don’t feel bad about sinning, however I am saying learn from your mistake and try your best to prevent it from happening again (by standing on the Word of God). Repent means “change” and it is our obligation to allow our lives to be corrected, changed and sanctified by God’s Word.

When you seek forgiveness act like you are forgiven. Understand that nothing we do can ever make us more reconciled with God then what Christ did for us on the cross. Feeling bad after you’ve asked God’s forgiveness is not going to make God anymore pleased with you. Continually bashing yourself is not going to bring you closer to God. Let His Word correct you when you need correcting and let His forgiveness, peace, joy and love rest on you when He chooses to forgive you.

Again, I am not saying we shouldn't worry about sin. Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:5) It is a necessity to keep the commandments of God if we love Him. We must also understand however that when we fall, He is there to pick us up again and put us on our feet. He is there for us saying “I have forgiven you, now forgive yourself, and follow me again.”

God has enough mercy to forgive anything that you have done. In fact the Bible states that God’s mercy is new every morning! “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)

If you have been living with a feeling of guilt in your life, and this guilt has been stealing your peace and joy, take it to God today; it’s time for satan’s grip on your life to be loosed. God will forgive whatever you have done, and you can trust Him when He says He will forgive you. Go before the Lord today and asked to be washed clean by the blood of Jesus. Ask that He restores His peace and His joy in your life. Leave your sin and guilt at the cross and follow Jesus again. Be on fire for God. Act like you are forgiven, because once you ask, YOU ARE!

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