Sometimes mistakes or sins from the past, long forgotten, can sneak up and slap us in the back of the head. This is the enemy’s speciality. So, you re-confess it, but the shame lingers. You know 1 John 1:9 by heart, but you can’t shake the shame. You wish you could go back and undo what you did, but you can’t. Well, you’re not alone. We all have done things we regret, sins and mistakes, that given a second chance we would not do. But it’s done! Does God have an answer, does God’s word speak to this?
Well, going through one of these episodes, I found some help in God’s word. Scripture tells us, ‘As far as east is from the west so far does He remove our transgressions from us’ (Psalm 103:12). Now, because of the poles, you can go so far north that you end up going south, and if you keep going, in the same direction you’ll be going north. But you can never go so far east that you end up going west. That is how far God has removed our sin from us.
In Jeremiah 31:34, He says, ‘I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more’. In Isaiah 43:25, He says, ‘I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins’. If all that is true, and it’s God’s word, so it must be, why do I remember it? Why do I feel shame? Why do I listen to the accusations of the of the enemy? As I was praying about this a phrase came into my mind, “It never happened.” “Hmm”, I thought, if God has forgotten it, then it never happened, and if it never happened, then there is no guilt or shame. So now, when the enemy brings up the past, I just reply, “It never happened.”
We should pray that God will heal and restore people we have hurt by our actions, but we should not live under guilt or shame once we have repented. As far as God is concerned, it never happened. But the enemy’s goal, once we are saved, is to make us ineffectual. If he can cause us to feel guilty and ashamed, he wins. We feel unworthy to represent God to others. We lose our joy and victory. We become ashamed to go before God in prayer. We sink into depression. We confess the same sin.
How does God respond? He says, “I don’t remember that.” God has chosen to relate to you as if the incident never took place. What a wonderful gift true forgiveness is. Think of how God glorifying it is for us to receive that forgiveness and to live as if it never happened
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