One of the greatest godly truths I have learnt since joining Ellel Ministries was the difference between conviction and condemnation. The one is of God, and the other is not. I have the choice of deciding which one I react upon and this decision influences my life, my choices and reactions. It also influences my relationship with the Lord and with the people in my life. When I think of the two actions mentioned, the one draws me deeper down into a dark hole and the other one lifts me out and up into the light.
Condemnation is described as follows in the Oxford Dictionary: ‘the action of condemning someone to a punishment; sentencing.’ It leaves no room for change and sounds hopeless. Conviction on the other hand has a different angle: ‘the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth’ (Merriam-Webster).
When we live under a yoke of condemnation, we usually battle with feelings of guilt, shame, unworthiness and even anger. We battle to receive the Lord’s love and acceptance, because we don’t believe we deserve it, or that we are worthy of His love and forgiveness. This is where the enemy wants us to linger and he will keep making us feel bad about ourselves and far away from the Lord. He fills our minds with ungodly truths and lies, which we end up believing.
Conviction comes with healing, because the Lord’s heart is never to knock us down. He comes alongside us and brings the conviction that something in our lives is not according to His will, but He will never place feelings of shame, guilt or unworthiness upon us. Once we acknowledge where we have faltered and seek His forgiveness, it becomes a journey towards healing. And this is the moment when He lifts us out from under the yoke of condemnation: ‘He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand’ (Psalms 40:2). The Lord loves us too much to leave us in the slimy pit. And as we read in today’s scripture: He is not the one to condemn us. Once we understand the difference between condemnation and conviction, we begin to recognise the enemy’s schemes more easily. We can either choose to allow thoughts of condemnation, or we can choose to believe the Lord’s acceptance of us and allow Him to lift us out of the slimy pit.
We all make mistakes and fall short, but He is the God of restoration and in Him there is always hope and healing. Once we experience His amazing grace and forgiveness for ourselves, may we, in turn, extend the same to those around us who also falter and fail. May we treat them in such a way that they can also receive God’s conviction in their lives and encourage them along the way towards restoration. And the most amazing part of today’s scripture is that Jesus - the One who died on the cross for our sins and was raised again - is at the right hand of God interceding for us. The One who has reason to condemn us, is interceding for us instead. This is His amazing grace!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are absolutely amazing and I cannot even find the words to thank You for loving me, accepting me and interceding for me. You are always encouraging me and nudging me forward, never breaking me down or condemning me. May I live out Your grace to the people in my life too. Amen.
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