Last week I decided to clean out my van because I knew I’d be driving around a bunch of teens for a youth group event (and my kids can make my car gross). My daughter asked if she could help me, and I never turn down the offer. As we were working, she asked me if she could talk to me about something. Then, she laid bare her heart.
She asked me what the enemy says to me when he lies.
And I told her the lies he tells me. He tells me I mess everything up. He tells me I’m a bad mom. He tells me I’m a bad wife. He tells me I offend people. He tells me that I’m not good enough. He makes me doubt and he makes me question. He fills me with guilt and condemnation.
And he told my 8 year old daughter that she isn’t worthy.
I want to tell you, that he is a crafty beast. He will lie and manipulate you to a point to take your focus off of God and to tear down the work that the Lord is doing inside of you. He will fill you with guilt so you think you can’t be forgiven. But, he’s a liar!
There is no guilt or condemnation in Christ. I’m reminded of the adulterous woman. If you’ve never heard the story, let me fill you in (this is my rendition, the actual passage can be found at John 8:1-11 – provided below).
The chief priests decided to trap Jesus, so they set a woman up to be caught in adultery, knowing full well that the consequences of her actions would be death by stoning. They waited until they caught her in the act with a man, and ripped her from the home, scared for her life. They took her to Jesus while he was at the temple and a crowd was gathering, and tried to trap him. You see, they should have also arrested the man, according to the law…but they didn’t. They laid her sin down in front of him waiting for his response. But, instead of condemning her, he stooped down and started writing. He took a weak, vulnerable position in order to humble those around him. While he was stooped down, he began writing on the ground. No one, but him and those around him, knows what he started writing, but he instructed the priest who was without any sin in his life to be the first one to throw a stone at this woman. Then, he went back to writing. The priests must have been mortified and embarrassed because they started to leave. When at last Jesus was alone with the woman, he asked her where they went. She responded by telling him that they had left. She told him that none had condemned her. And Jesus said, “Then neither do I.”
Jesus did not condemn her! Jesus never laid a guilt-trip on her! He never told her she was worthless, or stupid! He said, “I don’t condemn you either.” He also told her to stop living in sin.
But, this woman, I’m sure was hearing the enemy say that she was surely going to pay the price for her sin. I’m sure that he told her that she was stupid for falling into an affair or that she couldn’t have any value to any value because she was a worthless homewrecker.
But I want to tell you that Jesus brought her peace, he brought her forgiveness, and he brought her acceptance like she may have never known before. He didn’t beat her down and he didn’t tell her that she was ok to live in sin either. He displayed the fruit of the spirit. He was patient with her. He loved her. He was a peace in the chaos for her. He was kind and gentle. He was faithful to God in his interactions with her and the crowd. He maintained his self-control. He didn’t shout, he didn’t yell. He didn’t call her names or cut her down.
He called her forgiven.
And he does that for us as well. In the love letter he sent us, he defeats all the lies the enemy tells us.
He calls us forgiven.
1 John 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)
9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
He calls us loved.
Romans 5:8 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
He calls us adopted.
Ephesians 1:5 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
He calls us planned for.
Jeremiah 29:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
He calls us new.
Revelation 21:5 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”
I encourage you today to seek after the truth when the enemy lies to you. Don’t let the enemy cut you down or separate you from what God wants for you and what God tells you. Don’t let the enemy tell you who you are. Let God, your creator, tell you who he made you to be.
John 8:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Woman Caught in Adultery
8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”