Freedom from Condemnation

F974C388-8CDE-491E-BE7B-A0259C1B1DC1After writing my last post, Firm Foundation, I was talking to a close girlfriend about each of the points.  When I had gotten to number two and I said out loud I am completely forgiven, I realized in that moment it had been a really long time since I had felt condemnation.  Now for me, and I believe many in the church, condemnation comes along frequently.  At least it had for me.  It would come in large mountains that were immovable and even though I would take the steps I had been taught for so long by church leaders it simply would not budge.  I would live in a constant state of perpetually feeling like I had to somehow work at getting God to forgive me.  Let me give an example to help explain:  Let’s say I got angry with my kids that day and screamed at them.   I didn’t even use bad language but I still let my anger get the best of me and I screamed at my kids.  I would then feel guilty, I would repent to God saying I was wrong and I did something bad, I would apologize to my kids, I would then spend hours praying while everyone slept again asking God: to forgive me, help my kids to forgive me, wipe away any bad things I may have caused in them because I yelled.  As I would “repent”, which looked more like me taking out a whip and whipping myself, I would hope I could show God how sorrowful I was and maybe God would forgive me.  I would ask Him to help me forgive myself yet the mountain of condemnation would stay.  I would repeat this same idea of repentance again and again sometimes for weeks for the same wrong doing.  I was so focused on what I shouldn’t be doing and not on the fact that God loved me, had already forgiven me and this act would not cause me to go to hell or ruin my children…but I was living in a hell here on earth because condemnation gets very heavy to carry and it caused me to forget who I am and Whose I am.  This very focus on the wrongdoing would cause me to repeat the same scenario over and over again.  I wanted off this hamster wheel, but didn’t know how.   The Holy Spirit though taught me that the way I viewed the word repentance was incorrect which led to condemnation having free reign in my life for years.  The way most church leadership teach repentance is wrong.  The reason I know this is because I not only experienced it but also was one who perpetuated it.  I have written about repentance here: It is Time to Let Go of the Rules-Otherwise Known as the Law, and many other places throughout my blog you can just search repentance if you would like a fuller picture.  See, I believed repentance to mean: I must make sure God knows I am sorry, I must somehow prove to Him I am being truthful about being sorry and I must convince Him to forgive me.  Here is what repentance truly means:

Metanaeo-(Greek)=to think differently after; change of mind; changed after being with.

And how about the word confession in Greek:

Homologeó-(Greek)=to agree or voice the same conclusion.  Simply: put to voice the same conclusion God has.

See these two words together are important.  First when true repentance occurs you see things God’s way and when you confess you are coming into agreement or voicing the same conclusion God has in situations.  Repentance never meant to grovel at God’s feet in hopes He forgives you.  It simply means seeing things God’s way and coming to the same conclusion as He does.  It is a change of heart that He does in His interaction with us through the Holy Spirit inside us.  It is simple…not us doing it but Him doing it in us.  This is why the Holy Spirit came and this is not manufactured or drummed up by ourselves.  I want to make that very clear because when that happens your focus is in the wrong place.

There is no need
to prove we still
need the free gift;
we simply receive
the free gift.

What seems to be forgotten in all of this is the important fact of what God did with the obedience of His Son, Jesus, on the Cross for all of us.  This part seems to be put aside after we are saved.  All of a sudden we, as Christians, are trying to prove we are good enough to still receive His free gift of “It is Finished”.   The Father and the Son have done all the work for us, period.  We are fully forgiven, Holy and righteous because of Their work, not ours. When we have accepted that and continue to accept it, which means we have FAITH in what was accomplished for us, then we no longer feel as though we must be the ones to make ourselves clean, Holy or righteous to be forgiven. We simply already are forgiven.  There is no need to prove we still need the free gift; we simply receive the free gift.

37D3AEA9-1F2C-408D-A61E-AEB04919B024Now, when I have done something wrong, I thank God and His Son for what they paid such a dear price to purchase (my freedom) and I am thankful I have the Holy Spirit within me.   Like a child I simply trust (faith), know that I am forgiven, know that the Holy Spirit is taking me from glory to glory, rest in the fact I am loved in my imperfections, I confess that He is good and with this…condemnation has no place.  It no longer even comes to visit me.  It has simply given up because I no longer rely on my good behavior but His.  And I know that is ENOUGH.  Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, Who saved and continues to save ME.

Resting in the Armor of God

How many times have you been taught about the armor of God?  I can say I have sat through many teachings and preaching regarding the armor of God.  Most times the teaching was about how I needed to put on the armor, keep on the armor, how not to take off the armor.  I don’t know about you but for me God wanted to reassure me that it wasn’t so much about me and my behavior but about Him and standing in what He has already done for me.

I have been waiting awhile to write about this.  I have been so excited to write about this topic.  Here is why: the Lord had asked me, “Darlene, do you know how well Bryan (my husband is a police officer) knows how to use his weapons?”  I answered, “Yes.” Then He asked,  “Do you understand how to use My weapons?”  I answered, “I don’t know.”  “It is time for you to understand,” He replied.

Let’s look at the scripture in Ephesians:

“Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.” ‭‭Ephesians (Eph)‬ ‭6:10-14, 16-18‬ ‭CJB

You may want to read It All Begins and Ends With TrustWalk Confidently-It All Begins and Ends With Trust (Faith) (Part 2), and A New Wine Skin if you haven’t already.  These set up where I am going next.  Like I said in It All Begins and Ends With Trust:

The enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy your trust. That is what he is roaming about to do. Yet God brought eternal life through His Son which we receive through trust.

One of the things I have been telling myself and others lately is God never promised that we would not have “evil days”.  What is interesting is Paul also told us that our struggle is not against human beings.  Now we have to look at context here.  This is during some evil days.  Christ followers are being fed to lions, crucified, boiled in tar….by other HUMANS.  What, the what!?!?!!!  If Christ followers were being told by Paul to specifically do something when all of this was happening to them, we might want to take note.  I have to say I have not been fed to lions, crucified or boiled….but some tactics felt like that in my life….just not unto death in this lifetime.  So….let’s pick apart this very strong statement Paul makes through the Holy Spirit.

First Paul reminds us of the very thing in which I believe the entire armor truly consists of in his opening statement in Ephesians 6:10:

“grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength!”

Here is the direct translation from Biblehub.com:

“be empowered (1743-I fill with power, strengthen, make strong)

in [the] Lord and in the strength (2904 dominion, strength, power; a mighty deed)

of the might (2479-strength(absolutely),power,might,force,ability*) of him.”

Note that there are two different strength meanings in this verse.  What I want you to see is how God does this for us.  We do not do this for ourselves.  We simply TRUST (believe) He will do it for us or already has done it for us and we thank Him for doing it.  I want to clarify here, my strength comes from the Lord alone.  I do not have enough strength of my own to be able to stand in circumstances that are beyond me. Truly I don’t know how people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus do life.  I love the direct translation from bible hub.com because it helps us to start at the right starting point-trusting (faith) Him to do for us what we can not.

Next Paul calls what he talks about next our “war equipment that God PROVIDES” and that we are to put it on or use it so that we can stand (2476-I cause to stand) against the schemes (3180-a way of search after something, an inquiry; a method), scheming, craftiness, deceit.).  Again I want you to see in the Greek that HE will enable us to stand against the methodology of the evil one or “rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm”.  Father causes us to be able to stand!

Now into the nitty-gritty.  I believe Paul is showing us the way to stand during trials and tribulations.  Yes they come to the believer and the non-believer.  As believers we do not get a pass on these trials and tribulations: but what we do get is Someone, the Great I Am that walks it with us, enables us to stand, helps us to see a greater picture and to have good come out of it (2 Corinthians 4:8-12, Romans 8:28).

Truth-But not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea;reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness: true to fact. Literal: what can’t be hidden.=Jesus is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6).

Righteousness-divine righteousness. =Jesus gave us our divine righteousness our righteousness is like filthy rags (1 Corinthians 1:30,Isaiah 64:6)  Romans 10:10 helps describe why righteousness is a breastplate; because, “For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness.”

Peace-Good News of Shalom-wholeness.  Jesus came so that we would have “firm footing, foundation, preparation, readiness” in that He came to give us wholeness (shalom, peace).  This is a foundational truth of what He did for us in His death and resurrection and what He desires for us to share with others. (Luke 1:79)

Trust-belief, come to trust, confidence, be persuaded, core meaning of faith=DIVINE PERSUASION- Jesus came, died and was resurrected and our part is to believe in who He said He is. This is why we are to always carry this “shield”. It all starts in the faith of Who Jesus is. For we have been delivered by grace through trusting and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift. (Ephesians 2:8). This shield (4570) thwarts, extinguishes, and I suppress.  As we trust the true battle is won. Like I said above the enemy wants to steal, kill or destroy your trust.

Salvation-saving, bring salvation. This word is derived from the word soter which means Savior who of course is Jesus– Again Romans 10:10 helps us understand why salvation is a helmet, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance (salvation).

Sword (3162 properly, a slaughter knife; a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing; figuratively- an instrument for exacting retribution) given by the Spirit which is the word (rhema) of God.  In Matthew both the sword and word (rhema) are used for the first time in the New Testament.  Let’s look at both: in Matthew 10:34 Jesus says He came to bring a sword and in Matthew 4:4 Jesus says we are not to live by bread alone but every rhema (word) coming out of the mouth of God.  Also in Revelation Jesus is shown to have a sword coming from his mouth (Revelation 1:16).  Rhema word is very different from the Logos word.  Rhema (4487) means  (from 4483 /rhéō, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice” (J. Thayer). 4487 /rhḗma (“spoken-word”) is commonly used in the NT (and in LXX) for the Lord speaking His dynamic, living word in a believer to inbirth faith (“His inwrought persuasion”). Because we are here to continue Jesus’ ministry (see A New Wine Skin for more info) we are to speak what the Spirit tells us to. Remember when Paul encouraged us that we would know what to say when we need to say it (Matthew 10:19).  We are to bring the necessary words in the time of need through being connected to the vine Who is Jesus.  This is how we know what to pray…by His Spirit in us.

So how in the world do we do this?  I have been taught I need to prayerfully put on each piece and make sure none of my armor slips off. If it slips off I need to say sorry and pray to put it back on. I have finally truly repented from this way of thinking and see it God’s way.  I believe the Lord has shown me exactly how we are clothed in the armor and are able to fully use the weaponry God has given us.  Please note God gave this all to us through His Son.  His Son made the way for all of the above.  All we need to do is believe in Who Jesus is.  We find a great secret in Isaiah 56 and Hebrews 4. Let’s take a look:

Isaiah 56:1-2 (CJB)

“Observe justice, do what is right,
for my salvation is close to coming,
my righteousness to being revealed.”
Happy is the person who does this,
anyone who grasps it firmly,
who keeps Shabbat and does not profane it,
and keeps himself from doing any evil.

  • (7676 Shabbat or Sabbath means rest for the heart. 2490 Profane means to  take it for granted. And remember this is under the law.)

Hebrews 4:1-3 (MSG)

“For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith.

‭‭How are we disqualified? By not having faith or trust in Who Jesus is–the Son of God! Once again faith (4102) is a gift from God never generated by us.  Again this all begins and ends with faith.  Faith as small as a mustard seed that each of us is given by a loving Father in heaven.

So, we have a choice, yes that is a free will choice that God also gave us, to enter His rest as we choose to believe the Good News of Who He is and choose to trust He has truly done it all for us.  This is why we can approach the throne boldly with our IMG_1459requests, our prayers; we can stand in the evil day and when God has completed or literally, “worked down to the end-point,” i.e. to an exact, definite conclusion (2716 katergazomai)— we are still standing, because of what Jesus did for us.  We trust that Jesus is Who He says He is and that the promises are ours…we rest in ALL that Jesus accomplished at the Cross in His death and in His resurrection.

That is literally what the armor is….resting in ALL THAT CHRIST DID FOR YOU.  Otherwise known as standing in Christ the vine.

And we pray in the Spirit. The Greek word “en” is contained within this sentence, “in the Spirit”.  Realize again this word means:

  • properly, in (inside, within); (figuratively) “in the realm (sphere) of,” as in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within).

The Holy Spirit dwells within us and time after time the prayers that have been “in the Spirit” always align with God’s will.  This truly is a whole other topic that will take another post.  Realize though or prayerfully ask Father what His will is in situations…not what you expect but what is His will.  His love is multi-dimensional and doesn’t always look the way you think it has to. Ask Him and rest in Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have We Sold Indulgences, in Modern Times? (Part 1)

I absolutely love talking with fellow believers. I had a few conversations this weekend that have prompted some questions that I have laid before the Lord. When I do tackle writing out what I am currently processing with God, His Word, my husband and my close friends this once again is going to hit a chord within the “church community”. Yet, this is all to bring freedom to His Bride who He loves so dearly. Freedom to walk in who they are in Him.

The area I want to start out with (this subject that I will tackle will take a few blogs) is how we as people naturally take a word and put on extra meanings to it.  This is done by teaching the word to mean something it was never intended to mean. The definition becomes tainted or twisted and no longer means what it really means. Take for example the word repentance. This for me became taught as something it didn’t really mean yet the Lord uncovered the true meaning of it for me. I believe this has happened with other words and the new one that a good friend got me started on is the word “offense”.

Today, in this blog, all I am going to do is define the word offense according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

1 a obsolete : an act of stumbling

b archaic : a cause or occasion of sin : stumbling block

2 : something that outrages the moral or physical senses

3 a : the act of attacking : assault

b : the means or method of attacking or of attempting to score

c : the offensive team or members of a team playing offensive positions

d : scoring ability

4 a : the act of displeasing or affronting

b : the state of being insulted or morally outraged <takes offense at the slightest criticism>

5 a : a breach of a moral or social code : sin, misdeed

b : an infraction of law; especially : misdemeanor

Friday night I went to sleep asking the Lord to help me understand this word, what does He want us to know and when I woke up the next morning, He said to me:

Darlene when you have “stood in the gap” to apologize for someone else’s behavior to “help or get someone” to forgive the offender is like when the Pope was selling indulgences to the people to free their family members from purgatory. He told me that it can not be done. The person that has done the offense must apologize.  In my heart, I repented (turned and saw things God’s way). I said Father I have done this so often and in my heart I was grieved and Jesus said, Darlene I’ve got this and reparations were already made when I said, ” It is Finished!”  And thus began a whole new way of seeing things that I have to convey in the next few blogs.

IMG_0585I understand if you look at this blog and say where are you going with these two terms: offense and forgiveness. This is just the start of my journey into what this means and what it looks like and how we will be better able to understand who we are in Christ. This subject will take a while to articulate as I have only begun to talk about it out loud. As I become better able to articulate it, I will be blogging about this subject. So come on this journey with me…..😊