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Guilt or False Condemnation?

by Wayne Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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Guilt or False Condemnation?

by Wayne Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149


Feeling or Reality?

Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

If you are feeling condemned, the question to ask is, Who is condemning me? Is it God? Is it His Word? or is it Satan?

Ask yourself, "Am I really walking in the Spirit of God, really living by the Word of God?" If you are, then there is no reason to feel condemned — unless you are letting the devil sit on your shoulder and lie to you.

He tells you there is something wrong, that you are guilty, that the reason you can't seem to get anywhere is because there is something sinful in your life. He keeps telling you there is something wrong with you, but there is one thing he doesn't tell you: He doesn't tell you what it is that is wrong.

He makes you feel condemned and guilty and then leaves you hanging, wondering why you feel that way.

You pray about it but can't sense what is wrong. You go on week after week in that state, feeling something is wrong, but never figuring out what it is.

I'll tell you what's wrong: You have a bad case of the devil bringing you under condemnation. If it were the Word of God condemning you, you'd know what it was condemning you about, and you'd just need to turn from that thing. Whereas, the devil tries to make you feel guilty all the time without pinpointing the cause. He wants to keep you cast down, in the place where you can't have faith and trust in God.

As long as you let the devil condemn you, you will get nowhere when you pray. Why? because you can't manifest any faith while you have a heart that is filled with condemnation.

If you live in rebellion against the Word of God, you know you're being rebellious; you know you're doing something sinful and wrong, and you will feel condemned. If you felt condemned because you told your neighbor off this morning, I wouldn't have to tell you why you were feeling condemned: You'd know what you did was wrong!

If your heart condemns you about something that you know is there, do something about it. There is a way to take that condemnation quickly out of your life, a way to free yourself from that. It is so simple: Get down to business with God and confess where you are wrong, and as you confess, believe in your heart that He has heard you.

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

After you have confessed your sin to God, you should be able to rise up and walk anew with Him. That guilty feeling should leave.

But, as long as you know you are deliberately doing something wrong, that feeling of guilt will remain; that condemnation won't leave. No, that guilt won't leave as long as you are deliberately walking in sin. Your conscience will trouble you until you come to the Lord and confess your sin with true repentance.

If you can't discern whether you are being condemned because of sin or because the devil is condemning you, analyze it and begin to question it out a little further. If you can't name out what you are being condemned for, then most likely it is the devil who is condemning you.

And if you find it is the devil who is condemning you — making you feel guilty without having anything to feel guilty about — get down to business and bind the devil. You should soon find that you are free. Resist him! Stand against him, and then rise up to serve the Lord in all good conscience.

Too many let the devil sit on their shoulder condemning them all the time, making them feel guilty, sinful, unclean, while down in their heart they want to serve the Lord, want to go all the way with Him.

If you are walking in the light of God's Word, if you have a real hunger in your heart and soul for God, if you are doing your very best to serve Him, don't let the devil put you down through condemnation.

You can defeat the devil when your life has been covered with the blood of Jesus Christ and you use the sword of the Spirit. Take God's Word as a sword. Then when the devil comes along to condemn you, pull that sword out and quote it. Stand on it.

Now, what if you are condemned and know you are guilty: doing things contrary to the Word of God, doing things God is displeased with, and, yet, you continue doing them? What then?

That is your fault — something you allowed — but you can stop if you want to. How? By getting down to business with God. Pray and seek Him to forgive you and give you the grace to rid your life of the things that are condemning you.

If this is your problem, put those things away, forsake those things that are bringing condemnation into your life. Straighten up and walk right, and you'll find the condemnation will lift.

When God purges your life from sin, He also cleanses your conscience and takes that guilty feeling away. And when that guilt is lifted, you will have the assurance that God will hear and answer you when you pray, because you will have confidence in Him.

If there is no real confidence, then there is no real faith, because your heart must be clean when you approach the Lord.

Take a good look in God's mirror. When we go to the mirror and look at our face, we see what we look like to others. It is good also to take a look in God's mirror — the Word of God — and see what we look like to Him.

Spiritually, we fail to see ourselves as others see us. Sometimes we seek help but fail to receive the help God wants to give because of the way we express our needs.

Carnally Minded

"But, Brother Dailey, you don't know how bad my condition is!"

Some are always speaking about their condition. Their condition dominates every conversation they have. Others may try to fellowship with them but pull back because all they talk about is "their condition."

They told it last week — the week before — the month before — and the month before that!

Yes, they've told the very same things over and over and over again — ever trying to tell about "their condition."

If this is true of you, then you are being a negative person. Your conversation is completely negative. It is completely self-centered. All you want to talk about is yourself: telling others about your condition, your troubles, your burdens, your problems, your fears, your lack of this and your lack of that.

That's the way you sound to everyone's ears.

When you request prayer, nothing is left unmentioned. You want every itsy-bitsy trace of your life's history told before you can be prayed for. My, by the time you finish telling your story, you have them as discouraged as you are! If they had any faith to begin with, it is gone by the time you tell them your long, drawn-out history.

And you wonder why nobody wants to be your friend.

Did you ever look in the mirror and realize that the reason may be that all you ever do is go on and on with that negative conversation? After awhile, they know the story even better than you do!

This is the condition referred to in Romans 8:6 as being carnally minded:

Romans 8:6
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Think on that verse. You want to have life and peace, but you have no time to think on spiritual things.

All you talk about is what you have to go through: your sickness, your trials, how the devil is on your
back . . . and then you wonder why you have no peace or joy!

Take some time to listen to spiritually minded Christians and take note of what they talk about. Note how they talk about the Lord, about their happy experiences, about answers to prayer. They are ever testifying, rejoicing and praising God.

Then listen to the carnally minded Christian and note what they talk about: They are always cast down, always talking about their problems, talking about how bad things are for them.

Why don't they have that same joy the spiritually minded have? In a nutshell, the problem is they're only thinking of self.

The carnally minded only think of those things that cast down and discourage, whereas the spiritually minded think of things that bless, things that lift up, things that bring joy.

Romans 8:6
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Yes, spiritually minded Christians have their mind on the Lord. Their thoughts are centered on Him. In their daily life while they think about what they are doing, they're also thinking about the Lord.

But the carnally minded Christian? No matter what time of day or night it is, they are still thinking about carnal things. Oh, they might seek some help, but they have no time to listen to advice. They don't stop talking long enough for anyone to say anything that might be of help to them.

And if someone did get a chance to talk and offer some counsel, it wouldn't penetrate, because their mind is waiting for the chance to tell more about their problem.

The Need for a Renewed Mind

Does this sound like you? Realize there has to be a renewing in your life. You are going to have to switch over to thinking and meditating and talking about spiritual things. Yes, you are going to have to talk about something else besides your problems.

Join in the conversations of those who are talking about the good things of God, those who are rejoicing in Him. Begin to get the Word of God ringing in your heart, in your mind, and in your soul. If you do this, it will do away with that negative, carnal thinking.

You have your mind in a rut. It is like a tape recorder, going over and over in your thoughts. And no wonder! After all, that's all you ever talk about! It's all that's on your mind from morning till night. You wonder why? It's because those carnal thoughts are all you allow in your mind.

Romans 12:1,2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Come to the place of surrendering your life unto God. If you do, God said your mind would be transformed and renewed.

Set your heart and affection on things above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God (see Col 3:1,2). This will get your mind centered on Jesus. It will get your mind centered on the things above, where earthly things won't drag you down.

Some people are so irrational. They get a little pimple, and they're sure they have cancer! That little pimple becomes such a mountain to them you'd think they were going to die before the day was out. It seems so big in their eyes — yet it really is so tiny.

No one else would have given it a second thought, but to them it has become such a big mountain.

Isn't it strange how our minds can blow things so out of proportion and make such small things into such big mountains?

That's not rational. The reason those things become so big to them is because their conversation is ever about their sickness, ever about their condition. That's the order of the day for them; it's their way of life.

If this is true of you, why not forsake that old rut? Turn away from yourself and begin to think about others. Think about Jesus. Sit down and read your Bible — memorize Scripture verses.

Do this, and it won't be long before you find your mind is being transformed. You won't have all day to sit around and dream up things that might be wrong with you.

Get down to business: Seek the Lord. He'll renew you and He'll transform your mind. The first thing you know, you will be like those joyous, spiritually minded Christians. You will have true joy, true peace, true happiness, and you'll be able to serve the Lord like you ought to serve the Lord.

All Things Work Together for Good

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

This Scripture says a mouthful. Some would question, "I don't see where any good has ever come of the things that have happened to me!"

Listen, when God said all things work together for good, He wasn't saying that all things are good, but that they work together for good.

Realize that many of the trials we have in this life – those things that seem to hurt us so much and seem to get at us — can have a great bearing on our lives when God uses them to work together for our good.

When we look at different situations, we don't always see the reason for them nor the good that God wants to work through them. Nevertheless, whether we recognize it or not, God's Word stands sure.

Now, if you are not saved, this isn't speaking about you. It is speaking about those who are saved, those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose. To the saved God's grace abounds through every trial and every test. Their life is being made complete in Him: in every situation they face.

I Peter 1:7
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ

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