Encouragement for Today 04-06-05
Encouragement for Today
“Face It with the Truth”
Lysa Terkeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NIV)
“No truth.” Did you catch those words? That means absolutely none at all. Not even a trace of truth. Has there been a situation in your life that the Enemy is still using against you? One that he’s been whispering in your ear, deceiving you, and then slamming condemnation down on you like a heavy prison door? Well, we are about to open that door – fling it open. With what? Truth.
Rest assured, my friend, inside most hearts exists a secret place. Behind a door of hidden thoughts and painful memories brews a hurt so overwhelming it can’t be allowed to surface. The slightest peek inside reveals insecurities better left alone. So the door stays locked and secrets are kept even from God. Or are they?
The truth is that God knows the secrets of your heart and He wants the key to it…especially the hidden parts. When you are holding the key, Satan will wrestle it from you, unlocking your shame, using it to condemn you. Then, as the waves of guilt begin to wash over you, once again you shove it back even deeper than it was before. He loves to keep you in such a defeated state of mind that you become totally ineffective for the cause of Christ. But I want you to know that by confronting sin and shame with the truth of God’s Word, He can use it for His Glory. Let’s take a look at one story in particular:
I love the story in John 8:3-11, which tells of a woman whose truth about her life of adultery, was unveiled by the teachers and Pharisees. They brought her in front of a crowd where Jesus was teaching and threw her at His feet. Ready to stone her to death, Jesus stopped them in their tracks with His reply: “If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” In verses 9-10 we read, “At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’”
For a moment, let us step into this woman’s shoes with whatever sins and circumstances we carry and answer Jesus’ question for ourselves. This is the point where we decide whether to turn and run back to our familiar prison cells or grasp the hand of truth and start anew. Imagine how Jesus’ face expresses His anticipation as He asks the question only you can answer: “Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir.”
Can’t you see the sheer joy in Jesus’ eyes? This is the answer He has waited so long to comfort you with. This is the reason He came, suffered, and died for you. Now, finally, the time has come for him to speak directly to your soul. The Bible says that Jesus declared, “Then neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Allowing God to expose the truth about us is never pretty. I can’t promise you that people will be as gracious or forgiving when sin is revealed, but rest assured that God (whose opinion is sovereign) will not condemn you for your past, but will carry you into the future. Let His Word bathe your soul because this is not where the story ends. It is where the adventure of true life begins.
Truth is the key that unlocks the chains Satan has twisted around your heart. John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When you carry around sin and shame, you have been deceived by the Father of Lies. John 8:44 says, “There is no truth in him [Satan].” With this in mind, I encourage you to take hold of Ephesians 6:14a encouraging us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” With your armor on, you can fight the Enemy’s lies, declaring:
Because of Jesus’ blood, my heart is a place where shame’s sentence is stamped with love’s seal: “Pardoned and released.” God’s truth of patience, goodness, and faithfulness are my companions now. I no longer need to crave bitterness to satisfy my desire for revenge, for God is my avenger, and His response is forgiveness. The addictions that once enticed me are no longer the longings of my heart, for God is my greatest desire and the Lover of my soul.
When we are willing to give Jesus the key to our hearts and let Him unlock every hurting and dark place, He then offers us hope, healing with God’s Word, and fills us with redeeming light. Don’t be discouraged if this does not happen overnight. Healing is often a process. But it is not enough to just read Scripture and accept it as part of your faith, you have to live like you believe it!
My Prayer for Today:
Father, search my heart and expose my sin to your truth. Give me the strength to not only face it myself, but to confess it openly to You and to others. I pray that those I have hurt would be full of grace and compassion as I am truthful with them. Through this process, may I also become a more forgiving and compassionate person to those who hurt me, so they can see how Your grace has changed my life. Help me to grasp a full knowledge and understanding of what it means to be forgiven, accepted, and loved.
Take a few moments to reflect on some secrets that may be locked in your heart. Pray, confess, and ask God to forgive you of those sins and trust that He has already done so.
If you need to confess sin to another individual, either because you have sinned against them, or for the sake of accountability, do so as God leads. Ask for forgiveness and re-open the doors of trust.
If the person refuses to forgive or is hurt by what you have told them, trust that God still loves and forgives you, and that, in time, He can heal them as well.
On something at which you can look back, write your name in this verse: “Then neither do I condemn [your name].”
What sweet hope did Jesus offer the woman in John 8?
What does it mean to be condemned?
How does it make you feel to know that you are not condemned?
1 John 2:20-21, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.” (NIV)
3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (NIV)
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst
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