“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Satan’s internal tactics against us fall into two broad categories; deceit and intimidation. He continually accuses us in our own hearts to bring feelings of guilt and failure into our lives. True guilt is that which comes from disobeying God. One reason that this approach is so effective in crushing the witness of a saint is because it is partially true. We all have failed the Lord. None of us has triumphed in power over every circumstance as we could and should have done. So when Satan accuses us, we know in our hearts that there is much truth in his accusations.
But God has provided us with a way to cleanse ourselves of this sin and the guilt that accompanies it. When we realize we have failed the Lord, we confess it and He forgives and cleanses us. Once we have confessed it, the sin is gone, and our feelings of guilt are relieved.
David's experience shows us God's method of dealing with sin; conviction, acknowledgment, confession, seeking forgiveness, receiving forgiveness, praise and joyful service (Psalm 51; Psalm 32:3, 4; II Samuel 12:1-13). Once sin is dealt with in this manner, true guilt will disappear.
The revolutionary army told a young Christian in Chad, Africa that he must submit to old animistic tribal rituals. They wanted to destroy Christianity and stimulate patriotism and loyalty by reviving the ancient pagan customs. The leaders of the churches of the area agreed together that Christians must refuse to participate in the animistic rituals. When the young man refused and was beaten, he stood firm in his faith. But when the authorities stripped him naked and beat him in front of his mother, sisters and other young ladies, his courage failed and he permitted them to perform the pagan rituals.
Then he felt terrible. He had failed the Lord. His guilt was heavy. Satan tried to convince him that the Lord could never again accept him. But he knew the scriptural promises of God, and he confessed his sin. The Lord forgave him and restored his joy.
He began to publicly witness to his neighbors and he was arrested. The authorities demanded that he denounce Christ or be buried alive. This time, his faith was strong and he refused to deny Christ. He was beaten and thrown into prison to await execution, but his faith grew stronger and the Lord delivered him. The oppressive government was overthrown and he was released.
RESPONSE: Today I will confess my sin and receive God’s forgiveness from the guilt so that Satan cannot use this tactic against me.
PRAYER: Pray that this simple and straight-forward process of relieving guilt through confession of sin will be the experience of every believer so Satan loses one more tactic today.
STANDING STRONG THROUGH THE STORM (SSTS) -A daily devotional message by Paul Estabrooks
© 2010 Open Doors International. Used by permission
“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” Proverbs 10:25
Right now millions of Christians face persecution because of their faith in Christ. Register to receive the Open Doors USA Weekly Prayer Alert email. Join alongside thousands of others praying for our brothers and sisters worldwide to stand strong in the midst of their struggles. Also learn more about countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe by visiting the Open Doors website today.