Guilt or Conviction?

Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
1 John 3:21-22 NLT

I’m learning that guilt is a corruption of conviction and a trap of the enemy. Yes,  I’ve known this intellectually,  but I’m beginning to understand it in my heart. You see, guilt is dwelling on past things that we cannot change, just like anxiety is dwelling on the future that we cannot yet affect. Guilt and shame paralyze us and bring no honor or glory to God. They are perversions of God’s wonderful gift of conviction.

But conviction is one of those amazing gifts and blessings from God. Conviction identifies those dangerous and poisonous things in our lives so that we can:

1) Ask forgiveness for past shortcomings
2) Accept Christ’s atoning blood that washes away our sins
3) Ask for deliverance and guidance as we repent and resist temptation
4) Believe. Know that He will overcome.
5) Trust Him to prove himself faithful and true, even when in His time and not ours
6) Rest in the peace of our faithfulness,  remembering the price He paid, and the value and purpose of our life as part of His Kingdom

Conviction is an opportunity for transformation now,  in our hearts. It moves us forward,  it presses us on toward our goal. Conviction leads to prayer,  to communication and a drawing into the presence of God in that humble position before God that allows us to worship God and receive His grace and mercy fresh and new.

And His grace poured out upon these old bones, as our hearts cry out to Him,  “Great are you,  Lord!” What a blessing is this conviction that leads us to praise our Lord and rely upon Him as our comforter,  as our protector, as our Savior,  and as our Lord.

So I encourage you,  friend,  do not run from conviction – for it is the light that shines down and offers us the blessing of His touch. Do not fear the light revealing your imperfections, because His refining fires will burn away the imperfections,  His blood will wash over the wounds and heal and restore you. Stand with confidence in His presence,  friend. Not because you are worthy or proud, but because He is worthy and His promises are true,  and He will forgive you. He will restore you. He will redeem you and deliver you.

Let Him make you brave, friend. Know that He is for you and not against you,  friend. Even as the waves crash against us, He is our rock and our foundation,  and He will not be overcome.

Receive everything that you need to walk in the path that He has set before you. Walk in His will and see the enemy conquered and defeated and see His hand upon the lives around you as you learn to love and serve, as you grow to be more like your teacher,  as you accept the imprint of Christ who lives in you upon your life choices and actions.

Live,  bride of Christ. Arise to meet your Love in the heavens. Come,  Lord Jesus,  come. Rescue us into your presence. Release us from our waiting,  from our yearning for your face, deliver us together as one into your eyeball courts,  to sing your praises eternal.

We are no longer lost,  we are no longer blind,  we can see the love in your example,  Lord – in your grace you are revealed to us,  and we are humbled at your feet. Amazing grace,  that saved a wretch like me – so sweet a sound, to be found in your arms, even a prodigal like me. Your mercies reach so deep into the darkness to rescue even me,  Lord. Even me.

Even me.

Even you,  friend.

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