Are you dragging around the regret and shame of something in your past right into your future? Does God’s forgiveness not cover this? Can this not be taken from you? Are you doomed to have this hanging over you forever?

Here’s the thing about sin that we often miss. God doesn’t hate sin because we’ve broken a rule. The real reason God hates sin is because sin breaks us. Your creator knows the pain this creates in your life. He knows the darkness this little secret will cause you to hide in one day. And he doesn’t want that for his girl. He hates sin because of what it does to you.

Can God get over the mistakes you have made? Girl, he was over it the second it happened. What he was mad about was the continued affect it would have on your life. The way it would change how you talk to yourself and how you see yourself. The way it would cause you to dismiss yourself from good things for your future. The way it would always take you right back to that place where you did what you shouldn’t have done and then it would fill you with shame.

That shame is not from God. That feeling that makes you pull away, withdraw and hide … that’s not from God. Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The Greek word for condemnation is katakrima. Katakrima means both guilt and punishment. For those of us who are in Christ Jesus, which simply means we have accepted him as our savior, we are neither guilty nor punished. Jesus took all of that for us.

So, the continual guilt you feel over that thing you did, well that guilt is not from God. You’re self-punishing and God says that isn’t necessary. What is from God is conviction. Conviction is a desire to change and do better. God allows conviction, and then gives us supernatural power and strength to change. 2 Corinthians 7:10, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.” But for the person stuck in condemnation, they sacrifice the power to get better. They stay stuck in the pain of how wrong it was and never receive the gift Jesus came to give them. So, it’s really not about the rule you broke. It’s about how it continues to break you. God wants to heal you of that.

Let’s read Roman 8: 1-2 in the Message translation. “Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.”

That low-lying black cloud that always serves to remind you of your past mistakes has been blown away by the Spirit of God! You’re not living under that darkness any more. You are free because of what Jesus did for you! Free from reliving it over and over again. Free from the weight of regret. Free from the secrets that kept you stuck in shame. You’re free to walk out of that past pain and never, ever walk back in there again. Jesus said it’s finished. He covered that sin with his sacrifice. You’re not guilty. You’re not being punished. God is working in you to make you better and you are fully forgiven.

Roman 8:4 says we must “simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.” The Spirit empowers us to do what we could never do on our own. You know what we could never do? We could never get over some of the things in our past. We could never forgive and move on. We could never rise up and be better. We could never use our own mistakes for good in the future. Nope, we couldn’t do that under our own power. But with the Spirit working in us, we can do all of these things. Our job is to embrace what God’s Spirit is doing in us now.

God’s Spirit is setting you free from the guilt and shame of your past mistakes. God’s spirit is working even in this to bring goodness here now. How could he possibly do that? Well, that’s one of those ‘God things’ we just have to trust and get out of the way for.

But are you in the way? Are you in the way of the good work God wants to do in you? You stand in the way when you hold on to what you’ve already been forgiven of. My sister, you do understand you have been forgiven, right? 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

You believing that God just can’t forgive you for what you’ve done is quite simply you believing that God isn’t faithful and just like he says he is. Is God faithful? Is he just? Does he hold all power? Yes? Then he has fully forgiven every single sin you have confessed to him. And there is now no condemnation over you. He doesn’t hold you as guilty and he’s not out to punish you.

Psalm 103:12, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

There’s a deep meaning to this scripture I want you to fully understand. If you understand it, you will never allow the darkness of guilt and shame to condemn you again. Do you understand how far the east is from the west? It’s different than the north from the south. North eventually meets south at the South Pole. And south eventually meets north at the North Pole. But east and west NEVER meet. Why? Because there isn’t an East or West pole. A person who follows a straight path north will eventually begin moving south. But no matter how far you travel east, you will always be moving east. North and south are definable points. East and west are indefinitely far from each other. So when God’s word says he separates our sins “as far as the east is from the west”, it is to assure us of the absolute, undeniable and immeasurable lengths by which God forgives us.

If you were to search for the sins God has removed from you, you would never find them. So, why do you keep digging for them? You know what you create when you go digging for past sins God has already removed from you? You create holes. You know what happens in these holes? YOU GET STUCK. You know what you find in a hole when you get stuck? Darkness.

Are you stuck in the darkness of your past? God wants to bring you out of that hole and set your feet on solid ground. Forgiven ground. Renewed, redeemed and restored ground. Ground that NEVER drags in your past sin again. Ground where all things are working together for good. Ground where you finally begin seeing yourself as God sees you. Whole. Pure. Good. Loved. Worthy.

Won’t you embrace what God’s spirit is doing in you here? He is showing you just how forgiven you are. With one confession of that sin, it has been completely removed from you. Removed to the point it can never be found again. No, you’re not being punished for it. No, you’re not looked at through eyes of condemnation and shame. It’s gone. Done. Over. Removed. Forgiven. You can stop trying to dig it up again.

Once you stop trying to dig up what God has removed from you, then you can heal. Then you can begin to walk in wholeness. Then you can see the beautiful future God always had planned for you. And then, you can stop hurting. Stop hurting yourself because of what you did. There’s freedom from that guilt and shame and your loving Father wants nothing more than for you to step out of these holes you’ve been digging, let his Spirit do his work in you, and walk in the fullness of his eternal destiny for you, confident he always knew you were worth it!

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