Unleash Your Inner Warrior
My dearest warriors,
Last week, I touched momentarily on the difference between condemnation and conviction. I’m finding more and more that people do not understand the difference between these two things, and are unwittingly submitting themselves to lies that keep them from moving into their God-given potential. Rather than becoming warriors, they stay foot soldiers at best, and are casualties of war at worst.
To refresh: Conviction is from God. Condemnation is from the enemy.
Conviction is when God points to a very specific thing in out lives that is not right; he points to a flaw in our character, an ungodly trait in our lives that He wants to fix. He wants to upgrade us constantly, to remold us and reshape us into the image and likeness of Christ. Though there may be a sting here for not having lived up to His expectations, it is no more than when alcohol touches a wound. It may sting for a moment, but then He applies the soothing salve, a healing balm to make us whole. When God convicts us, He is encouraging us to run to Him, so that we can partner with Him and move forward in our development!
Condemnation is the work of the enemy. When the enemy comes against us in condemnation, there is never a positive side to it. You see, the enemy isn’t at all interested in us getting anything right. He is interested in coming against us with such a thick blanket of shame that it cripples us. He wants us to become so focused on and overwhelmed by all that is wrong in our lives that we become completely debilitated in our walk with God. Condemnation is not usually anything specific. It is usually shame heaped on your head, feelings that you’re no good, that there is no recovery, that you’ve made too much of a mess of things, that all you’ve done is disappoint everyone around you, that there’s no recovery, no hope for healing, that you’ve reached the point of no return. It’s the feeling that you can’t fix anything anymore—that no one can—and that you can’t go before God in your shame. Think of it as being like a thick, heavy wool blanket that is soaked in water and draped over you. Living in shame is like trying to go about your day with that soaking wet blanket over your head. It keeps you from functioning the way you need to.
When God points to a part of your life that is not working, He is not pointing to that part of your life to bring shame, guilt, condemnation or judgment. He is pointing to that part of your life because that’s what He wants to work on. He wants to develop Godly character in you. He is saying that that is where He wants to partner with you next, where He wants to see you break through in your character, emotions and will.
This may come as a shock to you, but God is not surprised by your failures! He is not disillusioned when you make a mistake, because He never had any illusions about you in the first place! He is not in heaven wringing His hands wondering what to do next. When He looks at you, He sees from the perspective of who He created you to be—not in the mess you’re making now. He sees you through the lens of Christ.
So when He points out to you that you have been unkind, or that He’s doesn’t approve of your anger or impatience, or convicts you of gossip or pride and arrogance, or convicts you of sin and righteousness, know that there is no reason to run and hide from Him in shame. That is not His purpose. Partner with Him to overcome those sins by meditating on His Word, and become the person He wants you to be.
Similarly, if we see someone else in sin, we should confront them in the same spirit out of which Paul wrote to the Corinthians. He was not happy that the letter made them sorrowful, but he was happy that they had a godly sorrow. What does that mean? It means that when we confront someone about their sin, it should never be out of anger or judgment or condemnation, but because we have a godly sorrow for the effect of their sin on their lives (and the lives of others impacted by their sin). We should come to them with loving correction so that they can be set free from their sin, rather than driven deeper into it.
Take up your armor, dear warriors, and clad yourself in the armor of God. Don’t let condemnation tear you down on the battlefield of life; and do not ignore conviction, but let it make you a stronger, better and more powerful warrior for Christ, being made into His likeness.
Until next time warriors,
©Michèle Aimée, 2015
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.