Last week I attended the 8th annual Come to the Fire conference.* Hundreds of women from across the U.S. gathered together to worship God, to pray, learn from anointed speakers, and to seek healing.
Women came forward, single file, eager for healing. I listened to their stories and prayed. Dabbing anointing oil on each forehead, I made the sign of the cross. I trusted Jesus to touch their afflictions: physical illness, shattered relationships, and loneliness. At times I observed discouragement and sadness lift. For many, past sins pressed a guilty message upon their heart.
Yes, those women had confessed their sins. Some asked for forgiveness for the same sin time and time again. Guilt remained. They believed Jesus forgives. But, sadly, they couldn't forgive themselves. Like dent marks, past transgressions stamped their thoughts and feelings, leaving negative impressions about themselves.
God says, He remembers our sins no more! Does He have divine dementia? Of course not! Neither is His forgiveness offered with loving sentimentality. Why does He forget our sins? For His own sake! (Isaiah 43:25)
Sin grieves God so much that He provided an eternal and efficient “blot out” plan. “God made Him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Imagine God assigning our blame and shame to Jesus who was sinless in every way! (1 Peter 2:22)
Picture Jesus erasing our sins when He hung on the cross. He took our sins upon Himself. He endured the penalty we deserved, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (Romans 8:3-4) Wow, what a merciful, gracious Savior!
Why then do we feel guilty about our confessed sins? Because our minds go back over the deep impressions left by sin. They mislead us and chain us to guilt.
May I encourage you … God has forgotten your transgressions. God blotted them out. "I––yes, I alone––am the one who blots out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again,” (NLT Isaiah 43:25). If emotional and mental scars remain, be assured that God offers healing for them too!
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…” (Hebrews 10:22). This truth makes me want to dance and live for Jesus!
*Come to the Fire is streamed at cometothefire.org. Click “on demand” and “watch”.