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May 26, 2009

Conviction versus Condemnation...


Greetings, Dear Friends!

And to those visiting, I say welcome! I post every Wednesday and my sole purpose is to nourish your soul along the way. Each month I give away a $10.00 gift card to someone who posts on my blog. This month's card comes from Starbucks. So leave a comment, share an insight, bless lots of people, and just maybe you'll win a treat for you and a friend!

Now on to my topic...

The other morning I woke up with a little knot in my stomach. I rolled over in bed, stared out the window and prayed, "What's this about, Lord?" Nothing came to me so I sat up in bed, walked over the window and waited for the sun to peek through the trees. I think sunrises and early mornings are one of God's best ideas. Even so, my heart was unsettled and I needed to figure out why.

I grabbed my cup of chai tea, my Bible, my journal, and a few other quiet time necessities and I headed outside to my deck swing. My happy place. I propped up my I-Phone, hit play on my devotional song play list, hugged my warm cup of chai tea, and inhaled the fresh morning air. 

As I listened to the words of a particular song, my thoughts roamed back to the day before. I had run into an old friend-acquaintance. We talked back and forth and caught up on our lives. I was about to share something about my life when the Holy Spirit whispered, "Not safe. Don't share that." I held my peace and listened to my friend's updates. But somewhere later on in the conversation, I went ahead and shared a part of my heart that God specifically had told me not to! She probably didn't notice, but I was instantly convicted that I blatantly disobeyed a very clear directive from the Lord. 

We wrapped up our conversation and I prayed the whole way home. Now this may sound a little thing to some of you, and big-fat-act-of disobedience to others, but either way, I know better. I asked forgiveness. I strongly sensed God's love and forgiveness. And more than anything, I knew He was just trying to protect me. 

So there I sat, hugging my chai tea, completely wowed by the sunrise when I realized that the fist in my gut was condemnation. The enemy had accused me all night long for being a disobedient putz. I woke up feeling pretty bogged down by it all. That's his MO - he seduces you, then accuses you for being such a dope for falling into his trap.

Condemnation throws us down, weighs us down, and intends to keep us down...as long as we are willing to entertain its wretched presence. 

But then there's God. 

His morning mercies are a priceless gift to us. He forgives us and restores and renews us in a moment's time. He uses us on Monday knowing we're going to blow it on Tuesday. His Holy Spirit comforts and corrects us. He directs us and helps us distinguish truth from the lie. He brings conviction when we stray and correction when we need it. 

Like the morning sunrise, the conviction of the Holy Spirit compels us to look up to Jesus; to stand up on His promises; and to rise up from the ash-heap of our self sins and be done with lesser things! 

Romans 8:1 is a blessed promise for us:

There is now therefore, NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! 

Read this wonderful passage from the Message paraphrase:

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. 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..(Romans 8:1-2)

May the Lord give us great discernment to quickly distinguish between conviction and condemnation. One protects the freedom we enjoy in Christ, and the other throws us into prison. And it's FOR FREEDOM that Christ has set us free!

Have a great week.

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Dear Kristen,

Thanks so much for your honest post. Isn't it easy to do? Wallow in condemnation, I mean. If you have a moment, read what I just posted to Janice's comment above. We have a divine strategy for diffusing the enemy's plan to keep us down. Luke 10:19 offers us this wonderful truth: "For I have give you authority over all the power of the enemy. You can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them and NOTHING will be any means injure you." Wow! May we walk in the authority offered us in Christ Jesus. Amen!


Excellent question. I think you speak for countless people who feel the same way. I don't presume to know all of the answers to this question, but one thing that has worked for me when I feel weighed down by condemnation is to make bold declarations about my freedom in Christ. The Bible says that faith comes from hearing, and hearing the Word of the Lord. When my ears hear my mouth saying, "There is NOW therefore NO condemnation in my life, because I am IN Christ Jesus! I refuse to be weighed down by condemnation because Jesus already carried that burden. I WILL walk about in freedom for I have sought out His precepts. I am loved, forgiven, called, chosen, accepted, and free. I declare it and I embrace it!" Crazy as it sounds, I encourage you to march around your house, make your declarations out loud, and put that wretched condemnation under your feet. The Bible tells us to submit to God, resist the devil, and he HAS to flee from us. Part of what it means to submit to God is to stand in agreement with His word. When we say what He says, and believe what He believes, we put ourselves under His authority and protection. When we submit ourselves to His Lordship, and then with the authority He gives us, resist the enemy's attempts to bully us, eventually the devil WILL flee. I hope this helps. Blessings to you! And thanks for the great question!


May God give you great clarity and insight to distinguish between the two! We all need such a gift! Blessings~


Thanks for stopping by. I love that you used the word 'real.' That's what it's all about; a real, thriving, authentic relationship with a living, loving, involved Heavenly Father. Yes, Lord! Bless your day!

Dear Anna,

May God restore you to sound and restoring sleep. May you awake refreshed and ready to face the day!

Bless you!


Thanks for your post. Don't you think it's all too easy to slip into condemnation without even realizing it? I think the enemy works extra hard at laying a heavy load on earnest Believers who want so much to live for Jesus. May God give us a heightened ability to distinguish between the two! Blessings!

Thank you Susie! I so needed to read that today. I have been wallowing in condemnation and not even realizing it... and having a hard time now letting go. Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing God to use you to bring truth and freedom to others. You are such a blessing!

Wow! Susie you nailed exactly where I have been lately - "Condemnation throws us down, weighs us down, and intends to keep us down...as long as we are willing to entertain its wretched presence." What is so sad about this statement is that I have been in this rut for so long! A rut so deep that even though I ask for forgiveness, I am still very weighed down. I know Jesus is with me, loves me, and wants me to rest in him. The question I guess is, why can't I let go of whatever it is that condemnation is persuading me to hold on to? It is like when you have something on your finger and you just can't shake it loose. You don't want it there, but it persists. Confession is needed, and is done often. Freedom is what you want and what He wants for you. But for some reason your heart still feels heavy and you don't feel free. What's the next step?

Love this post! Looking to Jesus for direction and to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit convicting me.

Thank you, Susie. Your testimonies of the Holy Spirit's work in your life are helpful reminders of the realness of our God in our lives. This has been a real experience for me as well. It is such a gift to have such a gracious Father who loves, protects, directs and forgives.

Susie, Thanks for the post. I think I need to dive further into this-- Last two nights I have had really troubled sleep, when usually I sleep like a rock. Thanks for your insightful words.

Susie, I can so relate to this post. It is so wonderful to find and live in the liberating mercy of Jesus' love.

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