“You are a failure”, “you’ll never get through it”, “why would Jesus love you and you keep falling for the same sins?”, “am I really saved?”
There are many thoughts that plague our minds during our brokenness, after failing, when speaking with people that show no grace, or when we feel like we took two steps forward and ten steps back. A key thing to remember during our weakness is this: there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction: That is no good feeling, but it serves a good purpose (see Isaiah 1:18). That is God’s way of tugging at our hearts to say, “you’re slipping away, come home”, or “you know that didn’t please me, that was your old sinful nature, but meet me in prayer and let me clean you up”. Condemnation: This is no good feeling, and it is not from God. It’s not God’s will for any to perish (see 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus himself said he didn’t come to condemn, but to save us (see John 3:17). Condemnation is that voice when you hear “you will never get through this, just leave the church” or “God will never forgive you.
God will never be happy when we sin, and neither will he turn a blind to it, but He won’t simply cut you off for making a mistake. The bible shows that God is gracious, and only leaves us to do whatever we want when we clearly show Him we don’t want to listen (see Romans 1:20-32). The prodigal son is a clear example of how things are when we backslide. God is watching daily for us to return, but he won’t force us to come back. Yet, his love is displayed when He sees we made the effort to come back and He will run to meet us (see Luke 15:11-32).
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8)
Habitual sin is not going to be tolerated under any circumstances. We all need Jesus to cleanse us from our deliberate and secret sins (see Psalm 19:12-14). We all know that we are human and have our weaknesses, which is why we must seek God for strength. God allows us to have these struggles so we must rely on His grace for strength (read 2 Corinthians 12:5-11).
It is easy to think that because we are saved that we won’t have any issues, but that is far from the truth. Problems are guaranteed, but through Christ, victory is promised. That is why Paul says he can now be happy in his persecutions and areas of weakness, because we can use it to our advantage. If you didn’t have any issues, you would not see your need for Jesus. However, our shortcomings teach us to be more reliable in Christ, they force us to have to pray and read our bible more.
Many of you have allowed your struggles to become your identity, I know I have before, but God is able to free us. No sin outweighs grace. No demonic force is greater than the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that was in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35-39).
Declare this over yourself (or over that friend/family member you see slipping away):
My past does not define me. Sexual sin has no power over this child of God. I will not give anyone the power to break me or to show me who I am, my identity is in Jesus. My old habits are not leaving immediately, but in Jesus name I will kill those old habits daily as God molds me into His image. I am free, in Jesus name! I am new in Jesus! I am loved, accepted, and forgiven by the mercy and grace of God!