A Spiritual Black Death

Man in despair

No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 (Phillips)

I repent for maligning the Spirit by believing the condemnation of the enemy. Unfortunately, when I’m in the process of repenting for sin, I sometimes become the punching bag for the enemy’s assault (Rev. 12:10). Yes, though I know better, I will occasionally listen to the accusation and condemnation of the enemy rather than staying in the conviction and contrition given by the Spirit.

We may be remorseful over our sins and transgressions, but Holy Spirit conviction is never the same thing as condemnation (Romans 8:1). Condemnation is that hopeless and dark place we go to when we listen to Satan’s attack. It’s a bottomless pit with more ambiguity then exactness.  Everything is wrong, nothing has ever been right, and the worst possible results will inevitably be my outcome. This is such a ploy of the enemy to distract us from the true purpose of repentance. If the enemy can involve me in the quicksand of despair, then my focus is off of the Spirit’s dealing. And all he has to do is keep my eyes and attention off of the goal set by God in order to thwart God’s work.

True godly repentance and conviction is filled with the hope and Light of redemption. When I’ve been convicted of sin, I experience the pain of conviction that includes the fear of God, but I never experience that dark remorse that annihilates my person. Conviction is clean where condemnation is dirty. Spirit-filled conviction seeks the Lord’s satisfaction in repentance. When He has been satisfied with our level of repentance, the weight of conviction lifts and we’re left filled with Light, and free!

Another distinction between conviction and condemnation is specific versus vague generalities. Conviction is always very direct and detailed in what the issue is. There’s no question about what the problem is and for what I need to repent. You may have to listen for the Lord to expose the heart motive and the root of sin, but there’s not that nebulous cloud of “Something is wrong, I just don’t know what.” I always hate when that shame and guilt comes. It’s the dark cloud of unclear sin. God doesn’t come and say, “You’re just a horrible person and can’t do anything right.” He addresses my actual sin specifically.

God’s dealings don’t leave you guessing. That’s torment! He’s not looking to frustrate us but to redeem us. His goal is for cleansing, redemption, and putting us in right standing with Himself. As long as the enemy can keep us in that discouragement, despair, and darkness, he hinders God’s goal. And all of these are just inverted expressions of pride anyway. Pride decides for itself in both directions—exalting self as well as debasing self.

Conviction is death. There’s pain involved when God deals with us on a deep level. But there’s not that moroseness of the black death of condemnation. Repentance and conviction of sin is coming into the Light as He Himself is in the Light.  It’s liberty and freedom from the shackles that bind us, separating us from our Beloved. The difference is so apparent. The mark of its fruit reveals the source. Is it Light unto Life even through the process of death, or does the darkness increase the death and amplify the separation? Christ experienced our separation from the Father on the Cross, so today we don’t have to. Wonderfully, our personal crosses and deaths through repentance are now done in His presence, with His guidance, and covered in His love.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Romans 2:4 NLT

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    • Susan

      Just what was needed John, a great clarification. I repent!

    • Beloved Kirk

      Thank you Beloved John,

    • Beloved Kirk

      John your blog prompted this prayer for the Space of Repentance, thank you beloved John.

      Lord Jesus with Your Blood and Your Cross, with all my will and all my choice I choose and pray for the active delivery of Your Blood and Your Right Cross, (Your powerful Right hook, Your uppercut, Your Almighty haymaker) to be delivered to the enemies ever condemning mouth and jaw. That this blow leaves him shut up, staggering, and that he reals away in stumbling defeat. So that all that is left is a Holy Space for Your precious clear true conviction, and may Your Blood and Cross and with my will and with my choice I choose only the efficacy of Your Redeeming Blood to allow me to respond and repent and allow me to see where I am, to repent and then see the place of no shame under Your Blood with You my Beloved Jesus.

      Lord Jesus I choose to press on and to let You take hold of Your work and Your responsibility You have given Yourself in me, until I reach the green pasture of Your Love, the love of the brethren, the love of You and Your responsibility for me and the green pasture of the place of actually hearing and doing the will of God.

    • Stephen

      Thanks John.
      I have had times when I felt condemned when I didn’t even know for what reason I felt that way! It can be a battle sometimes.

    • Layman Lee

      Thank you John, this gives me something to really look inward and access, of all the many ways the devil works keeping our eyes and thoughts off of Christ and His works is in my view the devils most affective.

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