And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
—1 John 3:19-21
Many believers struggle with feelings of condemnation. Condemnation is not conviction. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Conviction trains us in the righteousness that Christ has given us. It builds our faith with God’s grace and truth. Condemnation brings feelings of shame and doubt and fear and rejection. It is a tool of the enemy to destroy any confidence we have that God loves us.
When our hearts condemn us, God’s truth is greater than what we feel. When we don’t feel condemned is when we can have confidence in God’s love for us. We have to assure ourselves of the truth of His Word.
Those who walk in the spirit instead of in the flesh have confidence in who they are in Christ (Romans 8:1). They don’t live by what they feel. They live what they believe. The way to overcome feelings of condemnation is to encourage your heart with God’s truth and deny your feelings. But if you don’t renew your mind with God’s truth (Romans 12:2), your heart will condemn you and at times you may even doubt your salvation.
And what does God’s truth say about your salvation?
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1:13).
Your salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. It is His guarantee. This is not what you feel. This is what you know because God says it is true. Encourage your faith with the Word and believe His truth in your heart.
Do you see why the renewing of your mind with the Word is crucial to living by God’s truth and not by what we feel? For God’s truth to be real in your life, you choose to deny the feelings that bring shame and doubt and fear and rejection. To walk according to the His Spirit and not by what you feel, you have to know God’s Word and believe it in your heart.
Knowing and believing the truth of who you are in Christ gives you confidence in your relationship with God. When you exercise the truth of that relationship, you walk by faith and not by what you feel. According to what you believe, you receive (Matthew 9:29).
©2022 Lynn Lacher