For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Many people have a very hard time “keeping their heads above water”. They feel as though they are drowning in problems, injustice, and negative thoughts – even though they are Christians.
Many believe they have given their lives to Jesus, but actually they really want to control their own lives – and then what is left of what they gave to Jesus? They might be okay with Jesus having a little say-so, but they want to keep the control and decide whether or not they want to obey. Some even want to sort through the Bible, selecting those passages that “fit best” into their own lives and with their own morals, open-mindedness, lies, believes about heaven and hell, etc….
…but that being said, you obviously know that if you have truly received Jesus and have submitted to Him in EVERYTHING… only one problem remains: You!! We are often our own worst enemy…!
In John 10:10, it says about Satan: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Sure, Satan can easily plant all kinds of negative thoughts and nonsense in our heads – so many that they can destroy us. Thoughts of inferiority, guilt, self-condemnation, anger, jealousy, envy, rebellion, etc. – and did you know that it is actually a “sin” to entertain to those thoughts? You see, Jesus wants to protect us, and precisely these types of thoughts contribute to harming us and, in the worst-case scenario, destroy our relationships with other people. …but the only problem is that you are really the one who chooses whether you will give in to all the thoughts and feelings that are planted in you, or if you stamp the thought “return to sender.” In no way am I saying that you can always prevent a thought from coming, but it is your choice if you will allow it to live in you and become rooted in you. Just as it is not always up to you who rings your doorbell – but it is your choice whom you will let in.
I once heard a saying: “Sow a thought – harvest an action. Sow an action – harvest a habit. Sow a habit – harvest a permanent behavior”. For a seed to grow, it must be nourished. So, once you have a negative thought and you subsequently go from word to action, you have a problem. On the other hand, if you have a negative thought, which you ignore and don’t nourish, it will wither and die!
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Look at this rather trivial example, which I actually experience quite often when it comes to “condemnation”: Personally, I am an active Christian believer who experiences the most amazing things with God, and I testify about Jesus anytime I can. Many who follow me on FB or hear the amazing testimonies we experience, often think, “Well, that Andreas guy probably doesn’t think I’m good enough” or “I’m no good, and something is wrong with my Christianity”. The (self-)condemnation starts piling on immediately. But do you really think those are my thoughts about the person? No, not at all, but frequently these thoughts actually develop because a person isn’t resting in who God created him or her to be – or because the person has a relationship with God that is actually a little rickety, or which may be based on culture or social fellowship rather than on a personal relationship with Jesus.
So, if you feel condemned, there are two things you need to do:
1. If there is some truth to it, then do something about the thing you are feeling condemned over, so you can let the feeling go.
2. If there is no truth to it, then why are you feeling condemned? Toss out the feeling with the garbage as “problem junk” – “return to sender” – “no such addressee”.
Full surrender to Jesus in ALL THINGS sets you free…! I have experienced SO MANY Christians who believe in Jesus, but who simply don’t surrender to Him in everything. When we surrender, we experience what Paul talks about here:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Remember that Jesus is not a feeling, but when we let in His spirit (the Holy Spirit), it transforms the spirit living in us – and then it becomes our own job to ALLOW the spirit to transform our mind and thoughts – and that happens ONLY by FULL surrender to Jesus and to the word of God.
… if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Remember that a close relationship with Jesus requires more than faith, it also requires TURNING from your old lifestyle.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Faith cannot stand alone, because faith must always be supported by action – and not by all sorts of rationalization and lies about the Bible being written 2000 years ago, so who knows if it even applies today, because God should keep with today’s society. God did not make rules to harm us, but rather to protect us!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The more you submit to Jesus and give HIM control, the more you will actually experience an extreme freedom in your thoughts – and the more you will also discover the person God created YOU to be. Once you discover that, there will be no fertile soil for depression or negative thoughts and feelings – and you will even start to see glimpses of other people through the eyes of God.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Is it easy…? No, it’s hard! But all of this actually starts with a CHOICE and with action behind the choice – not with giving up. Faith, turning from sin, and full surrender is a choice. We are NOT to question God and His “positions”, but rather submit if we want God’s freedom in our lives.