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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Neither Do I Condemn You

I’d heard it all week in my spirit, “Does anyone condemn you?”

The woman shook her head.

“Neither do I condemn you.” John 8:11 (NIV)

These words came from Jesus’s lips as He smiled down to the woman caught in sin, just moments before what might have been her stoning by masses and certain death. (If you are struggling with something you’ve done, read about it. It’s a riveting Bible story!)

Like the woman in the Bible, I too had been struggling with something. It was different, but all sins in the eyes of God are sins no less. So, heavily convicted by the Spirit and equal parts condemned by the enemy, I fell on my knees in broken surrender. My heart had never been so contrite to have sinned against God before.

The conviction I could handle. The condemnation I could not.

As my weeping turned to rejoicing, I heard the words again. “Neither do I condemn you.”

But Satan has been at his job a very long time. He’s a master of deception. Though Satan failed miserably, He even tried to trip up Jesus! Satan is smart. He is convincing. He twisted God’s Word against me. My heart inside me ached. I couldn’t sleep and when I did, I woke up with guilt unshakable, my heart racing. Not only was Satan warring against me in my waking hours, he was at it in my sleep too!

Sin is hard to talk about, isn’t it? It is and it is not because we don’t all sin, but because we all do. It is hard to call up a friend at 2 a.m. and say “I did XYZ.” Many of us know this because we have tried before and what we said found its way back to our ears. Other times, we have been the trust betrayers ourselves.

That’s why I did what anybody does at 2 a.m. when a question keeps them up at night. I asked my old friend Google, because Google can’t talk unless you have voice activation!

I had never used a prayer chat line before. I was nervous. I shut myself in the bathroom. I hid in secret to divulge the secrets of my heart. I felt strange as the rotating circle loaded, soon knowing why. The person on the other end of the rotating circle proceeded to tell me how devastating the effects of sin are, why I should feel shameful and then immediately began to pray for me to FEEL the magnitude of the guilt of my sins. WOW! I felt worse than ever. I wanted to remind her of Jesus’ words, but I bit my tongue. Maybe I heard in my spirit all wrong that week.

Had I never known Jesus, this would have been my only snapshot of Him. I knew better, but to be sure I wasn’t a big, fire-breathing monster, I tried one more prayer line.

“I’m iffy about this,” I said to another person I will never meet this side of heaven. “I have something I want to bring to the light. I really messed up...” Enter my spiritual dumping onto the ears of a stranger.

“Let me assure you that I have been there too,” Joan said. “Life is made up of seasons and we are equipped for them. You are in the middle of this, but just like me, you will come out the other side. This too shall pass. Every time you come to a season like this remember… God will always bring you through it.”

Simple words… until Joan quoted the Bible verse that had been in my spirit all week.

So why would God send me to the wrong place first?

He wanted to show me the difference in condemnation and grace. Condemnation says, “Crucify yourself over your sin.” Grace speaks peace. Grace says, “I have already been crucified in your place. There’s nothing to see here. Move along.” 

Satan loves to keep us guessing. Are we forgiven? Can we trust God with our mistakes? Can we believe Him when He says, “Neither do I condemn you.”? Can we too strive to be the people who say those five healing words?

We can.

Why? Because all of us escaped our stoning. Because in what they thought would be His tomb, Jesus rolled away the stone. Because of this, there is some VERY Good News in your bad news.

Yes. I’m here to be your Joan.

Come to Jesus. You are in condemnation no longer. You are free to move along.

“If then the son may make you free, in reality, ye shall be free.” John 8:36 YLT

Copyright © 2018 Brooke Keith, used with permission.

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