"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." -Romans 8:1, KJVCondemnation. It is something that the Blood-washed mama reaches to pick up again. As though it is a habit so ingrained that years of walking with the Savior cannot keep it from treading on the tender places of your heart.
No? Tell me the last time it whispered in the darkness as you laid your exhausted head on the pillow. Did you reject it? Or did you pause in your Spirit-walk to lament the dishes that didn't get washed, the phone calls that didn't get made, the game that you didn't play with your children, the diet you failed to follow and the Pinterest-depicted homes that look nothing like yours?
Why can we walk in the Spirit and forgive our neighbor but fail so hopelessly to forgive ourselves? Why can we accept the grace that erases the shame of our past but fail to carry that grace into our present? How can we stand redeemed before the Savior but bow in self-deprecation before the woman wearing a dress with single digits on its tag?
Condemnation. It slinks beside us in our Spirit-walk. Always threatening. Always present. Whispers of the Law we gave up for Love, stealing from our peace.
We gave up hatred for self-loathing. We turned our back on lust, yet we desire the approval of our broken sisters more than the approval of our Broken Savior. We surrendered cheating others in order to cheat ourselves of His acceptance.
Because we are accepted.....we are righteous. Not in a painted way where our sin hides behind an imagined cloak. As if the omniscient God can overlook something that broke His heart and the Body of His Son! No, we are accepted because we walk with Him and He lives within us and all is forgiven and our present is saturated with the Presence of One Who writes His Law on our hearts. Because sin is gone and with it condemnation!
Condemnation. It is false. It is Satan's ruse to keep us in the ways of our past even though we walk righteous, clean, pure with the Spirit. He cannot draw our eyes to sin because we have given it up. He can instead draw our eyes to others and our supposed inadequacies.. Is it time we give those up as well?
I came across this verse in my reading this morning:
"For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou (surround) him as with a shield."Did you see that word favor? Jesus not only loves you: the righteous, the saved. He is pleased with You! He is not condemning you because He sees your heart. He sees your motive to please Him, and He reciprocates with His smile of approval.
- Psalm 5:12, KJV (clarifying word added)
But my favorite part? He takes His favor and surrounds you with it. Surrounds your vulnerable heart because the barbs of disapproval will come. From others. From yourself. From your perceptions, real or imagined, of what others think of you.
Condemnation. When we walk in the Spirit, it cannot touch us. He is pleased with us....not our performance or our position or our Pinterest boards. No, we have His favor.....and we are wrapped in it!
The barbs of "less than" and "not enough"? They bounce off the shield. And we just keep walking, reflecting His smile of approval because all other is deflected by our ever-present shield...our ever-present Savior.