In spiritual warfare one of the enemy’s most powerful weapons is condemnation. The enemy hits you with the mistakes that you made before and even after your salvation to make you think that God rejects you or your prayers. In my blog posts, the study groups that I lead, and my sermons on prayer I caution my listeners and readers of this tactic because it can cause us to not to talk to God about what’s really on our minds, or in some cases to stop talking to Him entirely because the enemy has convinced us that because we sinned a holy God will no longer listen to or talk with us.
The counter to that attack is to know what God says. This is what I said in a sermon about the misconception that the enemy puts in our heads that we have to be perfect before we can have a conversation with God.
One of the things that we “fake the funk” is the misconception that we have to be perfect. We “fake the funk” by pretending to have our lives in order, smiling and saying all the right things. We’re ashamed to admit our shortcomings to God. We don’t really buy into the fact that when Jesus becomes our personal Lord and Savior, God forgives us and sees us as righteous. We are righteous because of Jesus and our faith in Him.
God sees us a completely righteous because of our faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26 (NLT)21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
When we “fake the funk” we are really doubting Jesus’ work of salvation on the cross, and we somehow believe that we still have to prove something to God. We are depending on ourselves and our own righteousness which don’t amount to a “hill of beans”.
Isaiah 64:6 (NLT)6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
We need to get it in our heads that we don’t have to be perfect because Jesus is perfect. When we realize this we can passionately seek Him, obey Him, and confess and repent when we miss the mark then we will stop “faking the funk”
Because of Jesus there is no more condemnation:
Romans 8:1. 38-39 (NLT) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
While there is no condemnation for those who have been saved by faith in Jesus and His work on the cross it doesn’t mean that they no longer sin, but when we do the Holy Spirit does convict us of sin.
John 16:8 (NLT)8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
But there is a huge difference between the condemnation used by the enemy and the conviction used by the Holy Spirit, and it is important that we understand that difference because it affects how we relate to God in prayer and in our walk with Him.
Guard Your Heart
The YouVersion Reading Plan Overcoming Fear And Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare provides a great description of the difference between condemnation and conviction.
The fog of a troubled heart can obscure what’s really going on, but God’s Word provides plenty of clues.
If stealing, killing, and destroying are happening around you, you know the thief is at work. Sometimes that’s because of our own or other people’s sinful behavior, and sometimes it’s simply because we still live in this messed-up world.
John 10:10 (NLT)10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Be especially alert for condemnation and confusion.
Condemnation from the enemy and conviction from the Holy Spirit may seem similar on the outside, but they couldn’t be more different. Condemnation is dark, hopeless, destructive, and holds you to your past. It feels like the end.
Conviction from the Holy Spirit feels light, hopeful, uplifting, and points you to your future. It’s a beginning and provides a clear sense of the next step to take.
Confusion from the enemy brings oppression, darkness, and fear. The harder you wrestle to break free, the more entangled you become.
Peace from the Holy Spirit brings clarity and light. Regardless of what happens externally, your inner world can experience calmness and hope.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
When you are experiencing condemnation or confusion, literally STOP! Move away mentally and/or physically. Calm your mind, run into God’s presence, and listen for His voice. He will meet you there.
Excerpted from the YouVersion Overcoming Fear And Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare by Carol Peters-Tanksley, MD, DMIN © Copyright 2017 Dr. Carol Ministries, All Rights Reserved
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.