Two Liberating Definites
, by Shanna Duke
This week I wanted to keep the gem short and share two liberating definite facts from the Bible that have been inspiring me lately.
Are you looking for freedom? For joy? For peace? These are emotions and feelings which are pleasant and many people long to experience. From my study and experience, feelings are based on our thought patterns and can be deceiving if based on lies. That’s why I love how the Bible, if taken as our foundation for truth, can refute the many lies we tell ourselves each day.
Definite #1: Sin is forgiven immediately.
Have you ever found yourself saying “I feel so weighed down with guilt and shame”, “my sin is too bad, God could never forgive me” or even “I’m not worthy to be loved”?
There is a promise in 1 John 1:9 which speaks directly to each one of these lies: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
Yes, there is a condition. Confession—true, deep, and sincere confession is needed. Then God is the one to fulfill the forgiving and cleansing, the One who is the same “today, yesterday and tomorrow”. (Heb 13:8)
There was a paralytic at the pool of Bethesda, we are told in the gospels. He hadn’t been able to walk for 38 years and was in a helpless and seeming hopeless condition. Until the day that Jesus came over to him and told him to “Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” If I were that man I would be tempted to think, “what right and power does this man have over me? Does he think I’ve only pretended to be lame for most of my life?”. But this man does not. Maybe he has heard of Jesus and the miracles that have been performed previously, maybe not. Either way, the man obeys immediately and is healed and walked.
One of my favourite authors writes about this account in relation to our own lives and the parallel between this man’s disease and our sin: “Do not wait to feel that you are made whole, but say, ‘I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised’” (Steps to Christ, 51).
Definite #2: God always hears our prayers.
Do you wonder sometimes if God really heard your prayer? If He really was doing what was best for your life? Or why He doesn’t seem to be answering even though you’ve been praying sincerely and in earnest?
The promise is, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” When we are in right relation with God “whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” (Mat 7:7, 1 Jn 3:22)
We may not see the immediate answers, but He has promised if we come in faith He will hear and answer according to His will.
In the old testament we see time and time again God’s few and faithful people waiting for deliverance from the oppression that evil leaders placed upon them. I can imagine being discouraged as it seems things only are getting worse. The prophets through the centuries inspire faith and when we get to Habakkuk, he again encourages that “the just shall live by his faith”—by previous experience in trusting and confidence in God’s goodness. From the context we find that the people of Israel were to believe the promises—as hopeless as the situation may have seemed, and “though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”. (Hab 2:3,4)
“We must cherish and cultivate the faith of which prophets and apostles have testified—the faith that lays hold on the promises of God and wait for deliverance in His appointed time and way.” (Prophets and Kings, 387)
Be encouraged this week! Lay hold on the promises and “though it tarry, wait for it” for it will come. Be challenged to ask for an increase of faith, and let God replace whatever lies you may subconsciously believe with liberating truth from His word.