Are you living in condemnation? The devil is sneaky, so don’t answer until you check out these four warning signs that something’s just not right!
Do you believe that God is the Giver of healing, prosperity, deliverance, peace, salvation, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, a spouse, children and every other good thing, but don’t feel worthy to receive those things?
Wait, don’t answer just yet…keep reading.
Many Christians are refusing the gifts Jesus Christ has made available to them through His shed blood because they think of themselves as unworthy. Because of their past sins and mistakes, and the past sins and mistakes of others, they do not feel good enough to receive from a holy God.
Now you can answer. Does this sound like you? If you answered yes, then…Houston, we have a problem.
If you’ve been having trouble receiving healing, financial breakthrough or anything else you need from the Lord, and you struggle with feelings of shame and unworthiness, you may be living in condemnation that needs to be resolved.
What Is Condemnation?
Simple definitions of condemnation include feelings of guilt, shame, regret, fear and unworthiness…usually stemming from a past mistake or experience. These past sins could have happened 10 years ago or 10 minutes ago. Anytime we miss the mark, and we all do from time to time, the enemy will try his best to bring condemnation on us.
So, what are we to do? We are to believe and stand on the Word of God!
- The Bible clearly tells us in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
- Psalm 34:22 says the Lord redeems the life of His servants, and no one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.
- If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
- He blots out our sins and does not think of them (Isaiah 43:25).
- He does not punish us for all our sins or deal with us harshly as we deserve (Psalm 103:10).
Another important point to remember is that there’s a difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit will let us know when we’ve missed the mark by convicting us of sin from our past or present, but He is a gentleman. He doesn’t aim to make us feel guilty, unworthy and fearful, but He leads us to repentance. Correction usually comes by a quickening from the Holy Spirit as you read and study the Word of God, or through a minister or pastor teaching or preaching from the Word. It can also come from a fellow believer who is walking in love. Condemnation, on the other hand, is brought on by the devil, and he wants to make you feel all the bad things—unworthy, afraid and guilty. He will often invade your thoughts or use people to accomplish his mission.
But there’s good news! You don’t have to live in condemnation, because Jesus paid the ultimate price for you to be free! So, it’s time to ask yourself, Am I living in condemnation? The devil is sneaky, so it’s always a good idea to check and see if he’s been pulling any of your strings and trying to cheat you out of the abundant life Jesus came to give you.
Below are four warning signs that you may be living in condemnation and that something’s just not right.
Warning Sign No. 1: You Think About the Past—A Lot
“One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” –Philippians 3:13 (NASB)
Do thoughts of your past seem to creep up out of nowhere? Sins and mistakes from 10, 20, even 30 years ago? Or maybe you keep reliving a negative life experience that left you hurt—over and over and over. Perhaps you’ve even found yourself saying on repeat, “I wish I would’ve…” or “If only I wouldn’t have….”
The No. 1 warning sign that you may be living in condemnation and that something’s just not right, is if you think about your past sins and the negative experiences of your life a lot. Recalling these memories can leave you feeling guilty, ashamed and like you’re never quite good enough.
This is why God tells us to leave what’s in the past in the past, and to press forward into our future. God wants to do something new and wonderful in your life, completely apart from your past, but you have to stop looking to your past in order to receive it!
How do you do this? Know that Jesus already took the condemnation for your past upon Himself. As a born-again Christian, you have been made free from every sin you’ve ever committed. Jesus bore all your sin, shame and guilt on the cross, so you could live free of condemnation—FOREVER.
It isn’t enough to just mentally acknowledge this truth, however. As long as you keep allowing yourself to replay bad choices or experiences, you’ll keep yourself spinning on the condemnation merry-go-round. Are you ready to get off?
Here’s how to do it: Take your thoughts of the past captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). When a condemning thought from your past crosses your mind, stop it dead in its tracks by speaking out loud. Say, “No. I don’t live in the past. Jesus has made all things new and given me a prosperous, guilt-free future. I am living fully in the present, and I look forward to what God is doing in my life right now.”
This might be a daily effort at first, so don’t give up if the thoughts of your past don’t immediately stop. Plus, you have an enemy who doesn’t want you to succeed, but remember, he’s already been defeated! So, whenever the devil tries to call you with reminders of past mistakes—hang up on him. Inform him that he’s been placed on your Do Not Call List, and you will not be receiving any more of his attempts at communication.
Make a decision today. Leave the past behind, and focus on the here and now, and your glorious future!
Warning Sign No. 2: You Can’t Seem to Forgive Yourself
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
If you find yourself beating yourself up for days, weeks and even years after you make a mistake, that’s a strong warning that you may be living in condemnation, and something’s just not right. Feelings of rejection, fear of failure, insecurity and depression are all connected to condemnation.
When you became a Christian, you literally became a new creation, a species that has never before existed. The old person you were passed away, spiritually speaking. The best news is that all of your past and future mistakes have been blotted out by the blood of Jesus! If Jesus can forgive you for past and future sins, who are you to not forgive yourself?
To forgive yourself, you must renew your mind to the truth of God’s Word that says you are forgiven and have been made new.
Remember, when you sin or miss the mark, confess and repent as soon as you realize it. Next, receive your forgiveness and cleansing from the Lord
(1 John 1:9), and then take the next step and forgive yourself! Holding onto guilt and shame is refusing to receive His forgiveness, and it just wouldn’t be right to refuse this beautiful gift!
What’s more, Satan will take anything about which you’ve not forgiven yourself and beat you over the head with it. But if you forgive yourself, he’s neutralized.
This is such a vital concept to grasp, you may need to spend some dedicated time with the Lord to inquire of Him and search your heart for any areas where you have not received God’s forgiveness and have not forgiven yourself.
If you discover that you just can’t seem to forgive yourself, it’s a good time to ask, “Why?” What do you lose by letting go of the past and accepting the truth that Jesus washed away your sins and mistakes? What do you gain by holding onto past hurts?
Living in condemnation because you just can’t seem to forgive yourself is self-focused, and receiving forgiveness is God-focused. So, turn your focus back on God, forgive yourself because Jesus has forgiven you, and start living in victory!
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland pray for their Partners every day. Want to be under their covering? Find out more about partnership HERE.
Find A Daily Confession to Overcome Condemnation here.
Warning Sign No. 3: You Have a Judgmental and Critical Spirit
“For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you.” –Matthew 7:2 (TPT)
Another warning sign that you may be living in condemnation is if you have a judgmental and critical spirit about you. What is a judgmental and critical spirit? It is one that looks for flaws and failings in others and forms a verdict or opinion about them. Criticizing and passing judgment on another person can help make us feel a bit superior in areas in which we feel we have the upper hand. At least I don’t do that! you may think to yourself.
Why is this a warning sign that you may be living in condemnation? Often, we judge people because we ourselves “feel” judged either by God or by people. When we feel judged, feelings of condemnation abound. However, often, we are only feeling judged by others because of condemning thoughts replaying in our heads. If we knew the truth of the matter, we’d probably be surprised to find out that the person we “felt” judged by didn’t ever give us one thought!
If you find yourself observing, judging and criticizing the faults in people—spouses, friends, family, co-workers, political leaders—or even pointing them out to others, the Word of God has some advice for you: Stop it now! The Bible clearly warns us of the dangers of judging others. When you sow judgment, you will reap judgment (Matthew 7:2), leading to more condemnation. It’s a vicious cycle!
Most of all, God loves you so much, He sent His one and only Son to die for you. Because you have accepted this free gift, you are no longer condemned; therefore, you are free from the thoughts and judgments of others. God says there is now no condemnation for you because you belong to Him, so His Word and love for you trumps everyone else’s opinion.
Other signs of a critical spirit fueled by condemnation include:
- Being highly critical of yourself and comparing yourself to others
- Needing constant affirmation from people around you
- Craving compliments, while feeling threatened if others are complimented.
How do you go free from a judgmental and critical spirit?
- Repent. This means to change your ways to God’s ways! Ask Him to show you the root of the critical spirit. If you truly believe someone is in error, refuse to criticize him or her, but pray instead! The Scripture says, “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand” (Romans 14:4, NIV).
- Refuse to gossip or speak negatively about anyone, ever (Ephesians 4:29). Be cautious of what you share about others, knowing that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), which means it doesn’t highlight or gossip about the failings of others.
- Walk in love by choosing to speak life and build others up with your words. Go out of your way to say something nice to or about someone. When you’re living free from condemnation, you’ll find yourself eager to build others up.
As you go free from condemnation that comes from a judgmental and critical spirit, you will begin to naturally overlook the faults and shortcomings of others because you will be so secure in who you are in Christ. You’ll become a cheerleader for the Body of Christ and an excellent representative of the love of Jesus to the world. Instead of saying, “Look what you did,” you’ll say, “We’ve all fallen short at one time or another. But you can do it! I’m with you in this.”
Warning Sign No. 4: You Feel Unworthy
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8 (ESV)
Do you ever feel like you have to prove yourself? In today’s world, that’s what you have to do, right? On the job, among friends and even at home, the pressure is on to convince those around you that you deserve the salary, the friendship and even the love they give you. Why? Because you feel unworthy. Feeling unworthy is the next warning sign that you may be living in condemnation and that something’s just not right.
If you’re feeling unworthy of anyone’s love—be it a family member, friend, co-worker or even God Himself, you have to know and accept the truth: God considered you worthy enough to send Jesus Christ to die for you. That’s how He showed His love for you, and that’s how He showed you that you are worthy. Your life is very important to God.
If you feel unworthy, it’s time to get a revelation of the love God has for you. First John 4:16 says, “We have come to know and to believe the love God has for us…” (ESV). You can’t just know in your head that God loves you, but you must believe the love, or in other words get a personal revelation of it.
As Kenneth Hagin said, “Believing takes place in our heart, not our head.”
How do you do this? Meditate on scriptures that talk about God’s love for you. Ask God to reveal to you that He loves you. Then, be on the lookout for God to show you. He will. This revelation will revolutionize your whole life! To be loved by God and to believe it from personal experience…it’s a marvelous thing!
Next, you need to understand that, as Christ’s servant, you are called to please God, not man (Galatians 1:10). It pleases Him when you understand the high value He places on your life and when you have faith in His love for you.
Remember, God hasn’t based His relationship with you on your worthiness in and of yourself. He knows where you’ve missed. He knows you’ve fallen short. But when He looks at you, that’s not what He sees. You know what He sees? He sees the worthy blood of Jesus covering you. He sees you perfect in every way, ready to complete every good work He created you to do in this world. You don’t have to struggle to prove yourself to Him. As far as He’s concerned, you’re a proven success.
So, the next time you catch yourself struggling to make up to God for something you’ve done wrong, or you find yourself working to win His approval or the approval of others, stop and rest in His love for you. Remind yourself of how much God loves you. You are worthy to be loved by God Almighty! Your job is to please the Lord with your life. You already measure up.
Watch Gloria and Kellie Copeland talk about how the devil uses shame and how you can defeat him.
Well, how did you do? Did you notice any of the four warning signs that you may be living in condemnation and that something’s just not right? Once you resolve to stop living in your past, forgive yourself, quit judging others and realize you are worthy of God’s love, receiving from God will become much easier! Jesus has paid the price for you to go free from condemnation and receive all the gifts He’s already given you. He came to give you life and life more abundantly. It’s time to begin living the abundant life—free from condemnation today!
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