This word is for everyone: it's for me, it's for you. The audience is simply "every believer," because whether we like to admit it or not, we all sin. Sure, we call it "messing up," or "making mistakes."
For some, it's even deeper than that. The conflict is nearly unbearable, because this person who is genuinely a Christ-follower, who has been spiritually regenerated by the Holy Spirit, is bound to addiction. Sexual immorality. Hatred. Big sins, little sins... sin is sin, and there is but one sure solution.
I believe there is a place you can go—right after you sin—where you will receive the very tools you need to receive forgiveness from that sin and power to walk in victory over that sin. The problem is that this place has an enemy. Satan works overtime to keep you out of this one place, and it is the place of God's glorious presence.
The Ultimate Lie
There is a lie that Satan uses consistently and relentlessly against every believer: you're not worthy. For the sake of this article, I will specify a little further: you're not worthy to come before God and enjoy His presence. You're too dirty. You blew it big time. Don't you know what you did? How could God still want you? God can't use you. You're just a sinner, and that's all you'll ever be. Ever feel this way? I have... many times.
Lie after lie is hurled at you like fiery darts from a determined adversary (Eph. 6:16). What typically happens is we allow those fiery darts to overwhelm us, rather than rising up and actually overwhelming the enemy's assault. The problem, sadly, is that many Christians don't know what weapon to use when the devil uses this kicker of a lie on us. The enemy is able to have victory in our lives because we are unable to present a higher evidence than what he is pitching to us.
The devil has evidence against you: your past, your sins, your mistakes, your stumbling, your vices and so on. Yes, these things are sins. We deal with something called sin because our flesh is still under the influence of the fall. We may have a new spirit, transformed by the Holy Spirit, that desires to follow God; but we still have a flesh that wars against the desire of our transformed spirit.
This is what the devil tries to appeal to in our darkest moments when we've blown it—big or small—and he is trying to use this evidence against us to convince us that we are unfit to enter the place of God's presence.
Why are you lifting your hands? You're too dirty.
You can't worship God... He saw what you did last night. He heard what you said a moment ago. He knows what you're thinking.
You think God is going to accept you? You keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. You've exhausted God's grace.
Sure, you may go to heaven one day—but don't expect to receive anything big on this Earth; you've blown it.
I've been in this place. Perhaps you have too. Satan wars against you going into the presence of God because he knows the very things you need to empower you in moments of weakness are actually in that place. God's presence is the place of your victory and the devil's defeat!
The Ultimate Weapon
Paul tells us what extinguishes the fiery darts of the devil: the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16). That's great, but what exactly is our faith in?
You need to have faith that the same blood of Jesus that transformed your spirit (from a sinner to being the righteousness of God in Christ) is powerful enough to cleanse your conscience.
...how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb. 9:14, MEV)
Unless you proactively and intentionally apply the blood of Jesus to your conscience, you will never think you're worthy to enter God's presence. It's all about who gets to your thinking first: God's Word or the devil's lies. Declare that the same blood that secured you an eternal home in heaven also cleanses your mind today!
Father, I ask right now for the blood of Jesus to cleanse my conscience. Even though the devil comes in like a flood, trying to overwhelm me with guilt and shame, right now, I declare the cleansing power of Jesus' blood over my mind. Over my thinking. Over my thought life. I will not mediate on how dirty I am; I repent, Lord. I repent for my sins. I turn from sin, and turn towards you, God. I don't try to serve you through penance, I don't try to make things right by feeling guilty or shameful for a certain period of time. I simply come before you, recognizing that I have no power in and of myself to change—and ask You, Holy Spirit, to wash my thinking with the "better word" that Jesus' blood speaks over me.
Let this simply be a prayer-starter for you. Declare the "better words" that Jesus' blood speaks over you (Heb. 12:24). When the enemy tries to convince you of every reason you're not worthy to come before God in your time of need, remind him that:
- I'm the righteousness of God, in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).
- I've been purchased out of darkness and translated into the glorious kingdom of God's Son (Col. 1:13).
- My every sin is cleansed by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).
- If I confess my sin, God is faithful and just and will forgive me (1 John. 1:9)!
The Ultimate Place of Breakthrough
After you sin, what do you need? I can think of two things: 1) forgiveness and 2) power. You need a revelation of the forgiveness provided at the cross. It's not about begging God for forgiveness; it's about receiving what was purchased at the cross. You confess your sin, acknowledge it for what it is, repent and then receive (again, not beg for) the forgiveness that Jesus freely purchased for you. You are forgiven; that's a present identity, not an object of future attainment. Next you need power. Power to have victory over sin. Power to "go and sin no more." Power to overcome what has been overwhelming you. There is power available!
And yet, where are both of these things found? In the presence of the Lord. Consider this incredible invitation from Scripture:
Let us then come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16, MEV)
While the invitation is familiar, I am concerned that many of us don't respond to it. Remember the ultimate lie? You're not worthy... to enter His presence. And yet, it seems to me that the very tools we need to have victory over sin—mercy (forgiveness) and grace (empowerment)—are located in the very place the devil wants to keep us out of: God's presence.
A Prophetic Promise for Those Who Have Messed Up
Here is, I believe, the word of the Lord for you:
You may be in sin right now.
You may be over your head in some kind of addiction that's destroying your life.
Or, perhaps you sinned... big time... once... a couple of times. I have no idea what your story is. I do know, however, one common denominator. The enemy is always seeking an opportune time to come in, like a flood, and overwhelm you with his ultimate lie that, "you've sinned too much, you've gone too far, you've left God, and you're no longer worthy to enter His Presence."
I prophesy over you, right now, the Word of the Lord: Come in to my presence... anyway. Don't come with penance. Don't come with guilt or shame. I sense so strong, right now, that God is calling out to you: "No excuses, my treasured son. No excuses my beloved daughter. Come..." Are you thirsty? Come and, yes, come boldly. Hebrews 4:16 was not intended for the one who had his or her "spiritual act" together. It's for you, beloved—the one who is in a "time of need."
Your greatest breakthrough is agreeing with this simple truth: Because of Jesus' blood, I actually believe that I can boldly enter into God's presence. I don't feel like it. The thoughts coming against me say I can't. But on the basis of God's eternal word, I reject what I feel and I reject what the enemy is speaking over me, and I simply come. And I come boldly, expecting a face to face encounter with the holy God!
God desires to embrace you, love you and refresh you.
Remember, in His presence is fullness of joy. He wants to overwhelm you with the revelation of absolute forgiveness, through the blood of Jesus, and empowering grace through the person of the Holy Spirit.
To receive these glorious gifts, simply come. And if you are laden with excuses and a thousand reasons why you shouldn't enter into God's presence, I believe the Lord is saying come anyway. He wants to cleanse us, yes. The problem is, we often think we need to clean ourselves up before coming to Him. That's backwards. Just come. Let Him embrace you in His arms and allow His glorious presence to cleanse you!
Larry Sparks is co-author of the book, The Fire That Never Sleeps, with Dr. Michael Brown and John Kilpatrick. Larry's mission is to help teach all believers how to experience and sustain personal revival—enjoying a deep relationship with God through encountering the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. To this end, he maintains a blog through Charisma magazine, is a published author, teaches revival seminars, and is the co-founder of Renewing South Florida, an organization committed to uniting the local church for regional outpouring. Larry holds a Master of Divinity from Regent University and presently serves as vice president of publishing for Destiny Image Publishers.
You can receive daily empowerment for personal revival from Larry on Facebook (facebook.com/larryvsparks).
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