Wednesday, 18 December 2013
First and foremost, I will like to ask you this simple objective question.
What is the driving force in your life? (Rick warren).
(a) Fear (b) Materialism (c) Anger (d) Guilt (e) All of the above.
Everyone’s life is driven by something at certain point in life. Many are driven by fear, anger, problem, pressure, guilt etc. A life that is been driven by guilt spend his/her entire life running from regrets and manipulated by memories. Most of the time they allow their past to control their future and continuously sabotaging their own success and having this feeling of blaming themselves. Guilt also causes one to regret the way his/her life is lived. A guilt driven life may say: “If only I could start life over again, how many things I will do differently.” Guilt has caused many to confess Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior more than once and also causes answers to prayers to be delayed.
A lady once asked, can I really be a friend of God? Not even waiting for my answer she replied immediately saying no way! She lamented. I quickly asked her why? She replied, saying: “I feel so inferior and so unworthy of anyone liking me, I even avoid praying to God because I don’t think I deserve being in his presence.” This shows another action which resulted from been guilty.
Deep inside you, you may feel totally unworthy of God’s friendship, while you may cherish the idea of being a friend of God, you think such is unattainable for you. At times, your past act of sins may make you feel unworthy of even approaching God not to talk of having friendship with him.
A Christian friend once told me that “before coming to appreciate godly ways, I was infested with nearly every sinful and hurtful deed.” However, what he later learnt from his study of Bible made him realize the grief and disappointment he was causing God. He further explained: “each bible study meeting made at least one or more of my flaws apparent to me, he also said”, he could not foresee God’s forgiveness of his seemingly endless sins when he could not even forgive himself. This helps me to conclude that: “for each sin we commit, guilt is brought upon us.”
On the other hand, you might have had a good relationship with God, but because of your weakness, fall into serious sins, it can make you feel so ashamed, making the pain and guilt become unbearable.
Perhaps, you find yourself in a situation similar to these entire scenarios. Listen, there is still hope: you can have God as your friend and still continue having that relationship with him.
What if you fall into the company of people whose life are driven by GUILT?
It is true that sinful acts can prevent one from enjoying the goodness of God. Fortunately, our loving father has taken the initiative to help us. You may be surprised that God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.(Romans 5:8): “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus Christ also revealed his mission on earth to us in Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45. “Even as the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many”.
Before coming to appreciate God’s standards and develop a relationship with Him, youths like myself have also engaged in gross wrongdoings. Yet, through Jesus’ ransom sacrifice; I was forgiven of all past sins.
Oh, maybe what always comes up in your mind is the bible verse that says: “the wages of sin is death”. Yes the wages of sin is death but not when all your sins are already forgiven and the principle of Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6: 17-18 is applied. “wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the lord Almighty”. The Bible also says, “What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record” (psalm 32:1-2). The Bible also speaks about death as an enemy that will be destroyed in 1corinthians 15:26. The ones who will remain God’s enemies are those that continue with and in their sins. Paul made us to know in Romans 5:10 that, “we were God’s enemies but he made us his friend through the death of his son”.
How touching is it to know that if a person turns from his/her past wrongdoing and genuinely repent, God is willing to receive him/her into is favor as a friend.
Furthermore, considering the Bible’s account of Manasseh, do you remember him? He was a king in ancient Judah then, who was taught by Hezekiah, the same way you and I had been taught to love and fear God. Manasseh did on the grand scale what was bad in the sight of God but God never left him, God kept speaking to him and his people to desist but they paid no attention. Just like we all did to God and he kept on finding ways to bring us back to Him. As an expression of God’s judgment, Manasseh was taken to Babylon as a prisoner (2 chronicle 31:20, 21; 33:1-6, 10, and 11). The same way many people are today imprisoned by the devil. You may want to learn from what Manasseh did, he reflected on his past deeds and compared them with what he remembered about God’s law and was overwhelmed with guilt and begged for forgiveness. He humbled himself before God and kept praying to him. Then God was entreated by him, he heard his request for favor and restored him to his kingship.
This may be shocking, but the father of tender mercies, is always willing to allow repentant sinner to draw close to him again. Manasseh had this mercy and through his personal experience now came to know that God is the true God that forgives our past wrong doings. (2 chronicle 33:12, 13 and 2 Corinthians 1:3)
If God could take Manasseh back, surely he would also allow a wayward and guilty filled person like you to regain your relationship with him if you will humble yourself, show genuine repentance, confess your sins and confess Jesus as your personal lord and savior. (1 john 1:9): “if we confess our sins, he is Faithfull and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Our God is the God that will not for all time keep finding fault, neither will he to time indefinitely keep resentful. (Psalm 103:9).
I would like you to reflect on your past deed and sum up all the time you have wasted, thinking about the ways things could have been, but remember that there is no way you can undo what has happened. So, why remain guilty and full of regrets? Happily, we worship a merciful God who warmly invites those who have left him to return, remember Jesus’ Parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Why not accept God’s invitation and follow the principle of Paul afterward (2 Corinthian 6:17, 18) and enjoy the relationship of father to son/daughter from God.