As the morning sun peeked through the curtains, she slowly awoke. For a few quiet moments, she laid there taking in her surroundings. Then, with realization sinking in, she quickly got out of the bed and scrambled for the rest of her clothes. Looking around, she remembered the night before.
She flushed as she recalled what had happened. Shame overwhelmed her heart and tears filled her eyes.
Oh my gosh, she thought. What have I done?
Sadly, this woman's story is common among many Christian men and women.
Whether neck deep in pain or with a history void of good teaching, it is not uncommon for a daughter of God to stumble, to fall and find herself in a shameful place. It happens to us all in various ways and the enemy loves it. When a Christian stumbles, the enemy of our souls gathers up his weapons and attacks with merciless fury. He loves to riddle us with shame.
Shame is a tool that the devil uses to imprison a child of God. As Christians, we know we are to blame when we sin. The Holy Spirit that dwells within every believer convicts that believer of their trespasses. Biblically, it should stop there - with the knowledge of our actions and the desire and choice to repent and cling to God's grace. But the devil doesn't want it to stop there. He uses our awareness to his advantage and begins to shoot his flaming darts of shame at us in order to paralyze us and leave us submerged in our humiliation. He is a vicious opponent.
The devil is well acquainted with what Scripture says. He knows "no weapon formed against us will prosper" and "greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world," but he also knows that we are flesh and blood. He knows that we are walking by faith, not by sight, and sometimes we grow weary, our faith weakens and sight takes over. He's a master of deception and his forked tongue delights in whispering evil, especially to those who have messed up... again.
When a Christian trips and falls, the accuser comes in for the kill and begins to fill that Christian's mind with painful lies. He tells us we are a lost cause. He tells us we will never be forgiven. He tries to convince us that every promise of restoration and justification in Scripture doesn't apply to us. He brings the law to the forefront of our minds, reminding us over and over and over again that we can't measure up. And just like his wicked deception in the garden of Eden, he tries to make us doubt the very God we belong to. He blames us, he shames us and he defames the name of Christ by painting our sin to be too wretched for the God of glory to cover.
In this moment, child of God, you must remember who God is. It's the only way to overcome. Yes, we are to blame for our sin. Yes, we feel ashamed of ourselves! But the greater truth is that the name of God is more real, more powerful and more wonderful than anything we have ever done or ever will do. Do you even know who God is?
When all you see is a gaping wound where your heart once was, His name is Healer.
When you have fallen again and again and you are frightened because you just can't seem to get it together, His name is Mercy.
When all you long for is a pair of strong arms to protect you and tell you it's going to be okay, His name is Father.
When you feel locked in a cage of all the lies you've been told, His name is Freedom.
When you are dirty and embarrassed by your sin, His name is Forgiver.
He sees, He loves. He calls. He welcomes. He atones. He renews. He comforts. He helps.
His name is Power for the powerless and Love for the unlovely. We stand as a people undeserving of grace, yet He stands as our Advocate and our Redeemer. The same God that none can look upon because of His holiness is the same God who stood beside the woman caught in adultery and extended His hand. In the world we live in, shame can be found in anything and blame is thrown in our faces because we are imperfect and we are flawed. The hardest thing for us to believe is the truth itself.
Daughter of God, His compassions fail not. There is no limit to His mercy because His mercies are brand new every morning. Pick your sword back up and praise the wonderful, mighty name of Jesus who lifts up the fallen, covers our shame with His own blood and gently bids us to go and sin no more.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus... Grace, grace, God's grace! Grace that is greater than all my sin... Jesus paid it all! All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow...