PSALMS 32:1-2: “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit!” CSB
OBSERVATION: Am I walking in the blessing of forgiveness? Is my life marked by joy and freedom? Or, am I struggling under the conviction of the Holy Spirit because I am hiding from God, and from my sin? Am I running from the Lord?
There is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Paul makes it very clear in Romans 8:1-2;
- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 CSB
This verse starts with the word “therefore.” It follows Paul’s understanding of his fallen nature, the power of sin, and that his only hope of redemption and freedom from this power is Jesus Christ our Lord.
- “For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin.” Romans 7:22-25 CSB
If we break this thought down, we will realize that, although the power of condemnation (being under the judgment and wrath of God) has been broken by faith in Jesus Christ, there is still an ongoing battle with sin and our broken nature. If we continue to yield our lives in faith to Jesus Christ, there is a continual outpouring of forgiveness and freedom. However, if we begin to run from the grace that so wonderfully set us free, we enter into the battle again, and will experience the power of conviction.
Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives calling us back to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus proclaims;
- “Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:7-11 CSB
David experienced this work in his life when he ignored his sin, and when he began to wander away from the Lord. In God’s faithfulness the Spirit began to bring conviction upon David’s life to draw him back to the Lord.
- “When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah”. Psalms 32:3-4 CSB
Have you ever wondered why you were able to sin without any thought before you believed in Jesus Christ? But now, when you do the same thing that once brought you a feigned joy, all you experience is a heaviness and sorrow. The more we run away from the Lord, the heavier His hand of conviction rests upon our lives. This is really His love in action. He is jealous over our lives and love. We cannot find peace and joy when we are running from the Lord.
We can run from the Lord by sinning, or by ignoring His call upon our lives. In essence, both are sin. They are both acts of disobedience. One to His command, the other to His call. When you study Scripture you will discover that running from the Lord never ends up well for the child of God. He or she will either experience the grief and anguish that David was experiencing, or they will be swallowed up by a great fish (the circumstances and challenges of life), as Jonah was. Once you have tasted the joy of forgiveness, you will never again be satisfied with the feigned joy of sin.
The good news is – God loves us. He does not reject us, even in our rebellion or sin. He works in our life through the conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring us back to Him. And just as it took a simple act of faith to be forgiven the first time, it is the same act of faith we must exercise when we find ourselves estranged from the Lord and in the grips of conviction. David writes;
- “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah”. Psalms 32:5 CSB
The Apostle John echoes the same truth;
- “If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9 CSB
Like the Prodigal Son, so many today are wallowing in the pig troughs of regret and condemnation. It is easy to listen to the enemy’s accusations about our personal unworthiness in this situation. But the truth remains – “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!” This does not mean there is no sin. It simply means that the sentence of death has been removed, and the Jesus stands ready to forgive and cleanse our lives when we repent. The decision is ours. Will we wallow in the pig trough, or will we run to the Father?
I know the joy of forgiveness, and I know the misery of living in a backslidden condition. The Lord has been faithful in my life to allow the conviction of the Holy Spirit to weigh heavily upon my life until I repented. He has restored my life, and the joy of my salvation. I am here to proclaim – it is not too late! You are not condemned! You don’t have to remain in pain and the broken state you might find yourself in! Lift up your eyes – the Father is waiting for your return with open arms. Like David, confess your sin and receive the wonderful forgiveness of the Lord! Don’t wait any longer!
- “Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah”. Psalms 32:6-7 CSB
Lord, hear the cry of my heart. I run to You this morning. Forgive my sin. Heal my heart. Restore my joy. Surround me with Your faithful love.
In Jesus Name!