PROMISE 2: I will not condemn you
Often, we can slip back into old patterns, thinking that rooted in guilt and self-condemnation. Sometimes, we can fall back into these patterns after we fail and sin. When I’m short with loved ones or losing patience in traffic; when we don’t get our way and pout like a two-year-old in a grown-up body; or when we react rather than respond; When we make mistakes; when we fail to do what we know we should do. When self-control seems to be an elusive spiritual fruit! Afterward, we might be disappointed in our self and guilt and condemnation rise.
God promises ‘I will be with you’, but sometimes it feels like we deserve to be cut off from his presence because of our own stupidity. We might fear that we have disqualified ourselves from his grace, and selfishness and sin have made me an outcast.
Can you relate?
Do you believe that God forgives others, but you still wonder if he forgives you? Do you get that God loves you, but you still feel like a failure? We are all fellow strugglers and need to remind ourselves: there is no condemnation in Christ.
Nothing—past or future—can cut you off from God’s presence through Jesus. This restoration promise makes it clear that God knows all about the mind games we play and the ways our enemy can exploit them. But God’s gift of grace is a precious gift. Paul describes it as the chain of actions that lead to our salvation.
“For those whom [God] foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30 ESV).
The power of the past and the penalty of your sin have been utterly demolished by this golden chain of salvation. You’ve been foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. Our old habits might keep us feeling caged, but God has blown the door wide open. God’s mercy is new every morning. His grace is fresh every day. Great is his faithfulness! He does not treat us as our sins deserve!
Live free in the promise: there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
PROMISE 3: I will send my Spirit.
So, salvation and our free access to God’s presence is what God has done for us through Jesus. The way we receive it, the how, is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God strengthens us as we rely more and more on his Spirit dwelling in us—especially at times when feeling like we simply can’t go on. We can take great comfort in God’s promise: I will send my Spirit.
What could happen if you daily asked God to fill you with his Spirit?
What kind of turnarounds could you experience if you stopped trying to turn things around in your own power?
What could be different if you asked God to make you feel alive again with his presence and power?
The word in Hebrew for Spirit, ru’ahh, it means breath or wind.
God’s Spirit is as close as our own breath. We depend on breath every moment of every day. God’s Spirit is both untamed and principled, powerful and gentle, expansive and immanent, literally “wind” and “breath.”
Paul commands believers to “be filled” with the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you! The Spirit wants to lead you into life, and we need to be willing to follow.
When you feel tired, lifeless, or parched for joy, Jesus shouts,
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me. Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’” (John 7:37-38). He wants to fill you. You don’t have to live feeling out of breath.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.
We can and need to ask God to fill us with his promised spirit, that we would live, move, respond and be inspired by his Spirit in us!
The promise is: I will send my Spirit.
In faith, hope, and love
Steve and Cass Abram