We confess our sin and ask God for forgiveness. We know, because Scripture is clear, that the moment we ask, He forgives. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Just like that. No strings attached. No jumping through hoops. He forgives us.
So why do we have such a hard time letting go? Why do we hold on to so many things when God doesn't even remember them? "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12
Yet, we still feel shame and guilt. But shame and guilt is not from God. God is a merciful and compassionate God. Shame and guilt are from the enemy. The enemy wants to create a stronghold in you. A stronghold is something that has a grip on you, stops you from growing and keeps you bound up. These feelings of shame and guilt can do that very thing. This is why the enemy uses them.
We have to fight back with the truth! Don't let the enemy deceive you into thinking that you are marked. That you will never leave behind those feelings of guilt and shame and your sin will follow you around forever. This is not true. It's a lie. A scheme of the devil. Believing that lie will only cause you to live your life in a defeated way. Exactly what the enemy wants.
Instead, put on your full armor of God, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the spirit. A great reminder that the battle is not ours.
Live in victory! The battle has already been won. The enemy just wants to drag down anyone he can with him.
You are victorious because of who your God is! A loving, forgiving and merciful God. Live that way!
Walking in His truth,