Does the enemy ever use your past to discourage you with shame and guilt?
To prevent you from standing in the identity God has given you?
To serve as a roadblock to enjoying your relationship with God?
Enjoying God’s presence leads to worshiping God. And worship is what Satan craved for himself. No wonder Satan sabotages our worship by raising weapons of shame and guilt against us. If we focus on our past failures and sins, we forget who we are in Christ. We forget who God is in us. We fail to stand as God created us to stand.
I fight this battle with shame and guilt far too often.
Recently our worship team was ministering at a men’s retreat. As the evening session ended, I began battling with feelings of isolation. I gave in to those feelings and went off by myself, rather than spend time with my friends.
That isolation set me up for the enemy’s assault. He began reminding me of my past failures and sins. He was enticing me to forget God’s grace in my life, and to instead identify myself according to the past. I was tired, frustrated, discouraged, mad, and full of self-pity. I started agreeing with the enemy’s lies. “You’re right. I’m this. I’m that.” But every few moments, the Holy Spirit interjected God’s truth into the battle. “You are a son of God. You are accepted in Jesus.”
The enemy was trying to label me according to my past. The Holy Spirit was countering with the truth about my present (and eternal) identity.
The following morning, as I took my place with the rest of the worship team, I felt the shame and ugliness of who I used to be and of what I used to do. But I chose to worship. And as our team was leading the song “Be Thou My Vision”, the Holy Spirit stirred my heart to confront the enemy’s attack with a holy arrogance:
Look where I’m standing now!
Yes, I was battling with shadows from my past. But God had placed me as a worshiper helping to lead others in worship.
I was standing in the purpose for which I was created.
The enemy is defeated when a broken past is led by a worshiping heart.
Worshiping God while facing the memory of past failure, guilt and shame brings God’s light over the shadows of our past. The weapon intended by the enemy for our discouragement and defeat is transformed by God into an occasion for worship.
No one is exempt from having a past that the enemy can use to tempt us with shame, guilt, and discouragement. Likewise, no one is exempt from having the opportunity to turn that temptation into a triumph of praise, worshiping God for the change He has made in our lives.
Because of Him, and Him alone, we can all choose to say to our enemy,
“Look where I’m standing now!”