Seeking the Lord #3: Overcoming Shame

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#1) Self-Condemnation

1 John 3:19-23 (ESV) 19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 

Our heart may condemn us, because we can be frustrated by our many mistakes and imperfections, but God is greater than our heart and loves us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. John was inspired to write this because God wants to comfort us and care for us.

Romans 8:1 (ESV) 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

When We Feel Shame and Condemnation, We often Hide from God (Adam and Eve)

We Often Cover our Shame with Religion (Fig Leaves)

If we are not careful, we can get into a rhythm of living in guilt, shame, and self-condemnation, even to the point that when there is no sin we can feel shameful.

This hinders our prayers, not because of God, but because we are not letting our fig leaves down and coming to Him. It’s our own conscience.

What does this feel like? A block. Like you can’t approach God because you feel dirty. Distant. 

This is one of the roots of religion: hide my shame with my false religious piety or deeds.

Jesus HATES this.

How to We Defeat this Hinderence?

  1. Remember Jesus (The Altar)

Romans 5:8 (ESV) 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Mark 2:17 (ESV)

17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

John 6:37 (ESV) 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

1 John 1:9 (ESV) 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  1. Let Him wash you With His Word (The Laver)

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV) 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Exodus 38:8 (ESV) 8 He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

Mirrors we’re made of polished bronze back then. You had to look through the water to see yourself. Here, we must learn to See Yourself According to the Word of God

That He loved us in our Sins so much that He Sent Jesus to Save us.

You are His son and daughter.

Galatians 3:26 (ESV) 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

You don’t need to hide anymore. You don’t need more fig leaves. You simply need to come to Jesus.

3) Come boldly Even when you Don’t feel like you deserve it

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • Good Father vs Bad Father

Matthew 27:51 (ESV)

51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Romans 8:31-39

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

4) Receive Mercy and Grace

It takes humility to receive mercy.

John 13:8 (ESV)

8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

Judas couldn’t receive grace

Matthew 27:3-5 (ESV)

3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.

Forgiving yourself is actually accepting God’s forgiveness fully.

5) Repeat

Lamentations 3:22-23

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.