Last night we continued our discussion on Enemies of the Heart that will destroy our hearts and relationships if not dealt with appropriately. The enemy Guilt can and will have POWER over our hearts, relationships, character, and faith. Satan is after young adults and/or older adults seeking to lay a heavy Guilt on their lives that will render ineffectiveness in their lives. We must understand and practice the POWER true confession has on this enemy and immediately work to expose it to the light. Andy Stanley has define Guilt as:
Guilt says “I owe you.” Andy says it is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The only way to make things right is to pay up.
“Nothing less than paying the debt will relieve a guilty heart,” says Andy. “And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.” (Andy Stanley, Four Invaders of the Heart)
The only one that can truly pay in full or cancel the Guilt debt that battles the hearts of many is through the redemptive work of the grace of God our Savior. The gospel of John (19:30) we find the three powerful words proclaimed by Jesus, “It is finished!”, as God’s plan of redemption for mankind fulfilled. The Greek word “tetelestai” or “it is finished” means that our Guilt has been “Paid In Full”. The balance of our debt has been PAID. That’s great news!!
Confession is just one step in a sequence of steps that lead the guilty out of the darkness and into the light; it is simply the beginning of a process that leads to a changed lifestyle or behavior. (Stanley, 97)
Last night as I was driving home, I heard about a great friend in student minister that dealt with a tragic incident of a well-known, well-liked student that took his life yesterday and another one was contemplating the same thing last night in the upstate. I sat down with two students to encourage them as well through their discouragement, and praise God their’s was not as severe. The good news was that the one contemplating taking his life in the upstate was rescued by God’s true disciples and prayer warriors before it was too late. Young adults (students) have a lot of burden they are carrying around, and an easy answer of just putting them in the sanctuary is not going to deal with the “Heart issue” they are going through. While I believe the preaching of the God’s Word has POWER to save, students/adults everywhere are in need of “real” Christ-followers that understand they need to see that we truly care about them, which only comes from a sincere relationship. We have students/adults “SCREAMING” out inside for help, and all that is required is to listen to their cries for understanding of what they are going through. If we want to “…do what Jesus would do”(What Would Jesus Do), we must understand that He would go where we might be a little uncomfortable. God did not tell us to “…wait, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing…” He told us:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…”
God gave us a mandate and a model to reach our communities that are searching for sincerity and hope. It is our task church to go pull them out of the “pig-pen” of their sin. Perhaps it might be important to remember back when you were “lost” and lying in the “pig-pen” of your own sin. You did not jump up one day and go to a church? No you, more than likely, were led by a passionate and disciplined Christ-follower that cared enough to get out of their comfort zone to come to you. Christ came to us, and as Christ-followers we should be doing the same. Let’s roll-up our sleeves and get a little messy, because God’s redemptive work might just be a little messy. Wouldn’t it be worth it though?
Read the following and take heart!!
“My goal is not that you spend the rest of your life being careful of what you say and of what you do. My goal is that you give me total access to your heart and if you will give me total access to your heart, I will do a work in here that will transform your words and transform your behavior and you know that you can live a holy life… but because you allow me to do something inside of you that ultimately will be reflected in your world around you.”