Dealing with Guilt
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons so many of God’s children are living defeated lives, is because of guilt. Guilt is one of Satan’s biggest weapons against us. It tears us down, it makes us feel dirty, unworthy, robs of us of our faith and confidence in Christ Jesus. Jesus not only came to cleanse us from our sins, but also set us free from the guilt of our sins. If you want to live a life of spiritual victory, you need to have a conscience freed from the guilt of your past. 1 Timothy 3:9, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”
Two kinds of guilt
There’s two kinds of guilt in the Bible. There’s Godly sorrow that leads a person to repentance (2 Cor 7:10), which is know as conviction and it comes from the Holy Spirit (John 16:8, “when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin…” – NASB). Once a person repents, the guilt lifts and they feel relieved and joyful that their sin(s) have been forgiven. Then there’s another kind of guilt, and that’s condemnation or accusations from the devil. Satan loves to torment God’s people by reminding them of their pasts, and continually holding their sins before them even after their sins have been forgiven. This is condemnation and there is no good that comes out of it whatsoever. It tears us down, makes us feel dirty, unworthy and robs of us of our faith and confidence in Christ Jesus. It’s a lie from the father of lies, and it needs to be ignored.
Guilt is a door to the enemy
I have seen how guilt can be an open door to be tormented by evil spirits. False guilt is actually a symptom of unforgiveness in your heart that is directed at yourself. In Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells us how important it is to forgive those who have wronged us, and how we can be turned over to the tormenters (evil spirits) if we are unforgiving. Collisions 3:13 tells us to be, “…forgiving one another…” The phrase ‘one another’ in NT Greek translates to the word Heautou, which includes THEMSELF! Bitterness, regardless who or what it’s about, defiles a man (Hebrews 12:15). Spiritual defilement is what makes a person open to unclean spirits. It is very possible for a person to be harassed by evil spirits or come under their power, just because a person has refused to forgive them self.
How guilt is cultivated and nurtured
Guilt is cultivated when you continually allow yourself to dwell and think about how badly you’ve messed up, your pasts, the sins you’ve committed, etc. The enemy loves to remind us of our past failures, so he can keep us thinking about them. The problem is, if we allow ourselves to fall for this trap, it allows the enemy to build what they call a stronghold in our minds.
Your best bet is to learn what is going on, and stop Satan dead in his tracks. Learn the difference between condemnation and conviction, and stop listening to condemnation. Condemnation comes from the devil, and it’s meant to build strongholds in your mind and weaken you spiritually.
The stronghold of guilt
When a person who has repented of their sin(s) but continually feels guilty day after day, even after being told that their past has been washed away and their sins have been forgiven, is facing what they call a stronghold. A stronghold is a lie that is believed, which results in an incorrect thinking pattern. The stronghold of guilt is often not alone, it is usually accompanied with an incorrect perception of themselves or an incorrect perception of God (which are both strongholds in themselves). People who have a stronghold of guilt rarely see God for who He really is (including His awesome forgiving nature) or they don’t see themselves correctly. They are new creations in Christ who’s past has been washed away (2 Corinthians 5:17), but they simply don’t believe it because they have a stronghold in their mind that needs to be torn down.