“There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Conviction comes from God, and condemnation comes from the devil. The purpose of conviction is to correct something that’s wrong in your life. The purpose of condemnation is to put you down, to make you feel guilty and ashamed.
God’s motivation for convicting you is that he loves you and wants to help you mature. Satan’s motivation for condemning you is that he hates you and wants to make you miserable.
When God speaks to you about an area in your life that needs changing, the conviction is very specific. He will tell you what is wrong, and then he’ll give you the solution. When you confess the issue to God, the sense of conviction goes away instantly.
When Satan condemns you, it comes as a general sense of disapproval and guilt about nothing in particular. It can leave you with a sense of hopelessness—that there’s nothing you can do to get out from under the endless condemnation.
Many Christians live under condemnation and guilt, thinking it’s the voice of God. But it’s not. It’s the devil speaking!
If you hear a voice telling you, “You’re hopeless! You’re worthless! You’re unlovable!” it’s not the voice of God.
When you’re feeling guilty, ask yourself, “Is this convicting or is it condemning?” If it’s from God, he’ll tell you what needs to change and how you need to change it.
April 23 from Open Doors: A Year of Devotions