Recently I was praying for a friend who had been dealing with a lot of guilt and shame. As I prayed for her the Spirit took me into a vision regarding her.
In the vision I saw the Lord come upon a old clay jar that was chipped, cracked, dirty and appeared to have no value. He was thrilled to find this clay jar, as if He’d found something of great value. He picked up this jar and He placed His hand upon it. As He did so it began transforming. First, all of the dirt washed away, then the chips and cracks disappeared restoring it to its original shape and form. Last, He held this clay pot to His chest (like an embrace of love) and I saw “who He is” come upon this jar and it transformed into a beautiful clear glass jar that held within it the most colorful and radiant jewels that anyone could imagine. It was exquisite.
As I watched this vision I was reminded of how the Lord sees us and transforms us into the treasures that He created us to be. It was such a vivid picture of how He puts His purity, righteousness and His beauty upon us and presents us before His Father in the fullness of our restoration. A spotless bride.
“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
The enemy loves to shout accusations of guilt and shame upon the people of God in order to keep them from walking in the fullness and authority that they were created for. When we feel shame we act accordingly but when we know that we have been clothed in Christ and all of His righteousness then we can go forth as the extraordinary treasure that we are in Him.
One of my favorite portions of scripture is found in the Book of Zechariah 3: 1-5. It is the story of Jesus the high priest,
“Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the Lord stood by.”
What a beautiful picture of what God does for us. I receive letters every month from believers that are plagued by guilt and shame. The enemy uses legalism, religion, works and accusation to keep people stuck trying to earn their salvation or make themselves clean by their own works.
You are saved (by grace alone; this free gift that cost us nothing but cost Jesus everything), you are given new, clean garments and your sins are removed to be remembered no more. You stand before our great High Priest without blemish and the accuser is rebuked along with all of His accusations against you. He makes you new!
As you go through life after salvation, you will have times that you stumble and fall (sin) but that is where the beautiful gift called repentance comes upon the scene. I personally call repentance “freedom”. Though it comes with a momentary sorrow, it is a sorrow that reveals truth. This truth is the doorway to walk, once again, through the grace of forgiveness. True repentance changes our minds and actions so that we are set free.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
This is a prayer that I pray from His Word often so that I am postured always to receive the gift of freedom through true repentance. Guilt and shame do not create a clean heart. Momentary guilt may accompany the sorrow that comes but it should quickly lead you to repentance and freedom. If it doesn’t, it is most likely the Accuser coming to keep you stuck in sin and shame.
If you have been stuck in this place, go before the Lord and ask Him to do for you what He did for Jeshua the high priest. Allow Him to change the soiled garments and to remove your sin. Ask Him for the gift of repentance that cleanses your heart and sets you free.
The amazing thing that “being made new” does is that even when the sins of our past reap current consequences, we are given the grace, humility and wisdom to walk those consequences out without shame or condemnation. We can walk out the old while clothed in the new.
He makes all things new but the first thing that He makes new is YOU! As you receive this gift it becomes like the opening of floodgates that allow all things that pertain to you to be made new. A cleansing flood will overtake your life and make all things new.
It is time for God’s people to shake of the guilt and shame and receive the truth that has set you free. He has given you new garments; do not go digging in the trash to put back on the old ones. He has clothed you in His righteousness by grace. He paid the price for your sin because you could not. Repentance is available; freedom awaits those who take Him at His Word and allow the momentary sorrow to lead you back to His cleansing flood.
He eagerly awaits to make all things new in your life! I will close with the words of an old hymn that expresses this so well.
“O Now I See the Cleansing Wave”
O now I see the cleansing wave!
The fountain deep and wide;
Jesus, my Lord, mighty to save,
Points to His wounded side.
The cleansing stream I see, I see;
I plunge, and O it cleanseth me!
O praise the Lord it cleanseth me!
It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me.
I see the dear Redeemer raised,
I hear the speaking blood;
It speaks! My spirit is amazed!
And quickened by its flood.
I rise to walk in God’s own light
Above the world and sin,
With heart renewed and garments white
And Christ enthroned within.
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