Condemnation is something experienced when we judge ourselves for not attaining to the standards of our beloved Saviour.  Our heart condemns us, we experience guilt and unless we know how to biblically deal with it, the devil rides piggy back on the condemnation and will accuse us in our weakness.  In this position it is essential to apply God’s word in faith: “……we shall assure our hearts before Him.  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things”, 1 John 3: 19-20.

Condemnation arises as we realise our old nature is rising and does not want the will of God, does not want to die!……even though our new man knows the truth – “for me to live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  It is not a sin to not want the will of God, but it is a sin if I do not choose it.  How does that work?

Consider this statement:  The sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ, in the Garden of Gethsemane, did not want His Father’s will.  He agonised over it.  He did not want to die, but He chose His Father’s will and surrendered His own.  Thus it is not a sin to not want God’s will, but it is a sin if I do not surrender and choose it, allowing God to work His will in me.

Matthew 26 records the events prior to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and the agony Jesus suffered in Gethsemane, knowing full well what He was about to face as the Son of Man.  Jesus did not want to die.  He begged His Father if there was some other way He could take:  “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me…..(v. 39)  Jesus had to discover that the surrender of His will brought Him into line with His Father’s will.  He wanted to agree with His Father of His own volition.  He made a choice “for the joy set before Him”, He surrendered His will to His Father: “…..nevertheless not as I will, but as You will”, v.39.  It was a momentous triumph for Jesus.  His Father had worked His will in Him following Jesus’ choice.  His timing was perfect.  He knew that was why He was there for that victorious, yet agonising, event.  Jesus came out of that third session of prayer with His Father, secure in the knowledge of who He was, and what He was about to face.  He had been in the presence of His Father and settled His destiny for this moment.  He overcame in Gethsemane before His crucifixion.  With the matter settled, He arose and went to meet His betrayers to face His imminent death.  In the account in John’s gospel, Jesus asked His betrayers whom they were seeking.  They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth”, to which Jesus replied, “I am He”, (John 18: 4-6).  Jesus spoke those words in the confidence of who He was and what He was about to face, but the impact of what those words were about to accomplish caused the whole crowd of accusers to fall backwards! ( John 18: 6)  I am He…..indeed!

After considering the above, we conclude then that it is not a sin to not want the will of God, but it is a sin not to surrender and choose it. When my heart condemns me, it has purpose – “God is greater than my heart”, (1 John 3:19-20).  As I repent under the Holy Spirit’s conviction, I am on the way to victory in Jesus.  As I surrender, as Jesus did, then God comes alongside of my choice, and He works His will in me, to God be the glory!

My chief enemy can be myself, my will!  If I truly believed this it would prevent me from judging others and bring me to my knees before the Lord.  When I allow it free rein it will judge others, justify itself, trample on holy ground and rob me of my birthright in Christ!  A line from the hymn “What a Friend we have in Jesus” (by Joseph Scriven), can provoke conviction: “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear…”  These are the fruits of an unsurrendered will of flesh.

In the creation of God everything produces after its own kind, (Genesis 1).  Onions produce onions, apples produce apples, cows produce cows, humans produce humans.  My “flesh, the old nature”, will only produce flesh, after its own kind, if I choose to allow it free rein.  We all know that in Christ, He has given us a new nature, His nature.  There are times when we operate freely in the new, Christ having removed from us the things that belong to the old.  However, because we are a work in progress, we also discover, at times, that there are areas in our stubborn will that we have to surrender to the Lord, otherwise that old flesh will produce after its own kind!  Oh how we desire true change!  This is a godly desire that God can fulfil.  God brings me to a choice under His mighty hand.  When I make the right choice, my faith operates and goes into Jesus and who He is.  Here His resurrected life can operate in, and through me.  This is the life of Another, Jesus Christ, producing “after its own kind”   Surrender is ALWAYS in the NOW.   Joshua 24:15 “Choose you this day whom you will serve”  God or the devil?

For me to live is Christ, to die is gain”, Philippians 1:21

He must increase, I must decrease”, John 3:30

Photo by Ismael Paramo on Unsplash