Continuing our look at the wiles of the devil, we will consider first condemnation. A common tactic of the devil is to make you feel cut off from God’s love and forgiveness. This occurs most often after some failure on your part. Maybe you did something that you knew you shouldn’t have done or you didn’t do something that you knew you should have done. That’s when condemnation usually strikes. However, it is important to distinguish between conviction and condemnation. Conviction is a legitimate work of the Holy Spirit that produces guilt over our sins, which then leads us to the cross to receive forgiveness. Condemnation produces guilt and leaves its victim with a sense of hopelessness.
The devil might suggest that God is finished with you by saying, “You’ve gone too far this time.” He implies that forgiveness is no longer available. You might even have overwhelming feelings that God has abandoned you and that He no longer loves you. All of this is typical of the “fiery darts of the wicked one.” These darts of the enemy can only be fended off by taking up the shield of faith—which is the Word of God. The power of condemnation lies in Satan’s ability to deceive us into thinking that God is the one condemning us. After all, if God is against us, who can be for us? What a vile distortion of the truth!
In Romans 8:1 Paul says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. …” Then in verse 31 he says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” In verses 33–34 he asks: “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
Confidence and Confession
Those reproachful thoughts and those condemning feelings come from the “accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10). It is only by confidence in the blood of the Lamb that we can overcome satanic condemnation.
If you’ve sinned, don’t let the devil drive you away from the Lord through condemnation! Instead, confess your sin, and remember, “He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness” (see 1 John 1:9).