Most of the time, I am at peace knowing that I have been forgiven by the only One who has the power to forgive and redeem even me. But there are other times, when I am in the midst of "paying the consequences" that I am reminded of the cause. And I begin to accuse myself, to let the accuser accuse me, and to live in guilt. I let myself forget that guilt is NOT a burden the Lord wants me to bear. He has taken all my guilt upon Himself. Yes, there are still prices to pay for my disobedience, for my unbelief, and for my faithlessness, but continued guilt is NOT one of them.
There are many stories in the Bible about people that made bad choices. Some of them even colossally bad. :) Because I'm a woman, I tend to relate more to the stories about women. There is a story in John, of a woman that made the really bad choice of committing adultery. She was brought before Jesus, accused and condemned by those around her (and I'm sure by the devil as well.) The Pharisees expected Jesus to condemn her also. It was the law after all. However, Jesus does something else. He tells those that accused her to look at themselves, and judge whether or not they were without sin. But the thing that REALLY touches me is after they have all gone away.
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." John 8:10-11 NKJVYou see, though the Lord CAN judge and condemn, and has EVERY RIGHT to, when we ask for forgiveness and are truly repentant, Jesus covers our sin, takes our guilt upon Himself and says "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." It doesn't matter what the sin was. Once we are forgiven, that's it. It's done. Yes, there may still be consequences. That is the price of living in a fallen world. But you are no longer "guilty" to Him. You are now sinless because the blood of Christ covers you. God sees us as He sees His Son. Do not allow heaviness of guilt and regrets wear you down and effect your joy. Go in peace and joy and "sin no more." God is not a god of accusations. And He WILL cast down the one that would accuse you. His Word says so in Revelation 12:10
Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.Your job now is to BELIEVE that what His Word says is true, and that you are no longer condemned and accused before God. When you sin (and you will. As will I.) ask for forgiveness, repent and don't do it again. None of us is fully perfected yet. But we will be, if Jesus is our Lord and Savior.*
*Disclaimer: I realize there are some that may think I am saying that we can decide to sin and then just ask for forgiveness and all will be well. But let me be clear: the forgiveness of God does not mean we can go about willfully sinning, thinking that we can do whatever we want, and we will be forgiven. If you have any question about that see Hebrews 10:26.