Confidence that Overcomes
A woman (will call her Lisa) comes to see me. Tears flood her face. Through quivering lips, she whispers, “I don’t know what is wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong in God’s sight.” Soon, I discover that her husband (will call him Joe) uses Scripture readings to control and condemn her. He has had his affairs, drunk his alcohol, used his drugs, and cursed her; but he says, “You have to forgive me.” “If you were a real Christian, you wouldn’t get angry.” “You have to submit to my authority.” Lisa hears him read only small portions of Scripture to suit what he wants, leaving her feeling that she is the problem. I, too, was able to use the same Scriptures that Joe used, but in context to reveal God’s Truth to Lisa. Jesus said in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” Satan used portions of Scripture in Luke 4 with the attempt to entice Jesus to obey him. Of course, Jesus knew the schemes of the wicked one. He could judge satan’s strategies. Jesus was and is the Truth; He knew (had confidence in) the Scriptures in their fullness; and He spoke the Word against satan and overcame him.
Why would Lisa feel guilty when she had not committed any of the evils that her husband had? …Because even though she knew Jesus as her personal Savior, she did not know the Truths of God’s Word. She did not know who she was in Christ Jesus. Her husband had convinced her that she was the sinner; she was the reason for all of the bad.
Lisa was raised in a family where there had been verbal and physical abuse. Her parents were alcoholics. No matter what she did to win their approval, it was not good enough. She always felt that there was something wrong with her and felt helpless to correct it. At times, she had wanted to end her life. Later, she was born-again after marrying Joe. She loved God and wanted to please the Lord with her life. As much as she tried, her emotions were so confused that her feelings of anger, depression, and fear hindered her from feeling right in her relationship with Jesus. Her faith (her confidence before God) was being robbed, and this was robbing her victory (I Jn. 5:4). I John 3:21 says, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.” If I feel guilty in my heart before God, I lose my confidence, my faith. How many of God’s people are praying; yet, feel that God is not pleased with them. James 1:6-8 says, “But let him ask in faith (confidence) nothing wavering…For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Lisa had to become confident in who she was in Christ Jesus. This is certainly a process of having the spirit of the mind renewed to the Word of God (Eph. 4:23). “So then faith (confidence) cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” She needs to declare the Word over herself out loud over and over. She could read Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and see that she is blessed as she hearkens to the Word; Romans 10:9-13 and see that there is no shame to the believer; 1John 1:9 and see that our Lord forgives us of our sin and cleanses us from all unrighteousness; II Corinthians 5:17&21 and see that old things are past, we, the born-again, are new creations in Christ Jesus, and we are the righteousness (right standing) of God in Christ Jesus; Ephesians 1:6 and see that our Lord has called us accepted in Christ Jesus; and many other Scriptures.
Lisa began to see what she had been allowing Joe do to her and stopped it. He began to see that his trickery to control her was not working. She could not love Joe correctly because she had not learned to love herself (Mt. 19:19). Once Lisa learned that she could love herself because the Creator so loved her that he laid down His life for her. She saw that she was valuable in God’s sight. Lisa informed Joe that he would no longer abuse her with his condemning behavior and name calling. Joe now sees that he needs God’s forgiveness, help, and counsel. Amen!