Monday 6 November 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | The 4th Mile: Condemnation

First post of the month of November, I feel so excited…wooooo. So, I’m here chilling in Akure (in South Western Nigeria), enjoying the rest that comes from been free from Lagos "Las Gidi" traffic and moist weather in a lovely hotel room. Sage likes enjoyment no be small lol 😁. If you see the Akure airport, oh boy na die. It is basically a small bungalow that sits only departures while those on arrival pick their box by the side of the road lol (Aketi please do something oh). When I look back at the year, all I can say is that God has indeed been faithful and will continue to be faithful till the very end. Greater is the end of a matter than the beginning thereof. In the journey through my mind, we’ve discussed issues that both people all over the world and I have dealt with. We’ve discussed depression, disappointment, insecurity and now we’re looking at condemnation.

Condemnation is a very tricky emotion because it is basically a state in which you constantly judge yourself, quite harshly in a lot of cases, about the things that you’ve done or said or because you expect yourself to be perfect now that you’re a child of God. Ironically, we do it for ourselves and to others, especially when they act in a way that goes against what you expect to be normal or common sense. You become the judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one; this is not what God intended. Yet our conscience is at times our worst enemy because it acts as our judge for actions we take. Imagine this: what would your conscience do when you go back to a life of sex and alcohol just days after giving your life to God or just days after you’ve completed a 40 day fast? It would be a very brutal judgement. Another scenario would be when you have a hidden addiction that you’ve struggled to overcome for years and despite all the prayers and books and bible verses, the addiction seems to be getting worse instead of getting better.
I believe this paints to an extent a picture of what some of us face when we condemn ourselves and begin to believe that we will never get better. Therein lies the trick, the more we condemn ourselves, the harder it is to become a better person, a better Christian and become all God has called us to become. 

What Leads to Condemnation?

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" (Rom. 7:21-24, NIV)

I’m sure you must be thinking, nah bruv, this can’t be Paul. But it is! The great apostle Paul having to deal with condemnation. This is what happens when we try to live by the law (the 10 commandments) and try to be saved by the works of our flesh. It ultimately ends in what he said in vs. 24: "what a wretched man I am." In five words, Oga Paul had condemned himself; considering all he had experienced for the sake of the gospel, wouldn’t you say its rather harsh? Wouldn’t you say he should know more about the grace of God and salvation by faith? But yeah, that is what happens when we live according to the law, which goes against what God intended for us (Eph. 2:8 – 9).

How do we Overcome Condemnation?

After Paul had finished his morose conversation and called himself a wretched man, he suddenly realised something, I would imagine that he jumped up and screamed Eureka! 😤:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:1, NIV).

Remember this verse? It’s one of the earliest verses we learn upon giving our lives to Christ. That we are no longer condemned because we are in Christ. Meaning the habit of living according to the law is now dead and we are to no longer try to work our salvation but accept it by faith (Eph. 2:8). This basically means that even when we fall back to our old selves (Rom. 7:15-19), we need to pick ourselves, repent and by faith accept the grace God has given us unto salvation. 
The charge as we go into this week is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and to live by faith and not by works. We can never earn the gift of salvation. If you try to do so, you will be living outside God’s plan and will never be all that God has called you to be. See you next week for our 5th and final mile.


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