So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
We had started over. My husband and I that is, in many ways. But in this case, what I am talking about is a devotional we had started afresh. The devotion to intentionally read. One I mentioned a while back here.
Which means we started from the very beginning. And so on this night, we had gotten to the story of the woman caught in adultery again. Here I sat, wanting to skip it again.
“We can’t do it halfway this time around. Just read it.”
And so I did. About her being drug into the square to be stoned. About the man who was no where to be found. About the people who had to drop their stones because they had sins of their own. About the Jesus who told her to “Go. Sin no more.” (John 8:1-11)
This time as we answered the questions I didn’t have the same reaction as last time. I had worked out that whole “where was the man” question, and it all boiled down to good ‘ole fashioned shame.
Here’s the thing about shame. It’s a spiral. It’s born of our sin, and sometimes we can feel shame because the devil comes back to remind us of sins for which we have been forgiven. We allow those thoughts and the voice of that liar to be the loudest and we forget what Jesus did to relieve of us that condemnation. We spiral back into feelings of worthlessness. Shame begins to defeat us.
I knew, because I had worked through some things, that shame had no place here. Shame had no place in the heart of the one the Father had redeemed. It needed to be left behind.
And the story isn’t over, if the story isn’t good
A failure’s never final when the Father is in the room. Cory Asbury, “The Father’s House“
The question at the end of that chapter was answered so differently this time because I was no longer allowing Satan to let shame have a grip on me. The question? “What from this story brings you hope?” See, when I came into my Father’s House, and I walked to the altar for the first time, I asked for forgiveness, and He wiped the slate clean. He didn’t hold my sins over my head like the world did. He didn’t constantly berate me with them the way Satan had.
And, the truth is…there were times I had to come back to that altar over and over because of my own shortcomings and failures, but He didn’t turn me away. He didn’t berate me. He didn’t hold me in contempt, or pick up any stones. He welcomed me. He gave me the chances I needed to get it right.
I realized in reading this story over again, that the shame the devil uses against us, was nailed to a cross. It lays at the altar. It is laid down when we lay our burdens down for Him to carry. It is thrown into the fire when we ask for His forgiveness.
When we enter His house, we leave our shame behind.
When we enter His house, there are no stones that can be thrown.
When we enter His house, we are always welcomed by Him with love.