Discerning the Difference Between the Conviction of the Holy Spirit and Condemnation of the Enemy

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Pixabay cloud-363075_640It is important for those of us who are born again Christians, to know that there is a huge difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the condemnation of the enemy of our faith, because it can affect how we approach life.

Please, let there be no confusion. The Holy Spirit works to convict us to push away from the ensnarement of sin (doing that which is wrong) and towards God in freedom. The condemning spirit of the enemy of our faith works to push us away from God in shame and condemnation, so we are more prone in hopelessness, to continue to do what we should NOT.

“There are two feelings we can experience after we’ve sinned. One is conviction and the other is condemnation. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, prompting us to confess and be restored to fellowship so God can continue to bless us. Its purpose is to draw us closer to God. Condemnation is from Satan, trying to convince us that we’re no good, and that God will never forgive us. It’s purpose is to keep us away from God by making us feel guilty.

“As soon as we confess our sins, we’re forgiven and the sin is forgotten as God immediately purifies us from all unrighteousness (See: 1 John 1:9). Any bad feelings we have after that are feelings of guilt that come from Satan.

“So if you’re being drawn closer to God, you’re feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit. But if you feel like hiding from God and begin to doubt His love for you, you’re feeling condemnation from the devil. Rebuke those feelings in the name of Jesus. Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you” (see: James 4:7-10). (Jack Kelley, of Grace Thru Faith Ministries)

Furthermore:

“There is a simple test to see if you experiencing condemnation by the enemy or gentle conviction by the Holy Spirit. Guilt and/or shame will draw you further away from the Lord deeper into sin. Conviction is the Holy Spirit nudging us to confess and turn from the sin as He provides the power to overcome” (See: Romans 2:4; Romans 8:31-39; Philippians 4:13; Luke 22:31-32). (Robin Samson of Heart of Wisdom.com)

To help you further to discern the difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the condemnation of the devil, we are going to share with you additional principles and scriptural references that we believe will empower you in your spiritual life, your personal life, as well as your married life.

Why is this relevant to marriage? It is relevant because the condemning method of the enemy of our faith works to draw us away from the healthy thinking and actions that God wants us to embrace. And when that happens our marriages are in peril of being weakened and destroyed. When we draw towards God, we have the power of the Holy Spirit working within us to do what is good, noble, right and pure.

The following is a short study of what the Bible tells us about the character of God and the character of enemy of our faith. We pray it will inspire you to dig deeper into studying the Bible so you will rightly discern what is Truth both now and in the future.

1. Tone of the enemy of our faith: Accusing, nagging —it’s a mocking voice generating fear and shame causing confusion, projecting a sense of rejection and ministering questions like: “Has God indeed said?” He’s the father of lies (see: John 8:44). He’s deceitful, pretending to know what’s best for you.

  • TONE OF VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Loving voice of our Father, imploring, beseeching and urging our return to Him …as we’re told in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden…” And in John 12:32 where Jesus says, “…I will draw all men to myself.”

2. The enemy of our faith’s messages are vague and general: He generates a blanketing, choking sense of general guilt, as though everything is wrong and there’s no one action you can really take to overcome. Often a sense of complete hopelessness and weakness prevails. The enemy attacks you in general. You can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. You feel helpless and hopeless focusing on half-truths.

  • THE HOLY SPIRIT IS SPECIFIC: The Spirit says, “Fix this one thing and you’ll be free.” He commands you to take one specific action — to make a choice of your will. “And you must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or deliver because they’re futile. For the Lord will not abandon His people” (1 Samuel 12:21-22).The conviction of the Spirit is specific to the sin. The Spirit defends you against your over-sensitive conscience. He draws you to God.

3. Discouragement is the message of the enemy of our faith: He centers his attack on you as a person and cuts your self-image to ribbons. He pushes to agitate and provokes you to be disobedient to God (see: 1 Chronicles 21:1) and tempts you in areas of weakness. He tells you that you are weak and not one of God’s chosen ones. He tries to ruin you without cause (see: Job 2:3).

He tries to deceive (see: Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; Revelations 12:9). He continually accuses you before God (see: Revelations 12:10; Revelations 20:3). He is impatient and feeds anxious feelings.

He schemes against you sending discouragement as flaming missiles (see: Ephesians 6:16). He tries to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord (see: Acts 13:10).

4. “Remember all the past” says the enemy: The devil replays the videos of your past memories of sin and guilt and shame. He draws up accounts of your past sins, failures and offenses that are under the blood.

5. The message of the enemy is rejection as by the holiness of God: He disguises himself as an agent of holiness and an angel of light (see: 2 Corinthians 11:14). He produces the feeling that God has rejected you as unworthy and unholy. Satan speaks of God as your judge and you as a miserable sinner. He emphasizes “good works” instead of God’s grace. The message is to “do, do, do” and yet you can never “do” enough to “measure up.”

  • THE HOLY SPIRIT DRAWS YOU TO GOD: There is a pull of attraction towards God. He generates in you an unexpected kindness, love, long-suffering, forgiveness and new beginning with God’s help. The Holy Spirit speaks of your permanent relationship with God, drawing you to the Son of your Father (see: Joshua 1:8-9). The emphasis is to experience and live in God’s grace and forgiveness! He desires all men to be saved to come to the knowledge of truth (see: 1 Timothy 2:4).

6. The enemy brings negative scriptures to mind: As Shakespeare said, “The devil knows how to quote scripture to his purpose!” Satan threatens judgment and says, “Grace is denied because you didn’t fulfill the conditions!”  He uses the Law against you to justify yourself and rely on your own righteousness (see: Romans 10:3; Galatians 2:16). He comes and sometimes takes away the word which has been sown (see: Mark 4:15).

  • THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS POSITIVE SCRIPTURES TO YOUR REMEMBRANCE: (see: John 14:26) He speaks of the unchanging nature of God and of His steadfast love towards us. He confirms that God remains faithful to His covenant (see 1 John 1:9; Hebrews 10:23) even when we prove faithless for a time (see: 1 John 3:20). The Spirit reassures us that there is no law that is effective against those who rely on Christ’s work (see: Colossians 2:14, Psalm 25:8-14; Psalm 40:1-5). He assures us that He is our help and strength (see: Psalm 121 and Psalm 146).

7. The enemy works to isolate you: Suggestions are sown that cause you to withdraw from other Christians and works on you to think that they reject you. In your isolation, you then feel lonely, hurt, unworthy, rejected by others and angry (see: 2 Corinthians 4:4). He works to divide you from others.

  • THE HOLY SPIRIT DRAWS YOU INTO FELLOWSHIP: The Spirit sends others to minister to you in love — thus you learn to accept other’s words of encouragement and to appreciate one another and their ministry to you (see: 1 John 1:3; Hebrews 12:1-2; Hebrews 10:24-25). He sends others to open your eyes to turn from darkness to light so you may receive forgiveness (see: Acts 26:18). He works to unite us in love with other believers (see Luke 22:31-32).

8. The enemy of our faith emphasizes feelings: He tells you that the way you feel is the way things really are, even if facts differ (i.e. feelings are truth!). Your feelings of guilt, despair, hopelessness and doubt of God’s love for you are made to seem real. He encourages feelings of frustration at God’s unfairness and partiality and focuses on half-truths to cajole and control you and acts as a stumbling block to set your mind on your interests above God’s.

  • THE HOLY SPIRIT STATES FACTS AND TRUTHS ABOUT YOU AND GOD: Feelings will follow faith in these facts! The Holy Spirit gives you correct doctrine and the whole truth. Learn your theology to avoid being fooled by Satan (see: Romans 16:19). The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth to move, influence and inspire you (see: John 16:13; Matthew 10:26-28; Psalm 19; John 8:45). He will also guide you to set your mind on God’s interest instead of man’s interests (see: Matthew 16:23; Colossians 3:1-2).

9. The attack of the enemy is destructive and demoralizing: The object is to get you to curse God to his face (see: Job 2:5). He fills your heart to lie (see: Acts 5:3). He encourages selfish ambition, arrogance, lying, bitterness, jealousy and disorder (see: James 3:13-16).

10. The Devil accuses: He accuses you of having committed the unpardonable sin (see: Zechariah 3:1). He’s quick to judge and quick to accuse (see: Revelation 12:10).

THINK ABOUT IT:

What is the purpose of the enemy of our faith in accusing and condemning us? It is to draw us away from God and to render us helpless to ourselves and to others! What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit convicting us? It is to draw us to God and to each other and to help us to be all we can be!

The Enemy:

•  Speaks in half-truths
  Pushes, agitates
Emphasizes: “Do, do do…”
Divides people
Encourages our willfulness against God’s ways
Tells us we are inadequate
Encourages complaining

OUR HOLY SPIRIT:

•  Is about the whole truth
Wants us to be anxious for nothing
Emphasizes: “Be, be, be…”
Unites people
Emphasizes the will of our Heavenly Father
Empowers us
Encourages contentment

The emphasis is that we’re to study all that God is in the Bible. We need to keep in mind that God is strong and He does not tolerate sin. He is our judge, but He is a fair judge who punishes and disciplines us, always wanting to draw us to Himself  —not push us away from Himself. The devil’s purpose is to pull us away from God and his people. God is straightforward and direct. The enemy is sneaky.

As you go with God, you will push away that which you should release and embrace that which you should hold onto through his guidance —with His strength.

This article is written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International. It is a compilation of points put together after years of personal study of scripture, sermons heard, and insights given through the years from many others who have also studied this subject.

Additionally, below are several web site links to articles giving additional insight into this subject that we pray will help you further as you read:

WE’RE OPEN TO CONVICTION

CONDEMNATION VERSUS CONVICTION

DISCERNING GOD’S VOICE

HOW TO KNOW IF GOD’S THE ONE WHO’S SPEAKING

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57 responses to “Discerning the Difference Between the Conviction of the Holy Spirit and Condemnation of the Enemy

  1. (CANADA)  Thanks a lot for this message. I’ve realised how much of the enemy’s voice I’ve been listening to. I knew it was wrong but even the strength to pray has been wiped out because I feel ashamed and guilty because God has been so faithful to me.

    I’ve been thinking that God must be so tired of me coz I confess what I feel and ask for forgiveness then I just let go of His hand. Please pray for me for the enemy is really attacking me. Even praying with my husband is something I feel I can’t do anymore coz my heart is not right. Any advice for me from anybody I’ll be grateful. Please continue praying for me and for my husband too for his walk with God to be stronger than it is. Thank you all. Cindy, is there anything you can recommend? God bless you all love you all.

    1. I know what you are talking about, it has been happening to me too. Satan will creep in and try to kill, steal and destroy. Just ask GOD to bring about his will in your heart and your life and give you a sincere desire to put GOD first always in all situations. I prayed for you. May GOD bless you.

    2. Hi, I’ve just read this article and it’s 2015. I’ve also read your comments…this is a really wonderful message for all Christians and Non-Christians. The answer to your question on how to deal with this is to put on the full armour of God. You can read this in Ephesians 6:10-18. And this is why:

      1) The word (the Bible is what Christians believe is the word of God) says we were created by God in His image (we are therefore public enemy #1 regardless of race or religion – satan has it in for us).
      2) The word says the the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy.
      3) In the Bible, Revelations (the last book) tells the story of how lucifer (satan/devil etc) was thrown out of Heaven and how he was sent do to earth (for a time). Then he ultimately ends up in hell for eternity where he can’t hurt anyone.

      If you’re new to this or under condemnation of you are just at your wits end you need to take a stand. If you’re new then the best way to do this is to ask God for help and by this I mean pray. Ask God to help you find a church near to you that states in their mission statement or about statement that they believe Jesus is the Son of God and call them for help or try a service on Sunday (some have services in the week or staff that are trained to help).

      If you’re not a new Christian then you need to read about the armour of God and you need to take a stand. This is no flight because there is nowhere to run, you need to fight! Ephesians 6:12 says “Our fight is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities in the heavenly realm.” What this means is that logic and people can’t figure this one out!

      You need to realise that there is something that is not visible but that can harm you…think of it like electricity, you can’t see it but it can kill you or give you a nasty shock. All people, whether they like it or believe it or not are under spiritual attack (that’s because we are all public enemy #1) but what’s good to know is that You are not alone, we all face this. Regardless of how bad your situation is, a God is bigger and mightier.

      Here’s a straight forward practice way to help you to start to fix the issue and give you victory while you seek help:
      1) Pray and ask Jesus for forgiveness from all sin in your life.
      2) Pray and ask Jesus to loose and bind any curses, soul ties or demonic oppression on your life in Jesus’ name.
      3) Get to a Bible based church (call them first); find out if they offer counseling in spiritual warfare (not everyone has demons but you can be under demonic oppression. If you want to read up on it, Pigs in the Parlor: A Practical Guide to Deliverance by Frank Hammond is a gentle but pretty thorough induction to spiritual warfare).

      Beware to not start casting out demons without professional help as the scriptures warn against doing this, it says the state of the person will be worse than before if the Holy Spirit hasn’t replaced what was there before (read Luke 11:26).

      Remember that Jesus came to give us life and give it more abundantly (John 10:10)
      (Remember that God prunes the vine so that it can bear fruit, if you feel like you’re being pruned then it’s because God is working in your life and is calling you closer to Him). God bless. Alan

  2. (USA) Hi Anne, Bless your heart! I’ve sure “been there and have done that” as far as listening to the enemy’s voice. I’ve also allowed the enemy to convince me that “God must be so tired of me” at various times in my life, like what you said.

    But think about it… are you tired of your children when they earnestly come to you asking for the help that you told them you would give freely and willingly? And think about it… God isn’t just a bigger and better version of human-beings. He doesn’t tire like we do and the Bible tells us that He is patient and long-suffering with His children. Because He is God, He has an endless reserve of love and patience and willingness to help us in the ways that we need it. If we need chastisement, He will do that out of love as our Heavenly Father. If He is silent for a time, then we need to consider that there is a reason and we need to persevere in faith — trusting our Father’s heart.

    If you feel “ashamed and guilty” because of God’s faithfulness, then ask God if those feelings are from Him or the enemy. We’re told in the Bible to “test the spirits” because the enemy of our faith is deceitful. He also comes disguised “as an angel of light” — which basically tells us that sometimes we think we’re dealing with God and we aren’t. It’s a “false light” that we’re dealing with. If we’re earnestly seeking God and we’ve confessed what we should and are repentant, and if we feel driven to hesitate from praying, then from what I read in the Bible, there is a false spirit at work from which we need to flee.

    Anne, I don’t know what you have going on in your life, and to be honest, I don’t have to know. God knows. Go to Him always and without hesitation. He will not reject a willing heart.

    As far as resources that I can recommend on this, there are so many. And hopefully, someone else will respond to your asking. For one resource that I would recommend, you’ll have to wait until the Marriage Message comes out on Saturday. (I will be posting it on the web site on the front page on Sunday.) It will be Marriage Message #24 (I’m swapping out the one that we currently have in that place and am writing “How Big is Your God — Marriage Message #24”). I’ve been working on this for a while. It will tell of some resources you can view and/or obtain on the Internet (ones that you can’t obtain through Marriage Missions). If you have questions afterward, ask at that time and I’ll do the best I can.

    Also, I’m presently reading a book that came highly recommended to me. So far I’ve only read the Foreword… but it looks really good and it’s a “New York Times Bestseller” with over 2 million copies in print. It’s called “The Shack” by William Paul Young, published by Windblown Media. You can get it on Amazon.com. And if you go through the window on the front page of our web site, Amazon.com will give us a small percentage of the cost from their profit (which we use to help support the ministry of Marriage Missions). Anything you get by going through our web site on Amazon (whether it’s a book or whatever) they will give Marriage Missions a small percentage. But whether you do this or get the book elsewhere, the book looks good and I think I can recommend it without hesitation.

    One of the reviews I read says it “will leave you craving for the presence of God.” Another says “This story reads like a prayer — like the best kind of prayer filled with sweat and wonder and transparency and surprise. If you read one work of fiction this year, let this be it.” And that’s what I want to tell you. This is fiction. I don’t normally read fiction because I have so many non-fiction books I’m trying to read. But this came so highly recommended and I heard the author speak about this book and was impressed, I thought that because of the theme of this book, I’d read it.

    Another reviewer said, that she read it “during a very difficult transition” in her life. She said “this story has blown the door wide open to my soul.” I can’t speak much for the book because I haven’t read it, but it sounds interesting and I sure was impressed with the Foreword. You might try it.

    Another thing I would encourage you to do is to ask your pastor and other Christian people that you respect for recommendations.

    And lastly, something that really helps me is to stay in God’s word. I go to a Woman’s Bible Study (actually 2 different ones) that keeps me in the word of God. I will tend to get lazy in my study time and will find ways to eventually procrastinate because I’m so “busy” — which is true in some ways — but I know that I should never get so busy that I don’t MAKE the time to “rightly” study the word of God as we’re told to do in 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. I’ve taught quite a few studies (so it will force me to study more diligently) but for now, I attend one instead and it still forces me to study diligently.

    The main Bible Study I go to is a Beth Moore study using her DVD’s and workbooks. It meets at a church. Currently we are studying “A Woman’s Heart… God’s Dwelling Place” and it is steeped in scripture study and is very challenging. (The other study I go to is one that involves worship, singing, and Bible reading — with no particular theme to it — other than pure worship and praise with other women. It meets in a woman’s home that is located close to ours. I feel like I get a good balance between both meetings.)

    I encourage you to seek out other believers who are studying the word of God so you can use them for accountability. This will “stir you on to love and good deeds” as the Bible talks about as you “assemble together.” If that won’t work for you, ask God to point out to you what will. This will help you so you might not go through as many “dry” times spiritually. I find that if we don’t find ways to spur us on to keep seeking God’s heart, we can get off track sometimes. It sounds like this is what has happened to you. I certainly can’t “throw stones” because as I said, I’ve been there before myself, but hopefully what I’ve just written will help in some ways as a woman of God, a wife, and a mother. May God bless you as you seek His heart!

  3. (CANADA)  Hi Cindy thanks a lot for all your help. Trust me I felt so much better to see that someone else has gone through the same thing and understands that it’s not easy nor is it a good feeling. I’m praying to find a prayer or bible study group. I know they have them in our church but my shifts are in the evening so it’s hard to go. Pray for me so that God may provide a way and for Him to help me find a group that works for me.

    I’ll get that book you recommended, for now I’m reading the POWER OF A POSITIVE WIFE which I found out from this site on one of the resources. I just started it and so far it’s good. What I need to learn and discipline myself is to really work on following the word of God coz my heart truly yearns for a better relationship with Him and I know it’s also good for my marriage. Thank you so much and for your prayers. God bless and I’ll update you as I go through this journey of truly being a woman of God.

  4. (USA)  A really good Christian book to read, if you want a deeper relationship with God and/or you are going through a crisis and wondering of the meaning for it in your life, is "Shattered Dreams" by Larry Crabb. I found it very eye-opening and well worth the read for any Christian seeking something deeper. God bless.

  5. (SOUTH AFRICA)  Dear Cindy, I thank God for you writing this inspired article and message! Thank you so much! It came at the right time in my life and I asked God to forgive and forget my past sins. I want to walk daily (moment by moment) with Him -His Holy Spirit to help and guide me in my personal relationship while here on earth!

    I thank God through Jesus that He enfolds me with His loving arms of forgiveness and healing! Please pray for an annointing on my will to remain loyal, honest and just. He is my rest and leads me daily in the paths of righteousness! The freedom that He gives is a healing balm to my soul! Please pray for me continuously. I asked God to protect me from temptations in my thoughts, words and deeds! God bless and annoint your work!

  6. (ZIMBABWE)  Hi Cindy, I loved this article the most. God brought me to it, I can assure you of that. For it is the Holy Spirit that leads to all truth and the truth shall set us free. I am free indeed. I have realized the voice that I had been listening to was the enemy.

    First, it pushes me to do what is not right and then clouds me with a guilty conscience to the extent that I feel like I’m not worthy to be God’s child. I feel like God has forgiven me enough to keep on forgiving, especially when I keep repeating the same mistake. Talking to God will be so difficult and I end up not praying or saying a short prayer.

    When my breakthroughs face a miscarriage I would think I deserve it because I have done something that is against God’s will. I would really feel like hiding out from everyone, even my own church. The enemy would steal God’s Word from my heart and I would forget all the lovely scriptures I confessed about the goodness of God. Though another voice will be telling me to keep on trusting and believing God for he has forgiven me, the enemy’s voice seem to be heavier. But I thank God today that he has talked to me. He has raised me up again and I am going forward, never to backslide again.
    May God bless you Cindy.

  7. (UK)  I absolutely agree with this and that the Holy Spirit convicts and brings us closer to God, where as the enemy condemns and pushes us further away. I was on a Christian forum today discussing this and I had written a few similiar things to this and so finding this is confirmation. I also got opposition on the forum and saw the tactics you have mentioned here such as speaking half truths, causing division, encouraging complaining and encouraging willfulness against God. I felt I had written what needed to be said and then come away, and not get involved in this further, which is the enemy winding things up. I feel lifted up by reading this here and it must have been God led, that has encouraged me. Thank you.

  8. (AUSTRALIA)  Thank you for that. I wish for the power of God to change my bad habits within me; to stop the cycle of pornography and alcohol and to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

  9. (NIGERIA)  Kudos! I love this article. Conviction also comes along with the grace to obey, but sometimes we miss our path by comparing ourselves with other believers or great preachers forgetting that Christianity is a very personal relationship with God.

    For Jose, if you are born again already, you might have gone through it without recognizing it. You must pass through conviction before becoming born again. Conviction is that process that makes you realize you were a sinner and needed a savior to change you. Condemnation happens when the devil tries to confuse you and make you believe you are stil guilty and God has not forgiven you.

  10. (USA)  I am constantly rereading things that I know but I need reminding. Romans 10:17 says, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

    I was born again when I was 16, walked alway at 18 and 10 years later I realized what I had done and wanted to make my heart right with God again. A month after that I realized I didn’t have that same joy in the Lord as I did when I was 16 and went to the Bible and came across Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-29?

    And now for the past 2 years been struggling to believe I have been forgiven. Yet I know it is only the goodness of God that leads us to repentance and I know Jesus said that all the the Father gives him, he will in no wise cast out. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. My heart sinks so much and I am without peace. Yet I want to say there are times that I really believe God is working on me. I just ask that you guys keep me in prayer and that I will through God over come this once and for all.

    1. (USA) Susan, please, do not worry as the text says “who have fallen away” and “deliberately keep on sinning”…”But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear” (Zechariah 7:11). None applies to you, otherwise you would not be here! The promise to every backsliding Christian is to, “Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts” (Mal. 3:7). Acknowledge your sin, turn from it, trust in the Lord for forgiveness and ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your mind, heart and daily life. Jesus says, “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—UNLESS you repent” (Rev. 2:5).

      Thanks be to God that He is merciful and able to heal backsliding, as in the prodigal son story in Luke 15:11-32. He even goes after His backslidden children saying, “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God” (Jeremiah 3:22). Hosea 14:4 says that God “will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him.” And again, we read that those who turn to the Lord with all their heart “were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (I Peter 2:25).

      It is reassuring that the Bible clearly teaches that the truly spiritual regenerate can never be lost. We are his forever children. Once his child by the new birth, always his child. However we can lose our fellowship with God and our effectiveness in Christian service. The God of all grace has provided a bar of soap; let’s use it often (1 John 1:6-10; 1 John 2:2).

    2. Hi Susan, I feel your pain. I am too in this position. My problem is, I got saved at 15, went through many ups & downs walked away at 18, got pregnant, and married an unbeliever. I sensed God still throughout this time at intervals, then sensed him drawing me back, went back to him several times became so fed up with myself of letting him down. I sensed him drawing me back again at 21 but stubbornly refused & told him I wanted to control my own life from there.

      Then since that time I sensed him leave me. I lost my close & intimate relationship with him. I cried, prayed & fasted straight away. Then I heard scriptures in my spirit. I never knew I knew, from Matthew talking about those who keep their lives will lose it but those who lose their lives for Christ sakes will find it. Hebrews 6 & 10 haunted me. Esau went through my mind. etc… The list went on & to too it all over, my mind became flooded with cursing against of God & all that he is.

      I hated this; I felt spiritually raped. I couldn’t sense God anymore, I couldn’t find that place of repentance & every time I tried, mocking voices were in my head, like I was just playing about. I started to feel deeply suicidal.

      Thank God, he’s delivered me from much of that now but I’m still struggling to reconnect with him. Like there’s a blockage there, maybe a lack of belief that I’m still his. I can’t sense him drawing me since then (nearly 15 years ago) but all that time I’ve been trying to get back to him & it’s hurtful because I feel rejected & then thoughts clouded my mind making me wonder if I was ever his in the first place.

      The very husband I tried so hard to hold onto & please, cheated on me & 5 yrs into the marriage we separated. Well, after a year of counselling I got back with him & we tried again had 2 more children but things gradually became worse again. 10 years later we separated & divorced. It was sad & not what I wanted for my children or myself but Gods knows & it was something that was differently after lots of prayers, was confirmed. But my main concern now is to reconnect with Jesus & get my relationship back with him.

  11. (UNITED STATES)  I really don’t understand…is there a difference between being saved and having the holy ghost?

    1. (GEORGIA) Know there is a difference, it’s just when we give our lives to Christ, then the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost comes to live in us: Romans 8:9; Galatians 3:2-6; 2 Corinthians 3:16-17.

  12. (GUYANA)  Amazing, just what I needed to read. Just this morning I was feeling condemned by the devil but no more because my Redeemer lives and He will forever be on my side. Glory be to God.

  13. Pingback: Contributor
    1. Actually, I wrote the original post, but I’m glad that it is being shared by others throughout the world in different forums. The inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit, so He truly deserves the credit. Thank you Lord!

      1. Thank you Heavenly Father, thank you Lord Jesus and God Bless you Cindy. A very motivating and powerful article. I await a breakthrough and today really felt down in the dumps ..angry…hopeless…hurt and now I see it was just the devil trying to plant his seeds again. I will not doubt our Lord again!

    2. I am grateful for this article too! It has been very helpful. It’s very accurate and brings clarity to mind. Thank you so much for taking the time out to write and share with us!

  14. (USA) Thank you for this! I was looking online for something I could find to help comfort my brother’s heart. He has been a complete mess all day, convinced that God told him he was condemned to hell and nothing could ever fix it. Hell is unbelievably scary and my brother has been flooded with fear and guilt, truly believing God made that permanent decision. This web site hit directly to what was going on and I am so thankful God directed me to this site. I believe it gave my brother the comfort and information he needed to identify the devil in disguise. Truly amazing. Thank you.

    1. May God minister to your brother’s heart and help him to discern in the future, the difference between the condemnation of the enemy of our faith and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When we mess up –when we sin, God lets us know that what we did was wrong and there are sometimes consequences to pay (sometimes by His grace, He lessens them). But God is ALWAYS is willing and waiting to accept us back to love us as His own, if we confess and repent and draw close to Him for guidance. I pray for your brother that he senses God’s love for him and His willingness to always walk with him as he puts his hand and life into God’s. I pray peace and hope for him –that he will experience better days ahead –ones that will bring a smile to his heart.

  15. This webpage has been a huge help to me. I cannot thank you enough. Everyone should read and contemplate exactly what you have written. Exorcising the inner demons is probably the hardest thing to do in life. Certainly, it is one of them. The great deceiver is really cunning but the love of God will ALWAYS win. Love is the most powerful gift God gave us. Thanks.

  16. Hi, so I’m very scared. I wonder if I’m saved or not. I believe that I am because my life has completely changed ever since I gave it to Jesus last summer but now I keep getting thoughts that I’m not, that I’ve been rejecting the Holy Spirit and JESUS and that I don’t know JESUS and he doesn’t know me. And I’m really scared because I know when the Holy Spirit is talking to me, like for some reason he keeps saying to me “I am with you always to the very end of the age.” And I keep hearing “You are a child of God” but I don’t know if that’s true or not and these thoughts and things really scare me.

    Like whenever I am looking for a boo about JESUS or faith I seem to get so scared that what if I’m not saved yet and then I don’t want to look at the book anymore because I’m scared it’s true and then I wonder all this time have I even known God or the Holy Spirit and I’ve prayed the sinners prayer and want to follow Jesus but I’m just plagued by this fear that I’m not saved and it scares the crap out of me. My youth leaders keep telling me that I am just by how the Holy Spirit has produced fruit of the spirit in my life and how Jesus had completely changedy life, my habits and all the things I used to do.

    Please help and get back to me as soon as possible, I’m so scared and if I’m not saved I want to become saved. Whenever I pray the sinners prayer I feel like I didn’t say the right words so I don’t know what to do and I don’t know if the Holy Spirit is convicting me or if Satan is condemning me. I have no clue an I really need to know. Please get back to me as soon as possible!!!

    1. Aleks: First, when you say your “life was completely changed ever since I gave it to Jesus last summer…” I believe you were sincere and that you are born again. It is perfectly natural to have doubts because the enemy of our faith – Satan – is the accuser, the liar, the deceiver. He will try anything to keep a sincere Christ-follower from being an effective witness; and his best tool is to get us to “doubt” our salvation.

      It’s not just enough to be born again, you also need to be in a fellowship with other believers who can encourage you and help you to grow through Bible study, worship, and more. I’m guessing you aren’t in close fellowship with other Christians or you haven’t expressed your doubts to a pastor or anyone who can help you process through this stage.

      At the same time, I want you to be able to know for sure you are, in fact, a child of the living God, and that Jesus saved you from all of your sins. Go back to the Home Page of our web site and scroll down, and in the right margin you will see a blue box that says, “Seeking Direction? Purpose? Hope? Find it Now!” When you click on that box it opens up to a page that has a number of “helps” and resources you can use to help you know “for sure” you are secure in your faith.

      There are three links: “Need Him,” “How to Know Christ Personally” and “COMING HOME: An Invitation to Join God’s Family.” Any of them would prove to be helpful to you, but we would recommend you especially make sure you go into the “Need Him” link. They have the ability for you to talk with someone about your questions, doubts, and they can pray with you. There is someone available 24-hours a day. So, I would encourage you, Aleks, to contact them.

      But afterward, please follow through to find a good Bible believing, teaching, living church. The enemy of our faith likes it when we’re isolated from other Christians because that’s when he can really get us to doubt and question our faith. Also, open your Bible and read it every day. If you look in the back of your Bible you’ll find a Concordance and it lists words and topics in the Bible. Look up the word, “assurance” and then read all of the verses that talk about the assurance we have as Christ-followers. Or, look up the word, “believe” and then read all of the verses about that.

      Aleks, you can go to God any time with your doubts or fears. He understands and all He wants to do is love on you and help you grow in your faith. I pray you’ll take the next step and find what you’ve been looking for all along. We’re praying for you. Blessings in Christ!

    2. Dearest Aleks, Receiving Christ as your Savior means you believe He has paid the debt for all your sins that you owe. He paid it for you. Then He placed His garment of righteousness on you. It was washed in blood and made pure and clean. You are wearing His righteousness on you, covering penalty.

    3. You are wearing His righteousness right now. His Word gives a definite command. This is not a suggestion but a command. “Be ye holy for I am holy.” That word is “BE”. It didn’t say “do”. You are declared holy, and now you have the POWER to be what Christ has already made you to be. The enemy has already been defeated so tell him to, “GET BEHIND ME SATAN!” then make your decision to live out that holiness and righteousness in your character in your life.

      Seek an intimate relationship with the Lord. Long for time spent in His Word. Crave for His presence to be experienced every moment of your life. Love Him more than you have loved anyine or anything in your life. As you seek this closeness, you will experience all this. Your character will look more like Jesus Christ every day and the Holy Spirit living in you will (guess what?!) DRAW MANY PEOPLE TO HIM!!!

  17. I am a student and single but engaged, a Nigerian. I always have this condemnation in me whenever I visit my fiancé. Because the unexpected happens when we are romancing till we are both naked. It always pricks my heart that I have sinned. Please help me out. How can we stop it because I will be going there in two months time and I don’t want such to happen again.

    1. Pray to GOD to not give in to lust because it is of the devil. It is called fornication in the Bible, and it says those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of GOD. GOD can take those feelings away, he did it for me and my girlfriend. May GOD bless you and keep you.

    2. Avoid situations which lead to this. Do not be alone. You must both be committed to being holy. If you are sure that this is the man God intends for you, and not because of lust, then get married.

  18. Hey mate, I was wondering about this and it’s always been a double sided answerable question but I want to hear it from a christian… Is there such thing as darkness that is holy? I am totally anti-satanic and in the future I plan to be a Christian …I’m 14 years old and am confused on this thought because people think I’m satanic and if there is not a holy darkness I will totally invest in having no part of it. And if my email is hypocritical I deeply apologize and you are a good person for believing in God.

    1. There is no darkness at all in CHRIST. He is the light of the world. Do not follow darkness; that is satan. Give your life to CHRIST now before it’s too late. Don’t wait. We are not guaranteed to live any longer, only by GOD’S grace are we alive. GOD is good all the time. Have a blessed day.

  19. Amen! This web site truly gave me what I needed from beginning to end.We as Christians should study the word as much as possible and surround ourselves with positivity. Hallelujah

  20. Thank you for this article. We had church yesterday, today, and tomorrow. While I went to church yesterday, tonight I did not go due to obligations of having to go out of town tomorrow and needing to clean and pack. My husband was upset that I did not go to church and has been convicting me all evening. “You could have went to church, you barely cleaned, you could have went, you didn’t.” I said ” God knows my heart. I have to work 11 hours tomorrow and then when I get off I have to drive for 3 hours.” He says “Excuses. You just didn’t want to go.” He has been convicting me since he got home from church and says “God chastise’ those he loves.” This isn’t helping me, it’s only pushing me away and making me feel terrible. It makes me not want to go to church. Plus my pastor and first lady pressures us if we dont go to church. I hate feeling this way, it makes me not want to be involved at all….. Please pray my strength! Amen.

    1. That is wrong to be pushing you behind it. satan did that; be strong. God knows in your heart. Pray; ask for help. Don’t give up. Love God in your mind, and soul. He knows.

    2. It sounds like people being controlling. :( This book is a book that had brought me comfort in a time of dealing with spiritual authority that I didnt agree with, it may encourage you. It looks at the life of David and his respect for and devotion to not sin against an evil king, Saul. Leaders that God has placed in the church can be wrong! A Tale of three Kings

  21. Hey, I would love some advice please. I gave my life to Christ when I was 14 and I had a really close walk with God and completely changed, and was showing fruits. However after a year, I convinced myself I’d committed the unforgivable sin and that God hated me and I was doomed to hell. And overtime I fell back into my old life of sin, because I thought there was no hope for me.

    Only recently I’ve realised that I don’t think I did commit it, and want that relationship I had back. However, I haven’t felt like a big huge conviction and call, like it was when I got saved and I’m so worried that it means I can’t come back. Is it possible to slowly come back to God again after 5 years separated from him, living in sin? Because I have no feeling of God, virtually no belief, and I’m worried I’ve crossed the point of no return or possibly was never even saved to begin with. :-( please any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi, Samuel. Welcome to Christianity! Jesus loves doubters – remember Thomas? But, so does satan. Let me explain. Once you come to Christ and surrender your life fully to Him satan knows he “lost you.” So, now he uses one of his primary weapons to keep you (and multitudes of Christians) from living their lives of being a vital witness for Christ – doubt. You see, as long as the enemy of our faith can keep us doubting if Christ “really saved from our sins” or “God’s promises aren’t real,” then we can never devote ourselves to learning more of His grace and mercy and be able to share that good news with others.

      The thing you need to take away from this article is that condemnation comes from satan and conviction comes from Christ and the way to tell the difference is that God uses conviction to draw us to Him and satan uses condemnation to push us away from God. You asked “is it possible to slowly come back to God again after 5 years separated from Him, living in sin?” Absolutely! It has been His still small voice and the circumstances in your life that have been drawing you back. He got you to the place of you feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit that you needed to surrender to Christ. You need to understand that not everyone has the “tingles” when they ask Christ into their hearts. We can never base our true faith on “feelings.” There have been many days over my 40+ years of walking with Christ that I didn’t “feel” saved – or very “Christian.” But that didn’t change the fact that I knew that I KNEW I was His child.

      The way you build confidence in Christ and strengthen your faith is by immersing yourself in God’s word. You also need to find a fellowship of other Christ-followers to help you grow in your faith. Satan also knows that if you isolate yourself from other Believers you will be more likely to fall back into sinful behaviors. The next thing to do is to start to develop your prayer life – talking with God. There are tons of “helps” available on the Internet to help you start to build a firm foundation for your faith-walk. The one Bible study tool I HIGHLY recommend is one called Experiencing God written by Dr. Henry & Richard Blackaby. It starts with the very basics and then moves you along into a deeper relationship with God.

      I’m going to give you one simple thing you can do to help you rebuke the devil and call him the liar that he is. In the Old Testament it was a practice the Jews did every time God did a marvelous act and they never wanted to forget it. They set up a pile of rocks as a marker. They called it “Standing Stones” and they dedicated that marker as a way to thank God for what He did. Then, every time they passed by that marker they remembered the miracle of God and it stood for generations for others to learn of what God did in their lives.

      Where I’m going with this is find a place where you can set up a small pile of “standing stones” or a place where you can drive a stake into the ground. What I like about the stake is that you can write on it the date and time that you gave your life back to Christ. Then, the next time satan says you aren’t “really saved” you can walk out to the stake (or stones), point to it and tell the devil he’s a liar because here’s the proof that Christ did what He said He would do – “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As you memorize scripture you can throw other verses in his face. Satan hates the Word of God and he’ll flee.

      I can tell you from personal experience, Samuel, all of this works as these have been things I’ve used to help to grow in my faith. Throughout your faith journey you will experience mountain tops and valleys; extreme highs and devastating lows. There’s just no avoiding them. But that’s how God grows us into the kind of men and women who will make a real difference in our world. It’s true, you can spend the rest of your life just sitting in a church pew on Sundays and make it to heaven when you die. But that’s NOT what God intended when He sent His son to the cross to die for our sins. He intends for us to live our lives as disciples who are willing to sacrifice everything to live for Him and to change our world.

      I believe with all my heart God has a very special plan for your life – otherwise He wouldn’t have died for you. I can’t tell you what it is, but as you begin to grow in your faith He will reveal it to you as you are ready to receive it. I pray you are ready for the adventure! ~ Steve Wright

  22. I went to church this morning and felt a call from the Holy Spirit to go to the altar. I didn’t go because I felt awkward and ashamed of my clothes etc. Immediately I was so angry with myself!! I came home and reading this helped me so much. I have prayed and cried and prayed!! But I just wanted to leave a comment to say thank you. Reading this has made me feel much better. Have a blessed day…

    1. Thank you Stacie, for sharing this with us so we can rejoice with you over the things the Lord has shown you… We pray the Lord continues to minister to you and helps you to hold onto the victory you have experienced today. May God richly bless you as you look to Him to help you to live victorious, not giving into the lies of the enemy of our faith.

  23. Thank you this. I felt really condemned today but in reading this I started to cheer up. Thank you very much! Please continue to do God’s will and post these messages.

  24. Thanks for sharing, All the words you say, I’ve been there in life. I know the enemy will to attack, no matter what. The devil believes God’s word. The voice of God is real, just follow Him; have pure heart and don’t mix to matter in your life. Pray and rebuke. The power of prayer is where God leads us no matter how much is hurt and He will fight the good fight. God loves us so much, if we believe and trust Him daily, and feed ourselves the daily bread of life. I just wanted to share this because what I felt in my life. God is so good, pour out ourselves to Him, our priority first is Him, our Lord Jesus. He died for us, he shed his blood for our sins. Thank you God, for everything, you’ve done for all of us. I love God forever until the end of this world. Forgive those don’t know you at ALL. In Jesus Name.

  25. How do I know if I’m blaspheming the Holy Spirit? How do I know if the Holy Spirit stopped helping me? Could the Holy Spirit stop helping me? Where in the Bible does it says that God stops helping me?

  26. When I was 12 years old, I promised God that I would stop watching porn and if I did it again He could throw me into hell because I deserved it. Now I am very scared and trembling because a few days after that I fell into that same sin. Am I now doomed to hellfire forever? I’m so scared!

    1. Mark, If you have confessed your sin to God and have asked for His forgiveness, then based on scripture (1 John 1:9) – NO, you are not condemned to hellfire forever. Now, we should never take lightly the promises we make to God, but if God sent everyone to hell who went back on a promise 50% of the earth would be empty. What has happened is that satan is keeping you bound up in fear and condemnation so that you don’t focus on your real problem – your addiction to pornography. Satan knows that if he can keep your eyes off the “real” problem then you will never become victorious.

      Whenever we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit over some behavior or action it is not God’s intention to scare us away from Him, but rather to draw us closer to Him to find the answers for the “sin that so easily besets us.” You see, I understand this road you’re on because I was there for so many years of my life. I too got hooked on porn when I was 12 years old and battled the addiction for over 30 years. There were long stretches of time that I was “clean and sober,” but then I’d slide back into it again. And there were times I felt just like you, that God could never forgive a repeat offender like myself and I must be doomed to hell (all lies from the devil).

      Here’s a few things you can do to start to get victory over your sin: 1) When the urge comes over you to indulge in porn, say out loud – “Satan, you have no control over me! I claim the blood of Jesus Christ who shed His blood for me. You and your demons go back to hell where you belong! You do not control my mind, Jesus does!” 2) Pick up your Bible and begin reading verses on forgiveness and mercy and also strength and courage…and putting on the full armor of God. 3) Find another Christian man who you trust to confess your sin to and ask him to hold you accountable. This was SO important in my personal deliverance from this sin because once we confess it to another person our sin is in the light (no longer in darkness) and they can help you develop a strategy to keep you away from porn. 4) Understand that the addiction to pornography is not easy to break. Studies have found that it is as hard, if not harder, to break the addiction to porn than it is from Crack Cocaine. 5) IF and WHEN YOU FALL…and look at porn again, take it to God and confess it for what it is – sin against Him. Believe me, he knows you better than you do – He created you – and because He’s your loving heavenly father He wants the best for you. Then ask Him again to help you fight off the temptation because you want to stay pure. As long as you sincerely strive to please God you CANNOT exhaust His grace, mercy and forgiveness. 6) Go back into our web site and into the section “Pornography & Cybersex” and start reading articles, testimonies and look in the resource section there.I’m willing to bet God will show you some practical things you can do to begin to slay this dragon in your life.

      I hope this helps you, Mark. My prayers are with you. Yoou are NOT ALONE in this battle. There are others who come to this web site who will be praying for you, too. ~ Steve Wright, Marriage Missions International

  27. I don’t even know how to begin. My heart is filled with worry, anxiety and condemnation over all the things I’ve done against God and my marriage. I have sinned greatly. I feel the condemnation.

    I want to believe that God has forgiven me -but the condemnation of the enemy is too strong right now. And when I think how it will break my wife’s heart. I have sinned greatly. I’m asking for God’s mercy and grace.

  28. I’m being attacked at this very moment by the devil. My Spirit in me is putting up a fight for me. This is a great message to me and my family. Thanks! God Bless.

  29. First, I just want to thank you for the article. It’s really an eye opener. I have always thought the Lord would never forgive me for my sins and that there was absolutely nothing I could do to get away from it. In my past, before I became a born again Christian, I used to have bad habits. I was lost and had no peace with anyone, nor anything in my life, despite the wonderful relationships I had with my loved ones. I would get agitated and angry for no reason. I used to watch all kinds of porn and masturbate at least twice a week or more. I didn’t realize back then the damage I was doing to my mind. It seriously affected me mentally when I was deep into it. Nothing in my life felt right. I kept going back and forth about even the smallest things in my life and I had no rest, no peace of mind.

    In November 2015 is when things started getting worse for me. I would have irrational sexual and inappropriate thoughts every second. Then I realized my mistakes and I couldn’t take the pressure that was in my mind. So I decided to attend church to seek my salvation. The next month is when I did the sinner’s prayer where I gave my life to Jesus. During that time I was not okay. My mind went out of control and I was throwing all kinds of curses unto the Lord, my savior and all His nature.

    I felt bad that I wasn’t in control of my mind and that it was my fault. I had opened these doors in my mind because of my constant sinning. It has been 3 months since I gave my life to Jesus. I can tell that the Holy Spirit is doing good works to heal my mind. I’m almost at peace. I’m thankful that the Lord was able to pick me up when I was at my lowest and that He didn’t forsake me.

  30. Hi, thank you for this article. When I first got saved I was feeling the gentle convictions of the Holy Spirit maybe four or five times over the course of three months. Then I misinterpreted scripture, developed a fear of sinning, which lead to an intense fear of judgment, and haven’t felt the convictions for abut two months now. Do you have any advice?