By Stan Brown
I John 3:20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
God does not want us to be overwhelmed by guilt as we live our lives in His presence. I suspect that most of us can recall things that we have done or failed to do in the past that we wish that we could change. Some of these things may have had serious consequences with which we still live. The world would often characterize who we are by what we have done in the past but God views us through the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus (that is when He becomes our personal Savior) we are cleansed by His blood for all sins (past, present and future) and will never have to pay the penalty for them. Christ has paid that penalty for all sins. We will never have to worry about eternal punishment because we possess eternal life.
But what about present fellowship with God? When we indulge in sin as believers, we separate ourselves from the light and walk in darkness where our fellowship is broken. God has taken care of that as well. The same blood of Christ that has given us eternal life is what enables our fellowship with Him right now. When we walk in the light as believers and confess our sins, we have perfect fellowship with Him. We may still need to mature in Him but we have fellowship in His presence. This is not an excuse for sinning because we know we can say “I’m sorry” and go on. This is the basis for a personal relationship with our Creator.
In the previous verse John has said (and shall assure our heart before Him) that as we express love through what we do the fears and guilt of our hearts may be quieted. But God knows that even though we have experienced His forgiveness we may not have forgiven ourselves (whatever our heart condemns us). God is greater than our heart. God wants us to be able to live in what He has done. He has died for us and given us eternal life. He has enabled fellowship with Him even when we sin. He does not want us to be weighed down by guilt of forgiven sin. God still hates sin passionately but He has provided the means of forgiveness and wants us to live in light of that forgiveness rather than our own condemnation. This is not a free pass to keep on sinning. It is accepting His forgiveness when we sin.
God knows all things. God is aware of the way we are living now. He knows our acts of love toward one another. He knows that we are walking in the light. God does not want us to be consumed by the guilt of the past. He even knows how to mitigate some of our past sins. He wants us to live with boldness in the present that we may have confidence at His coming.
Accept His forgiveness. Accept the fact that He knows all things. Walk in the light. Love one another. Love Him!!!