There I was, lying on the cold, hard table in an even colder, sterile room. Stunned. The doctor had just broken the news to me and left the room to give me a moment. I was alone and replaying her words over and over in my mind. “You have lupus.” Surely there was some mistake. But I knew there was not. I turned to my heavenly Father and asked the question so many have asked: “Why me? Why now?”
The one-word answer I heard from Him, whispered with a gentle, loving voice, was “Sin.” A misinterpretation of that simple word led me to remain in bondage to lupus for many years. I believed He was saying that because of my personal sin, I had invited the enemy in. While that is true, that sin has consequences, I allowed the enemy to deceive me into thinking that also meant that I now had to pay for what I had done. I had mistreated my body, it was my fault it was now sick, and I’d just have to live with it.
This thinking is rampant today and many believers are in bondage to sickness because of it. Hebrews 10:26-27 is a verse that the enemy twists, using the Word against the believer to prevent them from seeing the truth and being healed.
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment,
and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
The enemy whispers, “You willfully sinned, so you should expect judgment. Your judgment is bearing the burden of what you’ve done in the form of sickness.”
Such a liar.
What is “willful sin?”
In context, the willful sin Hebrews 10:26 is ultimately talking about is a total rejection of Jesus and what He did for you on the Cross. That’s the “knowledge of the truth” that is referenced. If you reject the Gospel, reject Jesus, there is no other sacrifice that will save you.
Verse 27 confirms this when it says that this judgment will devour the “adversaries.” You are only an adversary if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or if you have completely renounced your faith in Jesus Christ. It describes a person in total rebellion to God, not a believer who simply isn’t living as holy as they want to. If you have accepted Jesus, you are a child of God, not an adversary! John 1:12 states that truth emphatically:
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right
to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Look at verse 29 for further confirmation of what willful sin is referring to:
“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”
You trample the Son of God and count His blood common only when you reject it as absolute truth. Even though you may have been a believer when you willfully sinned, if you don’t hate God and you aren’t intentionally trying to grieve the Son of God and stomp on what He did for you as much as possible, then these verses don’t apply to you. If you feel bad about what you did, they don’t apply to you. If you regret what you did, they don’t apply to you. Get it?
As a believer, if you sin willfully or out of ignorance, you are still under the New Covenant and the sacrifice Jesus made covers every piece of stupid you have ever done. You do not have to fear judgment and fiery indignation because every sin – past, present, and future – is covered by the blood of Jesus. Now that the lie has been exposed, let’s see specifically what the Word says about your sin.
The Truth Revealed
First John 2:2 says, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” This says that all sins are covered, not just the ones that were done by accident or in ignorance. Even willful sin – from adultery to stealing a pencil from work – is covered.
Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” There is no measurable distance between east and west. East will never catch west, and west will never catch east. That’s how far your sin is away from you in the eyes of your Father.
I love this one: Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” He doesn’t remember your sins, so why should you?
Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.” He sent His Word – Jesus is the Word, so you could say that He sent Jesus to heal you and deliver you from your destructions (John 1:14). In other words, Jesus was sent to rescue you from the pit you got yourself into and heal you!
Healing was for me…and healing is for you.
If anyone has sinned willfully and deserved to be sick, it was me. I had an affair, two divorces, I seduced a married man into having an affair, I smoked pot, and I drank like a fish. And all of this was while I was born again and filled with the Spirit! I qualified for “willfully sinning!” After I turned from those old ways and became a true follower of Christ, it was easy for me to accept God’s forgiveness, but it was extremely difficult to forgive myself for what I had done.
When I committed to renewing my mind to those Scriptures, I realized that by holding on to the sickness and disease that was in my body, I was in essence saying that Jesus’ blood, His sacrifice, the flesh torn from His body, and the fact that He BECAME my sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) wasn’t enough to pay for what I had done.
I was looking at all the things I had done, and not at what He had done for me.
Getting an understanding of that is one of the things that allowed me to receive my complete healing in March of 2014. Despite all of the horrible things I had done to my body, His grace was sufficient to cover it.
I’m Not a “Super-Duper” Christian
And lest you think that I classify myself as a “Super-Duper” Christian (they don’t exist, by the way), let me show you an example of this in the Word. John 5:5-14 is the account of the man at the pool of Bethesda that had an infirmity for 38 years. “Infirmity” here means a sickness, disease, or feebleness. Jesus told him to get up and walk, and he did. He was completely healed. How is this relevant to forgiving yourself? Look at verse 14:
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him,
“See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
The man’s sin had placed him in that position of infirmity for 38 long, grueling years. He was in bondage to it. But the cause of his infirmity didn’t matter to Jesus. He’s saying, “I don’t care that you sinned. I want to heal you.” Healing was available for the man at the pool, it was available for me, and it is available for you, too.
You also can’t skip over the fact that Jesus said the infirmity would come back if he didn’t change his ways. Sin is sin, and it has consequences. There is more than enough power in the Word to heal you, but if you don’t change, you leave that door wide open for the enemy to come back in and steal it from you, leaving you in a worse condition than before.
Don’t Disqualify Yourself
God has already forgiven you for every piece of stupid you have ever done and will ever do. He doesn’t want you to keep looking back and remembering. He doesn’t want you in bondage to your past actions. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future. What’s done is done and it’s time to move on.
Despite the mistakes of your past, God still has a plan for you. It was a plan he fashioned before you were even born. You are a part of His body and you have a specific purpose that is vital in His Kingdom. As long as you are looking back, you are disqualifying yourself from that plan. His gifts and callings are without repentance, which means that He never changes His mind (Ro. 11:29). The original plan is still the present plan. You are free to let the past go and step into your destiny.
If you need further proof of this truth from the Word, then do a study on the lives of Abraham, David and Peter. Abraham outright disobeyed God, David slept with a married woman and then killed her husband, and Peter rejected Jesus after walking by His side for three years! But despite their willful sin, they went on to fulfill their God-given destinies. Don’t disqualify yourself because of your past!
How do forgive yourself and move on? First of all, by focusing on what the Word says about you – you are forgiven, delivered, free, righteous before Him – and not on what the enemy says about you or how you feel about yourself. When the enemy brings the old lies of guilt, shame, and an unforgiving spirit, shout him down with the truths revealed to you in this article. Every time. Be relentless about it!
Second, you will walk in forgiveness toward yourself by taking a play from Paul’s playbook (Phil. 3:13-16):
“ 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” [Bold mine.]
Walking free of your past means forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to what is ahead. This is the “mind” Paul was talking about. Have that mind. Have a mind for the things that are ahead, not the things you have already walked through. Have a mind for where you’re going and what God has created you to do, not for where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Forgetting takes effort, and so does reaching forward. This is a choice you have to make.
If you will meditate on these verses, and purpose to do as Paul did, you will walk free of your past. You will be able to forgive … yourself.
My prayer for you:
Father, may the eyes of their understanding be enlightened, and may they see the deception they have been living under. May the truth of the Word presented in this teaching break through and tear down the strongholds of the lie of the enemy. May they forgive themselves and let go of the past as they see the blood of your beautiful Son cover it. May they reach forward and focus on the life that is before them, dropping the chains of bondage as they go. Minds healed. Bodies healed. In your precious name I pray, Amen.