Have you ever had serious doubts about your salvation? I think we all have from time-to-time. Sometimes they’re well founded because it is possible to spend an entire lifetime going to church, doing all the religious ritual stuff, “doing good,” never having entered into a saving knowledge of Jesus (beyond head knowledge to the heart level, where Jesus–not the Jesus stuff–has become the center of your life).
Sometimes, though, even those who have trusted Jesus begin to have doubts…serious doubts…about the condition of our souls. This should certainly give us pause, understanding that these are often times when we have drifted away from the relationship with God we have had, being blocked from him by sin.
Our conscience plays a vital role in remedying this as we listen when conviction comes, realizing what has happened, and moving back to Him through confession.
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”
This is really the key to maintaining a healthy and right relationship with God: keeping His commandments, namely, loving Him with all our hearts and loving each other. Love is the commandment. This can take a thousand different forms, but that is the bedrock foundation upon which our faith is founded, having been loved to the extreme by Jesus Christ who makes this whole thing possible.
Some of the expressions come through sacrificing our needs and wants for that of others. Giving sacrificially to those who do not have enough to sustain them (which is not a political issue–liberal, progressive, conservative or otherwise–so let’s stop making it one), or simply being there for a friend who is hurting.
So many ways are there of loving and yet I find myself often “condemned” in my soul, as John says, because I’ve not done any of them. As we’ve said before, real faith is that of actions, not merely lofty rhetoric. Keeping the commandment keeps the doubt at bay and, then, if those times when Satan is the one convicting, John reminds us that “God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
It’s easy to talk big…but we need to stop long enough to listen to what are our hearts telling us.