Day 12 – 1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Sometimes I can sense an unclean spirit in another person. When I was in the middle of the healing process, I would come home from church and feel icky. My spirit felt jangled and I felt angry. Soon I came to recognize that when I felt this way, I knew I had been around someone with an unclean spirit, someone who was struggling with sexual sins. (In at least three of those situations, what I felt in my spirit was confirmed later by the men themselves or by their actions.) So what did I do? I prayed, worked in my garden, took a walk in the woods, listened to worship music, read the Word, or sked my husband to pray for me. Any combination of those things could settle my spirit.

But what do you do if you are feeling icky or creepy from the sins someone else has done to you? What do you do with the shame, the false guilt, the feeling that your body or your spirit always needs a bath, the yukky feeling that when people look at you (especially men) they can see the sin and your body?

One day when I was struggling with this, God showed me the above verse, one that I had memorized as a child. The word He illuminated that day was the word all. If I am careful to admit my own sins and acknowledge that I need God’s help in my life, He will not only forgive my own unrighteousness but He will also cleanse me from unrighteousness done to me. All unrighteousness!

It is so easy for a woman who experienced abuse in her youth to be screaming in her soul, “But I was right and he was wrong!” And she is right! But she tends to continue this mindset into her adulthood, being very vigilant about wrongs done to her as an adult. To admit that she has done something wrong and is in need of forgiveness is an immense change of stance for her and can be very humiliating after her former posture of self-protection. Don’t misunderstand me. She was not the sinner in the abuse! And neither were you. But we tend to carry with us a protecting, vigilant attitude long after the abuse is over, making it extremely difficult for us to admit that we have ever sinned.

God assures us in this verse that if we take care of our own sins through confession and forgiveness, He will not only clean us up from those but will also clean us up from other sins, sins that we have no power over, sins that we can feel pouring off some people as they defile others.

Please take time today to speak to God about any sins He brings to your mind. Then make a list of the people or situations that make you feel creepy. Ask Him to cleanse you from the unclean effects of being around those people or situations. And be aware of the next time you feel dirty. Walk away from the person or situation and ask for God’s cleansing. And remember: God’s Word will make you clean (John 15:3).

This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.