If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
—1 John 1:9
Many years ago when I was first developing my relationship with the Lord, each night I would beg His forgiveness for my past sins. One evening as I knelt beside my bed, I heard the Lord say to me, “Joyce, I forgave you the first time you asked, but you have not received My gift of forgiveness because you have not forgiven yourself.”
Have you received God’s gift of forgiveness? If you have not, and you are ready to do so, ask the Lord to forgive you for all your sins right now. Then pray this aloud:
Lord, I receive forgiveness for (name the sin), in Christ Jesus. I forgive myself and accept your gift of forgiveness as my own. I believe that you remove the sin from me completely, putting it at a distance where it can never be found again—as far as the east is from the west. And I believe, Lord, that you remember it no more.
You will find that speaking aloud is often helpful to you because by doing so you are declaring your stand upon God’s Word. The devil cannot read your mind, but he does understand your words. Declare before all the principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness (see Ephesians 6:12) that Christ has set you free and that you intend to walk in that freedom.
When you speak, sound as though you mean it! If the devil tries to bring that sin to your mind again in the form of guilt and condemnation, repeat your declaration, telling him: “I was forgiven for that sin! It has been taken care of—therefore, I take no care for it.”