THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS II
The deadly spiritual disease of unforgiveness is highly contagious among those who live in this fallen default system – and yes, Christians are only immune if they “choose” to abide at the feet of Jesus. It is not uncommon for resentment to dress in the camoflage of “our rights” and thoughts of “justification” but for those who choose to do battle with “carnal” weapons, it can be like a tablepoon of strychnine in a pan of delicious brownies. No matter how spiritual we think we are (or try to be) – we must guard against a contention ambush, especially if our emotional “guns” have always had a hair-trigger for revenge. For those who sincerely desire to follow God’s perfect will, it is crucial to not allow our “feelings” to be offended, as these wounds can drain our anointing, diminish our love, alter our attitude and most importantly dissolve our intimate relationship with God. Unforgiveness can wear us down and cause spiritual deterioration because it builds a barrier that prevents the fresh, cool waters of The Holy Spirit from constantly washing over us so we can stay refreshed, cleansed and focused on Jesus. This “heart infection” may go undetected for a while but like a cancer that eats its way from the inside out, the symptoms will eventually become more noticeable in our spiritual, mental and physical existence. We were made to flow in harmony with God but when sin penetrates our conscience we become out of sync like an engine that has burned spark plugs. The reason why a correct diagnosis is so important is because unless we know this “strife virus” exist, we will not be able to recognize it within our own spirit or trace the “root” of its origin so we can deal with it. And if we do recognize the problem yet choose to stay in rebellion then our arrogance will prevent us from falling on our face before God and be delivered from its bondage. Sadly, many who suffer from unforgiveness in their own life cannot see the denial in themselves but are always ready to pity, gossip, counsel and pray for everyone else to be set free.
I have personally observed what resentment can do within the life of a believer and it does not resemble God’s character. When people hurt us it causes a legitimate wound and I am definately saying the damage IS real. It is no secret that life is not a “rose garden”, especially in relationships with others and we endure hurt feelings constantly. We’ve all at one time or another felt mistreated, used, ignored, disrespected and disappointed and it is all because this world is broken and needs Christ! It is a world of cold-hearted individuals that are calloused, unfair, have a hardened conscience, walk in the flesh and basically are void of God’s love and mercy. BUT – always remember, we are not defeated with what happens to us – but rather how we REACT to what happens to us! We can CHOOSE to not allow anger, hatred and unforgiveness to ruin what Jesus died for us to be – or we can swallow the bait and allow Satan to add us to his “trophy” collection of those who “could have” helped God’s Kingdom but were not useable. If we constantly live in the dark clouds of complaining, regretting and harboring bitterness we will never find the peace and joy in life that we so desperately long for! Do you want a clear conscience and to live in a state of emotional health and spiritual happiness? Of course we do! Then, it is imperative that we learn how to forgive quickly and LET IT GO. How do we do this? Are you ready for this “deep” revelation? Stop thinking about it and stop talking about it!
I realize that many of us have endured some terrible things but it IS necessary through the power of God to completely wash the slate clean. You see, unforgiveness reinforces the “power” of the situation and enables the negative effects to grow stronger. It is the “letting go” that disarms the sin and carnal forces that hold us hostage. Yes, That’s right – I know it seems unfair that we not only have the original pain of being hurt – but also are faced with repenting for being offended as a “double agony”. The person or people we are offended with (that dominates our thoughts) is NOT the one that is being tormented by our mental “incarceration” – we are! Those who have hurt us are not even thinking about how wrong they were (remember they are cold and insensitive), so all of our frustration and strife is grinding OUR stomach and leading US to a nervous breakdown. If we will surrender our will and the way we FEEL, this forgiveness will release the floodgates of God’s peace and unlock our torture chamber. “And you shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. Notice this next verse, we see that many times we are too weak to be able to forgive and this is where we cry out to God in faith and HE empowers us with HIS strength and does a deep cleansing and healing within our soul. (John 8:32) “If the SON therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed”. (John 8:36) We desperately need Him to help us forgive and love because we are so weak and carnal minded.
We can counsel and give advice to one another but humans cannot actually heal each other. We can go to counselors or psychiatrist but each individual must get their healing directly from God and allow His Divine “soul surgery” (no matter how painful) to deliver them from the bondage of their own twisted thinking. This will require a face to face meeting with God where we fall at His feet and pour out our heart in complete submission to His will. What does this mean? This means we believe He can do it, we want Him to do it and are ready to allow Him to do it! Whether in a church service or under a shade tree, those who have “ears” to hear, possess a spiritual antenna, a brand new created spirit, and are tuned in to an HG frequency (Holy Ghost) that was impossible to understand before they were born again. Now they are capable of receiving God’s heavenly message and can be super-naturally enlightened by the revelation of His Holy Word. “So faith comes by hearing (what is told), what is heard comes by the preaching (of the message that came from the lips) of Christ (the Messiah Himself)”. (Rom. 10:17AMP.) God is THE WORD and if we are not ready to deal with it – we will remain in the shackles of torment – the opposite of His peace.
Let us begin with a very simple form of unforgiveness. You are trying to park at a department store and discover that a car is ready to pull out of a parking place. You sit, put on your signal and wait for the car to leave and just as it drives away, before you can turn, another car suddenly darts in your place. Now, you become furious and offended at the action of this person – you sit there staring with hatred in your eyes, as your blood boils to an extreme pressure, you slowly begin searching for another spot. Ok, this situation seems harmless but the real damage is being done in the area of our mind, heart and spirit at the moment we responded with carnal anger. We have just swallowed a small amount of unforgiveness and eventually will forget it, but does this mean that unforgiveness is not there or is it just “stored” away like we would put away our socks in a drawer? I believe that sin does not just evaporate like water on a sidewalk in the summer. When we do not repent of resentment – even if someone does legitimally provoke us, our sin of “omission” (not doing what we need to do) becomes like leaven in the dough. Sin becomes not just a dirty stain but also like a weight that drags our entire being down and negativly effects our anointing, joy, attitude and peace. It makes us depressed while it dulls the sharp edges of our discernment and sensitivity. And it decreases our internal level of God’s presence which chain reacts into preventing us from projecting His image as pure and holy as it needs to be. The sad but true reality of us being offended can come from being continually insulted, criticized, abused, disappointed, disrespected, rejected, neglected or in some way being made to feel angry against another person. How do we find the cure for this emotional “merry-go-round and prevent it from holding us in bondage? First, we must understand that it is a serious problem and is not acceptable with God. Second, we must really desire to deal with this problem and realize that continuing in denial makes our life more miserable. Being aware that our weakness comes from OUR SIN is a great place to start our healing process.
We must know that our vulnerability to be offended does not go away on it’s own no more than the tendency to overeat but rather must be dealt with by asking God to forgive US for harboring unforgiveness, then also making the “choice” to forgive EACH person in our heart (and in many circumstances to their face). We cannot bypass dealing with our “people problems” by just quickly asking God to help us forget them. Taking a pain killer does not HEAL the infirmity! Sincere, holy forgiveness is NOT just sweeping the dirt under the carpet. If we choose to ignore this “heart surgery” the enemy will keep pushing the same buttons because…you got it – it works! This is not a “patty cake” battle, it is a very dangerous, matter of life and death that can literally DESTROY us! The subtle “layering” of unforgiveness is similar to coats of polyurethane being applied to a table, it causes our heart to become hardened and with each situation we become more spiritually de-sensitized. You would not think that a seasoned, “well read” Christian would suffer with this disease but actually sometimes the more “conviction” is presented the more stubborn one becomes. You can see how many years of bitterness is like drifting out to sea on the deceiving current of life’s Ocean, farther away from God’s glorious security and rest. A Christian CANNOT be filled with mountain moving faith AND unrepented sin as James 3:11 say’s, “Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” Maybe this is why true faith is becoming rare while fear, apathy and depression is spreading everywhere. Is unforgiveness the reason why God’s people are NOT walking in His Kingdom Authority? Is this one of the sins that has slipped in and bound the strong man of the house? “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the SIN which does so easily beset (hinder) us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)