THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS IV

THE WALK
PART 19

THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS IV

Some might say, now brother, I am not offended at anyone and neither do I have any unforgiveness so all of this does not really apply to me. Well, if you have a clean heart toward all people then I rejoice with you and your victory over these snare traps of sin. But noticing the response these articles have been receiving, evidently there are many who live with a “deceptive” type of unforgiveness where they do not even realize they have “issues” buried deep within their conscience. If we do a biblical research of God’s holiness we will see that He never overlooks even the tiniest transgression. We will notice the common expression called, “sin in the camp” and how the hidden iniquities hinder the entire atmosphere and everything that is attactched to it. Likewise we are reminded that just a fraction of leaven has a huge impact on the entire lump. In this light we cannot spiritually “afford” to discard even the possibility of buried anger or hard feelings. Here are a few examples:

Have you been offended at pastors, deacons, church members, song leaders or teachers? Has the church disappointed you to the point of holding a grudge? This is unforgiveness.

Those who have fought in war may still hate the enemy and hate is a very serious emotional cancer that can eat you alive. Forgive them, and give it over to God. Allow Him to wash your mind and cleanse your heart. Counseling might help.

Those who have been the victim of a crime or had family members that were victims may hate the ones who committed the acts against them including anyone they believe were connected or could have prevented it.

Everyone that has had a divorce must be careful not to secretly hate or resent the ex-spouse. The “blame game” can plant deep seeds of hate. Realize that carnal humans are destructive.

Some who are married now may have deep, hidden resentment toward their spouse for things they do – or refuse to do. On the outside we can smile but what is churning on the inside? Talk with your spouse and spill everything out. If two people love each other they will really want to please the other one.

Many children grow up harboring hatred against their parents, siblings or family members which has a huge effect on their adult lives. When you release them – God will release you.

Most everyone criticizes the government everyday and many are planting seeds of hate within their heart against those in authority. Where does this constant anger and negativity go? Directly into our subconscience and into our body.

Some people hate violent terrorist and all those connected to certain religions that celebrate violence. Are we to hate them as they kill us? No. Persecution is simply a result of people hating God and those who love Him. Love keeps us pure and innocent.

Many people even Christians have been raised in ignorant predjudice and have incorporated hatred within their conscience disguised as justified racial supremacy. This is a deadly sin. The transformation of our mind is evidence of genuine salvation.

Some people are so politically stimulated they hate all other representations of world views except their own group. This is also true of those who hate all other religious groups except those who agree with their own theology. Do you love and pray for those who do not believe exactly like you? Why not?

Being treated unfaily at work causes deep wounds. This pain can lead to unforgiveness which leads to living in a bad mood. If we are not careful unforgiveness can change who we are, the way we think, what we say and how we view everything.

Childhood situations are very real and the hurt goes very deep. Those who have experienced adolescent family dysfunctions have the freewill to hold tightly to these memories. This agony can “infect” our emotions and lead to serious adult problems.

What about all the people who have failed in life or at least believe they have. These thoughts of guilt bring depression and this leads to being angry at oneself. If this negativity is allowed to grow it can result in unforgiveness toward ourself. We can try to hide it or ignore it – but we need to forgive our own heart.

Of course one of the most serious areas of unforgiveness is toward God. No matter what happens in this life we cannot afford to have “hard feelings” toward the Lord. He has been blamed for committing acts, allowing them or NOT stopping them. But we must forgive Him so that He can forgive us.

We have been referring to everyday life crisis but let’s consider some more common examples of people who have felt the deep pain of personal hurt and how they must fight a very strong internal war against the demons that desire to keep them spiritually bound with a root of bitterness. For example take three specific groups of peoples; The American Indians, the Negros and the holocaust Jews. All are familiar with unforgiveness and we can clearly see these “real life” stories as examples we can understand. The younger generations have heard the horror stories and (with Satan instigating and provoking them to anger) have had time to “meditate” about what was done to their families and how their own lives have been influenced and changed because of the hate and violence against their loved ones. And true, it would be very difficult to not have hatred in our heart, in fact – so hard that they (and us) definately cannot do it without God’s strength. But, if anyone chooses to forgive and sincerely cries out for God’s assistance, He will be more than willing to bring healing in such a powerful emotional – spiritual crisis. In one of the most awesome illustrations of pure love, Jesus leads by example as he was being tortured by crying out to God the Father, “Please forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. Jesus knew there was no place in His character for resentment or bitterness and that we would have to learn this crucial lesson if we desired to become like him in every way. Actually the closer we walk with Him the more we will be rejected which means love and forgiveness must be at the forefront if we are to WALK the Christian path. This is exactly why the dark side works overtime trying to get us twisted up and tied up in knots because He knows that unforgiveness can literally hinder the progression and effectiveness of the entire kingdom of light. Selah.

Father, we are aware of your holiness. We realize you desire for us to be pure vessels of honor so that we can serve you and bring glory to you. Forgive us now, for all unforgiveness in Jesus Name. Purify our heart and refine us as pure gold. Forgive us for being offended in any way toward another person – especially you. Please forgive us for any resentment, hatred, or harsh feelings we have kept in our heart. We release these irritations and frustrations to you. We lay down our burdens and these problems to you in Jesus Name. We know you are listening to our sincere repentence and we believe you are washing us clean right now with your blood. We pray for those who have hurt us and ask that you would open their eyes that they might see your love and accept you as their Lord. Love them and forgive them for they do not understand your word or your ways. Father, give them the revelation of your love. Thank you for revealing your will, setting us free, restoring our joy and our closeness to you and re-filling us with your Holy Spirit. We worship you and in you we place ALL our love and trust, amen.

“Therefore, I say unto you, whatsoever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (I John 5:14)

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:15)

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)

“If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)

“The Lord is near unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desires of them that fear Him: He also will hear their cry, and will save them.” (Psalm 145:18-19)

“When you lie down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24)

“As a person thinks and believes in their heart – so are they.” (Proverbs 23:7)

THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS III

THE WALK
PART 18

THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS III

We asked the question in part seventeen; “could unforgiveness be at the core of the church’s spiritual “heart disease”? And I believe we are seeing how this deception is truly causing many of God’s people to be lethargic to His presence and live in a dangerous lukewarm condition. Could this be the reason that many have lost interest in the things of God? Could this be a cause of the love of many to “wax” or become cold toward everyone and everything? “And then shall many be OFFENDED and shall betray one another and shall HATE one another. And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that endures to the end, the same will be saved.” (Mathew 24:10-13) I believe the spiritual life can be compared to a flame of fire that when someone makes the choice to be close to God it burns the brightest and when we allow ourself to drift away from Him we grow dim. The Lord does not move away from us – it is the sin in our life that causes the distance. Jesus died to become the bridge to connect God and man and His great love is always trying to reach out toward us. But it is the free-will of our mind that decides our level of commitment and how much we love Him.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, (The day of Christ coming) except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (II Thessalonians 2:3) So, what does it mean to fall away and how far can we fall? This particular “falling away” means that what you have always believed and trusted in, no longer convicts you or stirs you like it used to. It is re-arranging our world-views under the inspiration and deception that God has not always come through and that His Word is filled with exceptions and broken promises. This is not a spiritually healthy place to live because becoming indifferent to God and His Word (for whatever reason) is actually being offended which of course leads to resentment. When people think a certain way and their dreams do not become fulfilled it can cause us to believe that justice was NOT served by God. If anyone chooses to dwell about how unfair something is and makes a conscious decision to blame God – I promise it will not end up on a good note. But just exactly whose standard of justice are we comparing it to? Did we create the perfect measuring system for good and evil? When we are offended at God are we saying that we know more than Him? Some might have waited for a miracle or for their visions to be manifested and when things did not turn out they lost their cozy, fuzzy feeling they were having in their relationship with Christ, (which is losing faith, hope and love). In these last days I believe discouragement will cause people to fall away and will come from a root of bitterness toward Him.

We can say so far that unforgiveness causes people to have a cold-hearted lack of love and to lose an interest in God Himself which leads to being back-slidden and lukewarm. Seeing the world as a place that is growing darker and more distant from God especially with all of these people that are turning away from Him is somewhat unsettling but we also cannot live in a mentality of denial. The facts are that as time goes on, the Word of God and we as His faithful disciples will be more hated than ever. Our faith will be challenged everytime we speak and in everything we do because the offense, hatred and bitterness is increasing! This is the word of the hour; Let us stay alert and guard against the temptations to become depressed. It is time to stop “mourning” over our emotions and transfer this energy into praying for the burden for lost souls. Selah. Unforgiveness centers its attention on our feelings and closes everything else out until we can somehow “win” our case. Without finding our justification these personal wounds become internal contention, dissention and discord within the conscience that can grow and last a lifetime. Today is the day to repent for any ill feelings toward anyone especially the Lord! Could this be an example of the spots and wrinkles of the brides wedding gown that Christ said would be “cleaned” before His return? I believe so.

Love is the indentification of the Christian because we should be filled with God’s love. If we have no love – we have no God! And, we will not trust someone we do not know which means that faith comes from developing an intimate relationship with Him. Loving Him with all our heart and trusting that He loves us is the bond of our relationship. But yet there are many that have looked around at life and are convinced that God is NOT loving or intervening like He should and so they are upset. Maybe it is because they are more focused on what He can give (or what they want Him to do) instead of who He is! Selah. Let me say this, if something has gone wrong there is a good chance that it was our fault to begin with or we have not handled it the right way. If something did not go right in our life it was NOT that God failed because that is impossible! It is time for all people to be accountable for their own failures and it is time to admit that if anyone failed it was us! Sin closes doors and prevents people to achieve what God wanted them to do. He can only advance someone if they are in the spiritual “position” to receive the mantle of wisdom, anointing, maturity and responsibility to handle their calling. How can God invite someone into the holy of holies and be a front line warrior for His Kingdom if their heart is filled with unforgiveness? What about getting angry with other people’s driving, a neighbor that aggravates you or someone has borrowed something and has not returned it? These seeds can grow into resentment and needs to be dealt with immediately. It is time to stop fighting against the devil with carnal weapons. Attempting to prove that we are right or trying to “make” things right will wear us out and cause us yet more misery. We can paint it, patch it and spit shine it, but it is still the sin of resentment and it can build a brick wall between us and the peace that passes all understanding. It is time to bring in the wrecking ball and demolish this wall of being offended by falling at Jesus feet in Godly sorrow so that we can ABIDE in His peace and freedom. The ways of God are usually the opposite from the way we think. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the MERCIFUL: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the PURE in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men shall REVILE and PERSECUTE you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Mathew 5:3-12)

Let us go on and identify other examples of how unforgiveness can be planted in our mind. For instance; someone very close is taken away, we are rejected by someone we love, a boss or a family member backstabs us or tries to ruin our reputation, a betrayal in a business deal or our marriage, being abused in any way, being robbed, violated or someone destroyed something of yours very precious, being disrespected or someone has hurt you so bad that you wince in pain everytime it crosses your mind. Maybe someone you looked up to failed miserably and you cannot get over it. The list could go on, but the point is that in your conscience you have been inocently wounded and now you honestly believe that justice must be served – and you may be correct. But we must let them go by handing them over to God and trusting that He will deal with them in HIS way. Unforgiveness can cause us to go through life believing the ones who have offended our heart need to “settle the score” with us so that we can find the deep comfort and justice we are desperately trying to find. But is revenge ok in God’s eyes? Capitol punishment believes that since we have been violated it is our right to see them suffer. Can we sincerely forgive and still desire to see them pay? Let us see that the principal of sowing and reaping means so much more than we think. “As you would that men should do to you, do also to them likewise. For if you love them which love you, what have you accomplished? For sinners also love those who love them. And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have you? For sinners also do even the same. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? For sinners also lend to sinners to receive as much again. But LOVE your enemies and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not and you shall not be judged: Condemn not and you shall not be condemned: FORGIVE AND YOU SHALL BE FORGIVEN. Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over shall men give unto your bosom. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YOU USE IN MEASURING ANYTHING IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU AGAIN.” (Luke 6: 31 -38)

How we react to the way people treat us has everything to do with how close we are to God and how well we will “run the race” to our destiny. Could there be hidden in the deep recesses of our heart a bad attitude of pride or rebellion from being hurt and we can’t understand why God seems so far away? These are places we do not want to deal with but He cannot overlook sin because He is so HOLY and is waiting for us to make the first move. Take the time today to go to a private place with Jesus and pour out your heart to Him. Take a walk and talk to Him about it – He will tell you what to do. Ask Him to help you completely forgive and allow Him to lead you into His perfect love, peace, wisdom and restoration. He is El Nose’ our God of forgiveness and Jehovah Rapha who can heal all things. Amen.

THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS II

THE WALK
PART 17

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)

THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS I

THE WALK
PART 15

THE WALK OF FORGIVENESS I

LAY IT AT THE ALTER – AND LEAVE IT

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered”. (Psalm 32:1) Forgiveness is NOT an option for the Christian. I along with many others in the Christian faith believe that harboring a root of bitterness is like a “cancer” that infects our conscience and shatters our relationship with Christ. We may deny that we actually have hatred because it is such a serious accusation – but that is exactly what it is. We may daydream about executing vengeance and retaliation and even enjoy the “visions” of seeing someone get what they deserve but this just multiplies our anxiety. We may convince our “religious piety” that we can pray one minute and hate the next minute but we are only deceiving ourselves. Walking in God’s divine reality is abiding in love toward Him and toward all people. Since hatred for people is SIN and the opposite of God’s character, we can be assured that being offended separates us from His presence and paralyzes our spiritual anointing and development. “If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (I John 4:20) We also must guard our mouth from spewing criticism because this is “dangerous” negative confession that confirms and establishes our hostility not to mention a sinful witness and testimony. If we really desire to do a serious inventory of our “vital signs”, let us simply think about those whom we are offended with and those “feelings” will expose us. Psychiatry may be convinced that love and forgiveness cannot be a determined act, but they are wrong! Optimism, joy, happiness, love, freedom, purity and forgiveness are CHOICES that each person makes everyday. And if we do not have the strength to WALK in God’s character, then He is more than willing to empower us with whatever we need to live in His will. Of course our old nature wants to fight against our humility because we see the ones who have hurt us as our evil enemy. We must transfer this negative energy into sincere prayers of forgiveness toward those who are blind and repent for our bad attitudes. When we are honest about our hate then we can begin to restructure our thinking and eventually rest in the peace and comfort of knowing that all is well with our soul. We must yield the temptation to avenge in the flesh and this will bring a freedom that will open the door for Jesus to return to our table and fellowship with us. Our war is against the evil influences that are trying to destroy our relationships, our health and happiness, “through” the coldness of others. It is never easy to “let it go” but it is HIS way to joy and freedom. “He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor. Whoever restrains his mouth and his tongue, keeps his soul from troubles”. (Proverbs 21:21, 23) Give God your burdens, repent and fall at the feet of Jesus; He will show us when, where and how to deal with every situation.

TWO WRONGS WILL NEVER JUSTIFY OUR FAILURE

Don’t try to turn the situation around on someone else when you share the blame. If it is your fault, stand up and take the consequence. We can become so involved and consumed with proving that others are just as (or more) guilty as us (but are receiving no punishment) that we begin to believe we have no blame at all. Two wrongs do not make a right and this train of thought is necessary to WALK in the courage that it takes to be a disciple of Christ. We do not like to stand alone because it takes faith and is uncomfortable but we must learn that it is a huge part of abiding in the vine. Usually we try to argue and prove that others have abused us, tortured us, took advantage of us, attacked us, lied and deceived us or were just flat out mean to us, while we were innocent. Sometimes this may actually be the case but the point is not how we were treated – but how we REACTED to how we were treated! This victim mentality can become a shield that we hide behind providing a false shelter that “enables” us to live in our den of sin. You see, Jesus never said that if the offense was committed on a higher level that it could justify holding a grudge. That’s because He knew how much spiritual, mental and physical damage resentment can bring. It begins as a child when we cry to mommy that “he’s doing it too”. We fall into a habit and pattern of never taking responsibility for our own actions and no matter how beautiful you paint it – this is still just plain old immaturity. In Christ we must put away childish attitudes and learn how to become diligent, strong and wise having the courage to stand in honor even when it is uncomfortable. If we had a part in the problem then we need to reach out and not only ask God to forgive us but also reach out to the other party in the spirit of humility and restoration. If we were innocent in the entire matter we not take the attitude of waiting for them to apologize but attempt to extend God’s love. If we do our part, we can rest in the assurance that God will take over to bring the healing miracle. When we declare Jesus as the Lord of our life, we submit to His authority as the private does not argue with the sergeant and the sergeant does not argue with the general. We must lay down our arguments and put our faith in the super-natural power of the Holy Spirit. God changes the hearts of people, it is God that makes the crooked places straight and it is God who makes a way when there is no other way. Selah.

Our court system has become filled with the demonic spirits of justification. Defense attorneys are allowed to argue in behalf of the guilty and are given the right to ridicule the innocent in the name of confusion. Our carnal nature does not want to admit our guilt or face the responsibility of TRUTH and since our legal system is built upon this distortion, it produces the twisted abuse of our laws. In this “upside down world” the battle-cry has become, “two wrongs make a right’ but that is not true; two wrongs make two wrongs. Our system has become a reflection of mans attempt to deceive everyone into believing that the guilty do not deserve to be punished for doing wrong. They try to prove that everyone has a justified reason for doing wrong but this is not the way it should be! And just because people are forgiven, it does not mean they are excused! When people do wrong they should be held accountable. All sin has consequences – even if we ask everyone involved including God to forgive us, it does not change the facts or the damage that has been done. Many people are sitting in prison right now because of the horrible crimes they have committed – and rightly so. Just because God has forgiven them and even if the victims have forgiven them, it does not mean they should be set free. What good would it do to be “legally” released from guilt yet having to live with knowing we betrayed the spiritual truth in our conscience…unless that also has turned to stone?

KILL THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS

“Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently (watching carefully) lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many are defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15) If someone is targeting you to ruin your reputation and you are dreaming of revenge, give it completely over to God. If people disrespect you, talk bad about you or plan to destroy you, it is to say the least, in your best interest to stay in prayer. I never said this was easy – it takes faith to believe that God is aware of the situation and that He is actively working on our behalf to take care of it His way. Listen to the Words of God, “It is GOD that AVENGES me and SUBDUES the people under me. He delivers me from my enemies: yes, you lift me up above those that rise up against me: you have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord among the heathen and sing praises unto thy name”. (Psalm 18:47-49) Our anger will never have the power to “fix” our situation but these battles must be fought in the spirit realm where God’s Word, his angels and his Holy Spirit can get involved. For the sake of love we must “go to war” on our knees and sincerely desire to see it work out for God’s glory – not our selfish revenge. The amount of assistance we receive depends on the condition of our attitude. If we truly love God then we are promised that all things (even bad) will work together for the GOOD, and that “good” is opening the eyes of everyone to the beauty of His truth. We cannot afford to hate anyone. This hatred for your enemy is a wound that becomes gangrene very quickly and while we watch our enemy walk off laughing we can become tightly bound in a spiritual straightjacket. This can grow into a crippling “disease” that can definitely cause physical illness to our body. If left unrestrained the nervous pressure and anxiety will increase along with the ever-present satanic “whispers” that can drive us to the next level of rage. Hatred is a destructive force that can rapidly spin out of control unless we willingly fall at Jesus feet and cry out to him for help. We must force our flesh to obey God’s word to love and forgive those who trespass against us. This is one of the most difficult acts of obedience we can follow in our Christian walk. The Greek definition of the word “offence” is skandalon which means “snare trap”. The idea is where a young tree is bent over and secured while a rope is tied to the top. The other end has a noose and is hidden under the leaves. When a person steps into the noose a trigger releases the tree and the rope snares the foot. The person ends up hanging upside down, dangling helplessly because they cannot reach the ground or the rope. This is a perfect example of the spiritual condition of those who have ALLOWED themselves to be caught in the snare trap of being offended. Unforgiveness shuts down our relationship with God and can turn our river of living water into a literal Death Valley. We can clearly see how joy and freedom are closely related. The more we forgive the more free we are and this contentment of His peace helps us “fly” into His presence.