FORGIVENESS PART II STEPS 6-10
In the previous five steps, we cried out before The Lord, as Hannah the mother of Samuel did, when she was longing for children of her own. We laid our problems before God like Hezekiah, the king of Israel, did when he was given a letter that spoke of his destruction and the destruction of all Israel. Hezekiah laid this letter before The Lord when he was faced with war. We too, cried out before The Lord. We have written our concerns those things that came against us and tried to bring destruction and we have endured. We have lain before God, according to His word, humbled ourselves before Him, and prayed for God to hear our concerns because He knows all that was said and done against us.
I Samuel 1:6-7, 10 And because the Lord had closed her (Hannah) womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked till she wept and would not eat. In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.
II Kings 19:14-16 And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwells between the cherubim thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.
6: Now we must decide to obey God as an act of our will. We must choose to forgive those who have wronged us. We do this as an act of faith just as we did when we received Jesus As our Lord. We believe it in our heart and with our mouth we confess it as an act of our will. These are the same steps we took to be saved.
We must make a decision to forgive and to let those injustices go because God has commanded it to be done. Letting go is a choice of our will and our actions reveal our choices. Every time we take an action, we are making choices of our will either consciously or by default. Man’s ability to choose, his will, made him different from all of God’s other creations in the earth. The choices we make lead us to take action and these actions will determine where we are in life.
There will be times when we hurt with such intensity that all we want to do is think about the hurt and what was done and we do not want to let it go. The intense pain of the situation may make us feel we have every right to be and stay angry. But if we do not release the hate, we may get comfortable with living in bitterness and may stay in that a whole life time and die with that same hate. We must forgive if we are to be released from the bondage of hate.
God has given His Word on the matter and He tells us to forgive. God’s ways are not man’s ways. They are higher and have a greater purpose and we may not be able to see or understand at the time the whys of life. We can know God is faithful and we can trust Him to work things out for our good and His glory in the end.
Jesus is Lord, who was given all power and authority. Therefore, He will not ask us to do anything we cannot do through His grace. We may feel as though we cannot forgive but we must make the decision and choose to do so. We may need to cry out and ask God to give us the forgiveness we need for that person or situation. It is a simple act of the will to say I choose to forgive. Simple is not always easy but God will give us the strength we need to forgive others and ourselves.
God says to obey is better than giving a sacrifice, better than doing all that work you do at church and service in the community. We need to ask God to give us the forgiveness we need. Ask God to show us how to forgive, pray and acknowledge Jesus in the situation. Jesus is the one that bled and died for all humanity. God tells us to cast this un-forgiveness on Him and to bring those persons who have spitefully used and abused us, to Him in prayer and to ask God to give us the forgiveness we need and it will be given.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. NIV
James 4:2 b…Yet you have not, because you ask not.
Matthew 7: 7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Romans 10: 9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
7: We are to cast away and get rid of the hate and bitterness that we have.
We need to burn and/or destroy all that we have written and laid out before the Lord as an act of our will and a symbolic act of casting all on Jesus. We need to destroy all that we have confessed so that the enemy will not have this as a reminder to us and to try to have us relive this situation by having us read our hurts over and over again.
God has given us the forgiveness we needed and we must focus on that. We wrote of all the pain and hurt we felt and this allowed us to acknowledge the wrong. Now we must purge these things by giving them to God to rightly judge. As we start the process of forgiving we do not want to give old feels a doorway to come back with those same old hurts. If we destroy the things written we cannot be tempted to go back or let them be used as a reminder.
We have confessed the truth and by destroying what was written is symbolic to us up rooting the anger, bitterness and casting our cares on Jesus. This is an act of our will, to let go of the poison that was inside. Jesus bore all these problems on the cross He paid the cost for all sin, and now He will take our concerns and give us His forgiveness. God knows how to judge justly. We can only see part of the story but God sees it all the total picture.
I Peter 5: 7 Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. NIV
8: We are to stand against the attacks of the enemy to bring those feelings and thoughts back to your remembrance because you have chosen to forgive.
We must know and understand the strategy of the enemy is to try and bring the pain and hurt back to us but with each attack we are to give God Praise for the forgiveness He has given. We must chose as an act of your will to praise God even if we do not feel like it or feel we have total forgiveness. It is a process and processes take time.
When the enemy tries to rise up and bring those thoughts of hurt, anger and bitterness back to our minds, we must remind him God has given us forgiveness. We can speak out in a LOUD VOICE: “OH BUT JESUS DIED FOR THEM AND FOR THAT SIN AND HE GAVE ME THE FORGIVENESS I NEED FOR THEM”. Even when our flesh screams for revenge we must scream back giving God praise for who He is. We should then begin to praise God! Give praise to the Lord God Almighty for what He is doing. We know there is power in the spoken word and to say this with authority will help establish this in your heart and mind. God inhabits the praises of His people and your praise brings glory to God. Darkness cannot stand in the presence of light and the enemy must flee.
We can uproot the anger and bitterness; it is done with the word of God and as an act of our will our decision to choose to obey God. The Bible says Satan will come because the Word of God has gone forth and he will try to destroy the seed that was sown in our heart and spirit. God’s Word is sure and He tells us of the devices of the enemy. God would not have us to be ignorant but for us to know the truth. God tells us what to look for and to know that life is coming to test our convictions and to see if we really believe the word of God. This world system will try to take away all we have been taught and will try and steal the truth from us. We must not be taken by surprises but be prepared to stand on the promises.
God gave us a plan and method of stopping the enemy. Submit to God and resist the devil. It is one step process, to submit to God and the enemy must flee. We are to make this choice with our will and to decide we will not be anxious, upset or stay in un-forgiveness. We must decide to not let the enemy or lack of forgiveness come back and take what God has given. Every time these thoughts of hurt come to our remembrance, let those very thoughts be a signal to our mind to start praising and worshipping God. The enemy will soon stop reminding us of the hurt or the wrong because he does not want us to give praises to God.
The enemy came and attacked Jesus just as he did with Adam and Eve. He will always try and get us to question God’s love for us and our identity in God. The diffidence is Jesus spoke God’s word of truth with every lie Satan brought to Him and defeated him by the word of God. Adam and Eve were using their own intellect and perceptions, the same trap many of us get caught in today. God tells us not to give place to the evil thoughts in our mind but to think on whatever is pure, just, praise worthy or of a good report, keep these things in our mind and thoughts.
The Bible tells us people will receive the word of God in different ways once they have heard the truth of the Gospel. Some people hear the word and their heart is like hard ground like Pharaoh who hardened his heart when he heard God’s word. The seed of God’s word may enter their hearts because of the hardiness the seed could not penetrate the soil and the enemy comes immediately to distract and take the word from them.
Others may hear the word of God and receive it with joy. They start operating in the little knowledge they have but they do not take time to get rooted into the word of God. When life comes at them, crisis, loss of jobs, homes are gone, when trouble and affliction comes they become offended and the concerns of what they are going through chokes the word out of their heart. Because they do not have a deep root in the word of God when the heat of persecution comes they fall way.
Then there are those whose hearts are open to the word of God. They seek God and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to them the word of God’s truth that they may grow. By the sincere milk of the word they will grow. When life comes to test their faith they are not taken by surprise they have the word of God to stand on. They believe in the word of God that tells them to stand and see the salvation of the Lord.
Mark 4: 15 -17 Some people are like seed along the path, Where the Word is sown, As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the Word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, they quickly fall away. NIV
I Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
9: We are set free by setting others free.
Forgiveness sets us free. With un-forgiveness we are always chained and in bondage to that person or situation. When we stay in un-forgiveness, we keep reliving that same problem repeatedly and that person or situation is always with us in our thoughts and mind. Our spirit will end up being so entangled that every time we think about the situation we will get angry. Once we set that person free by forgiving them we also set ourselves free from torment. We are then free to live and to move on with our lives. When we hold on to the anger, resentment and bitterness it destroys our body with sickness because, the body was not designed to carry the poison of hate inside.
God made provision for the poison of hate. He instructs us to cast all of our cares upon Him. Jesus came to destroy death and the poison venom that was spewed out on mankind because of sin. In His Body He took on the sins of the world and with His stripes He gave us healing. The peace we need He has supplied. This is the key to forgiveness. We must force our flesh and pride to line up with our will and that is to obey God’s Word and not let our feelings rule over us.
God will pay the just and the unjust. That is why He tells us to forgive because Jesus paid the price for all sin and God will judge all men according to what they did with His word and if they obeyed. Our actions reveal our “will” by the choices we make either by a conscious decision or by our unconscious floundering. We are to have faith in God and know we can trust His word because He is a faithful God.
Psalm 37: 1 Fret not thyself because of evil doers, neither be thou envious against the worker of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. KJV
Psalm 37: 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret- it leads only to evil.
I John 2: 2 And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Isaiah 53: 4-5 Surely He has borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
10: We must understand that forgiveness does not mean the guilty will get by with the wrong they have done.
We can trust God to handle the matter and must allow Him to judge justly. We must believe God will avenge us and know forgiveness does not mean the wicked will go unpunished or our enemies will get away without consequence. Forgiveness only releases us, it does not mean God has turned a blind eye to the situation and it will go unnoticed.
God is a righteous Judge. He knows the whole situation. He will judge but according to His knowledge and ways which are not man’s ways. Our responsibility is to God as an act of our will, to ask Him for the forgiveness we need. It is God’s responsibility to take vengeance for the wrong done. It is not our job to make people pay for what they did, but our job is to pray and seek God’s face for them and for us. We must let God settle our claims. If we try and settle the matter we may do too much or too little and only God is the perfect judge.
Romans 12:9Dearly beloved, avenge not yourself, and neither give place to wrath: for it is written VENGEANCE is MINE I WILL REPAY SAITH THE LORD.
Isaiah 55: 8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55: 11 So shall My Word be that go forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 33:22 For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our King; He will save us.
We must understand this is a process, and not an “Oh Snap,” and it is done right now. Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness with the Word of God, saying “It is written…” and he left Him for a season. Do not be surprised if we have those old feelings of anger and un-forgiveness trying to come back to our thoughts to try and take root in our minds. The enemy wants to try and get a strong hold in our heart to get us back to those old ways of hating.
This is a process Jesus went through in the wilderness, Satan came three times asking Jesus to get Him to fall. That is the enemy’s tactic he keeps trying and then leaves for a season and will try to bring it back at a later time. We can choose to think on the things that are good, just and pure. We can choose to stand on the written word of God just as Jesus did when we say aloud God’s word. God has given me the forgiveness I need for that situation. Then we should praise God with songs, hymns or music and that will still the hand of the enemy.
Philippians 4: 4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.