Hi friends & Happy Sunday! 😀
It’s been a minute hey but I trust you have been well. This week hasn’t been the easiest for me; I’ve been going through the motions and my spirit hasn’t been at all at peace. However, God has sustained and carried me through. I had to dig deep and address things I very much wished could have remained buried but then again, in order for God to do me a solid I had to face them and allow God to put me together again. It’s been quite a week indeed but I’m back, with and in Christ still 😃!
Now, let’s get right on to today’s topic.
Forgiveness is a process and getting there isn’t an easy journey- it takes time. Since December God has been speaking to me about forgiveness. For some reason, each sermon I have attended in church on Sunday or during the week for either prayer or bible study since then always somehow ended with a lesson on forgiveness. I did not understand why God wanted me to meditate over scriptural references on forgiveness especially since I believed I had done my fair share of forgiving all the people who had wronged me. Each time God would put the name of a person who has been nothing but horrible to me and instruct me to pray for them, I just couldn’t, and when He would put across a specific prayer point directly related to forgiveness I would brush it off because deep down inside I felt like it was quite unnecessary for me to be praying for people who have hurt me. I mean I had done my share (well at least I thought I had) in forgiving them, what more did God expect from me- offering my friendship to them? What exactly? I did not understand, instead, I was mad and closed my spiritual ears because I did not want to hear it any more.
I think I have mentioned once before that understanding a certain concept of importance that is directly meant for you doesn’t happen at a go, rather you find that you read or hear something once before but choose not to take it up. However, I believe there comes a time when you are ready enough to open up not only your ears but take it up in your heart as well. Until then, I think we just hover around with these known facts unfathomable to us until a time we are ready to appreciate them and allow them to work for us as well. The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) was taught to some of us at home, or school or church and it has been a prayer that we have been accustomed to, however, I think most still don’t understand the essence of this prayer. We utter the words, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us” when in truth in the core of our hearts we pray that they get hit by a car or some form of tragedy befalls them. This is quite hypocritical of us and deceptive because we are not only deceiving and cheating God but ourselves mostly because God is concerned with the heart. So if your heart is not truthful, saying these words renders them useless because already God has removed Himself and stopped listening because you are being dishonest; your lips say one thing but your heart the complete opposite. Disgraceful, huh? Anyway, due to this deceitfulness, the “daily bread” we ask God to give us, we most definitely shall not receive!
We complain when things don’t go our way and wallow in self-pity especially because we think God has forsaken us when we don’t receive the blessings we ask for. First off it’s the hypocrisy we exercise and the lack of faith we have in God that blocks all these blessings. Interesting fact, the blessings we need were set out and given to us a long time ago (Ephesians 1:3), however, to access them or have them manifest in our lives, we ought to be completely reliant and trusting in God. Actually, we have to let go of any form of anxiety because what anxiety does is shadow our faith and weaken it. So if we lack the faith and continue to two-time God, it makes everything we need or ask from Him seem impossible that we fall short of His glory, grace and miss out on our blessings. You have to understand though that Faith without works is useless. Yes, you may have faith but if you harbour grudges, hatred, malice and lack forgiveness in your heart, trust me you can pray, fast and have faith beyond anything else but because your actions are contrary to what God expects of us, all your prayers will be in vain. The Holy Spirit does not dwell where there is, unkindness, hatred, conflict, and lack of forgiveness and because we fail to address these things before we come into His holy presence He takes a step back and we will continue to pray, fast but see no result because we have not worked on these negative acts of ours and as such aren’t holy like He is.
Here’s the thing, we need to be perfect in God just as He is (Matthew 5:48) and once we are in Him we ought to be holy and pure as well just as He is. If you read Colossians 3 with understanding, trust me, you will know the life you have been instructed to live now that you are in Christ. It details guiding principles and things we need to recoil from as children of God for we have died from our old ways and now are alive in Christ. Being in Christ means we are like Him and as such our actions should be similar to His. The bible speaks about forgiveness a lot and through His teachings, Jesus Christ emphasizes the importance of love and forgiveness because I believe He is reminding us that just as we were sinners He died for us and God as our Father loved us enough to offer Him as the ultimate sacrifice. We are sinners but we were saved by grace and when we confess our sins by mouth and ask God to forgive us, He does so freely and with a willing heart. He never details our sins for us or holds them against us, rather He receives us with love, wipes the slate clean and forgives us wholeheartedly so. Now therefore since we are His children, that means we ought to behave like Him, and our actions should speak to that through us being willing to forgive, love and pray for not only those we love but our enemies too (Colossians 3:13-14; Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 5:44-45).
Forgiveness reinstates our fellowship with God (Matthew 6:14) and being unforgiving breaks that communion, especially since God, will offer us the same courtesy (Matthew 6:15). Ephesians 4 speaks to the life a person in Christ ought to live and puts emphasis on the importance of unity in the body of Christ. However, Ephesians 4:31-32 is one which I would like to discuss because to me it speaks to the fact that if we carry bitterness, rage and anger and any form of malice we are very much being unkind and uncompassionate which are all elements of being unforgiving. So this is what happens, these feelings are burdensome, these emotions block the work of the Holy Spirit, these feelings are a hindrance to our breakthrough. One might ask how this is possible; Well, as previously mentioned, God does not dwell where there is confusion, hatred and anger that when He senses any of these negative emotions He takes a step back which is when we feel like He has forsaken us wherein fact we need to take a good look at ourselves, our ways and rectify them as well as consecrate ourselves yet again before coming into His presence. My dear reader, God will not listen to you if you harbour hate in your heart and lack forgiveness for those who have hurt you. I suppose that is why it is important to ask God to sanctify us from sin we have committed either through our lips, thoughts and actions before we pray and go a step further to request that He gives us the heart and strength to forgive.
During our prayer service last Wednesday, forgiveness was the core prayer point. The lead preacher focused on that stating the fact that some of us are missing out on the blessings we have been praying for and fasting for because we have failed to forgive. And because we have chosen not to, all the doors have been closed on us and yes we have been asking ourselves why that is and why we haven’t been winning on any aspect of our lives. Well, it turns out the key to all those locks has been forgiveness and praying for nothing but the best for them that have trespassed against us and truly meaning it. Like I mentioned earlier, the Spirit of God has been trying to get me to address the issue of forgiveness for some time now, however, I decided to turn down the voice of God but God Being God, He has vessels everywhere, and because He loves me still, so much at that He did not give up on me instead He kept on bringing it up. I won’t lie to you, Wednesday changed everything; when the preacher spoke and gave examples, it is then that I knew what I had to address for my breakthrough. Honestly, I felt like God was calling me out in the midst of the congregation. I did a deep introspection and realized that as much as I had verbally said I had forgiven all the people who had hurt me, well I had been dishonest because as I journeyed within self I found that deep down I still resented them. I might have continued to laugh with them, help them out but, man oh man, did I wish for them to get hit by a bus or suffer horribly at the hands of another. Imagine all these negative and evil feelings that had been buried inside me. Goodness, I was overwhelmed with great emotion that I broke down. The preacher then read (Matthew 5:43-48) which became another prayer point which focused on praying for those that had hurt us and ask God to bless them with that which we desired for ourselves and more even. Basically, pray to ask God to bless them exceedingly and abundantly so. Imagine that! Yes- I see your eyes wide open right now but as hard to swallow as this may be but yeah, Jesus Christ commands us to forgive, love our enemies too and pray for them even. So I did and meaningfully so even and believe you me after I did, I left that room feeling a lot lighter and was at peace.
I won’t lie, for years it has been hard for me to even consider wishing for good for these people, but here’s the truth. We have all heard that not forgiving someone is likened to taking poison each day wishing and hoping for that person to die where in fact you are killing yourself and them, on the other hand, are continuing to live a full life. Honestly, unforgiving is a complete waste of time and energy even- sad but true! However, I think I have not been honest with myself but rather forgave because I had to and had to get it out of the way as well, but Wednesday I don’t know, it felt different, I was ready, it came so easy, I was able to list them all and pray for peace, success and wealth over their lives. My breakthrough has come, I found the key and opened the door. Now it has manifested and it’s only a little while before I hold it in my hands. Wednesday made me realize that I have been blaming God, I have felt like he had forsaken me. I mean all along I felt my prayers and fasting had been in vain. And you know what, they were because I always came to God heavy, I spoke one thing but my heart told a completely different story and I never realized it. To God be the Glory- My breakthrough has come. I have forgiven and in turn, I have been forgiven!
Release the burden. Forgive and set things in motion for your breakthrough!
Grounded in Faith