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The Strength To Forgive

I believe that there are many of us in need of forgiveness, and there are many of us with a dire need to seek God for the strength to forgive.

Strength to forgive everyone their trespasses. Strength to forgive all... And then we need to ask the Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus that He would keep us walking in that strength to forgive all by the power of His Spirit. So as the Heavenly Father loves us, and forgave us all trespasses against Him... even the cost of crucifying His only begotten Son... Even as Jesus our precious Savior forgave us all trespasses, and continues to forgive us daily when we ask it. So should we be willing to forgive. I would submit that many of us even have a need to consider the reasons we forgive. Are we forgiving because we are truly sorry for the things we've said or done? Is our forgiveness genuinely born out of conviction, brokenness, humility, a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our love for God? Or are we forgiving for religious reasons. Simply because we were taught it's part of the Christian image, its what Christians are supposed to do? Or are we forgiving for self-centered reasons? So we can have a pleasant afternoon, or go to sleep with a clean conscious...

Are our motivations about God or about self? 


I've been persuaded that part of the process of dieing to self is a willingness to admit to self, confess to our Lord, and to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that there are many things that happen in our lives that we do not have the strength to forgive. I don't think myself crossing any lines when I state that I believe many of us don't want to forgive. However, if we are willing to ask the Heavenly Father in honesty to help us He will. The things that we cannot forgive of our own strength, He will come into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit and He will forgive through us. Such is the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit (long-suffering)

Galatians 5
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


And as there is continual death to self, the Lord will continue to work in the heart. Such a work will be performed that the things that could not be forgiven before, can truly be forgiven in Christ by His strength. The way one used to strive in their heart in allowing the Lord to forgive through them will eventually become a thing of the past. As we seek to be continually filled with more and more of the Holy Spirit, we will forgive more and more. It becomes easier... even second nature. The pain will fade into nothing but memories of who we used to be, and the world will not understand.

I would submit that some, even those in the House of the Lord, have a dire need to ask the Heavenly Father for the strength to forgive even Him and to repent. I've encountered many... even professing Christians that have unforgiveness festering in their hearts as it pertains to the God of the Old Testament. They profess to be Christian yet how can they truly be Christian and accuse Jesus of unrighteousness? They seem to be of a mind set that believes an accusation against the Father is different than accusing the Son of anything. I believe that this festering unforgiveness of the God of the Old Covenant breeds an underlying animosity in towards the instrument of God's judgment upon the wicked nations of that time. That instrument being the nation of Israel, and the Jewish people. They seem to want Jesus... but not the Heavenly Father. They want to go to Heaven,  they just don't want to share it with God. Many of them cannot forgive God for the state of this world as well. They blame Him for the mess that we've made... I don't see how one can help but come to this kind of conclusion after years of listening to the things said, and witnessing the continual negative reaction towards anything pertaining to the Old Covenant, ancient Israel, and even Israel today.


I know the Heavenly Father will respect and honor honesty. The depths of His forgiveness cannot be measured, He is slow to anger, tender-hearted, and full of mercies made brand new every day. But again, I firmly believe that many need to ask His help in forgiving even Him... not for His sake, but for their own sakes. I would submit that there is a great need to ask Him to search the depths of  hearts for any hidden unforgiveness, bitterness, or animosity towards Him... and allow Him to bring that unforgiveness to the surface that there may be repentance and brokenness before Him. I happen to believe brokenness to be part of the cost for this kind of repentance.

Psalm 51
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


Yet I have encountered those that become so puffed up with knowledge and pride that they become incapable of seeking God on such a level... much less even pondering the possibility that something like this could be lurking in the heart just beneath the surface. I can't help but wonder sometimes... when will the reality be driven home to us that we cannot hide anything from God? He sees everything!

He knows... He knows everything.

Some jump, shout, clap, or sing hymns in church every Sunday with hearts too proud forgive. Some attend the religious ceremonies, participate in missions and church programs all the while with a heart to proud to be broken. The Lord warns us about pride...

Proverbs 16
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.


James 5
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.


If there exists an unwillingness to seek God for help in forgiving all, He will not forgive us... and we will be given over to tormentors.

Matthew 18
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

This is part of the reality of who the Scriptures proclaim God to be. I'm convinced that many professing Christians have a preconceived idea of God that has been sold to them by the enemy... even those with a spirit of error in the House of the Lord. I've been presented a god by many an evangelical that has more in common with Ghandi and Santa Clause than the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob.

I am convinced that when God is saught in honesty, humility, and desperation because the reality that He is our only hope has been driven home to the heart... and there is no where else to turn He will confront those seeking Him. That confrontation shatters all preconceived ideas and notions that were really nothing more than idols in disguise. And sadly, most run from this confrontation, resist the Spirit, and reject Him to His face because He is nothing like the unscriptural god conceived of in vain imaginings. I state this from my own personal confrontation experience which involved the destruction of my own idols... as well as what I've witnessed happening in the lives of other professing Christians. Yet He continues to plead with us. Though we hurt Him, though we break His tender heart over and over and over... He continues to plead with us by His precious Spirit.

However, I've come to believe that there is a cut off point... though I believe it to be different for each one of us, there is a cut off point. He gives us all of the time we need to seek His face, and to submit ourselves to His love through Christ as revealed by His Spirit. But He does not give us all of the time in the world.

May the Spirit of the Lord be with you all.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
1986truthseeker
Oct. 18th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
Hi :D
Really edifying journal entry! I enjoyed reading it. I haven't been on lately because I didn't have a way to be but I'm back and just got to sit behind my desk and check out myjournal. Have a nice day :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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