My unforgiveness had been keeping me locked up. It kept me bound me into a position where I couldn’t move forward or backward. I was just stuck. Being stuck is no fun. God couldn’t and wouldn’t move in my life.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
I said to myself, “ If I truly love God- I will do for others what he did for me. If I am an AUTHENTIC woman of God then I will do the right thing. There will be no question as to who I am and who I love. And if I really love God, I won’t wait. I won’t make excuses and I won’t run away anymore. “ God didn’t wait until I went first-he just did it. God didn’t make excuses as to why he couldn’t do it-he just did it. He walked the way of love. I should too. No excuses, no whining, no looking back. I am called to FOLLOW HIM in all my ways and specifically this way-the way of forgiveness.
What about you?
The MESSAGE version puts Matthew 6:14 this way: “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”
My unforgiveness had cut me off from God. Ouch!
Let me share a personal testimony with you…I’m not going to go into all the details we don’t have time for that. But what I will share with you is that I was very angry at a lot of people for different reasons, reasons that I thought were important. Ha! They weren’t. ( You know- it is the stuff that we don’t share that should be shared-it’s the hard stuff, like this, that we should be talking about because I see how my own struggle with people and issues could possibly help another person to move forward. )
Well, I stayed mad for quite awhile and thought I was over it-but I wasn’t really. In December-during a worship song at church- we sang the words, “ Create in me a clean heart, O Lord” and my heart fell apart. I stood there with my arms lifted high and envisioned God pouring His blood over me. I saw it, felt it and experienced it. In those moments I began moving forward one small step at a time.
Shortly after that-in January-I began a fast. During that fast I had some serious face time with God. I realized I was harboring unforgiveness in many areas. That fast changed my spiritual life because God was answering my prayer through that song- “Create in me a clean heart o God.” This is one of the reasons why I think our time of worship is so very important-we aren’t just singing for the sake of singing- we are worshipping our heavenly Father with the very breath that he put into our lungs and that breath should be uplifting, not downcast. Our very life should be an act of worship and if we harbor an unforgiving spirit then we are not worshipping God.
Once I went through the process of being on my knees and seeking forgiveness I began to move forward. The door opened for ministry. I didn’t know where, but it was opened. A month or so went by and I felt like I was called to do a 40 day fast. So I started. In this fast I realized I had one more thing to do- to write a letter to someone asking for forgiveness. As I look back today I see it all so clearly now. God was showing me the way I needed to go-deeper.
Do you see it?
The unforgiveness was keeping me locked into a position of going around and around that mountain over and over again. I even asked myself why I kept going around the same old mountain. It was like I was blind to it. I was. Now I see. Oh so clearly. Thank the Lord!
Before I could go THROUGH the door of ministry I had to go deeper with God in offering my forgiveness and in seeking it. If I am to be a representative of Christ-then I must let go and let God. Today, I have gone over the mountain and I see the beautiful work of the hands of my Father and I will tell the world! Wow. What release and freedom! I was keeping myself from moving forward when all it took was my humbling myself and making things right between myself and others.
It’s so simple folks. We make it so hard. During all of this I was saying, “ but they did that, they said this and I want this, and that’s just not right and this is how I see things and I want, I want, I want.” I never said, “what does God want?”
God wants us to make things right with people ( no matter what we might think) so that He can get on with the work he has planned for us as individuals and as the Body of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:16-20
God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
When we do make things right-God will move in your life in a mighty, mighty way. Isn’t that exciting? I am a testament to that because I believe that had I not listened to the Spirit of God-I’d still be stuck, the door would still be closed and I’d still be going around that mountain. Instead- I listened, I prayed, I acted, and God responded in a mighty, mighty way! He has opened the door of ministry and I have joyfully walked through it!
So, let me encourage YOU to grab onto the JOY and FREEDOM that God has planned for your life! But first- you have to let go of the chains of unforgiveness. They are so heavy and quite often we don’t even know we are wearing them until we drop them to the floor. I pray that you will drop whatever it is you are holding onto and never pick it back up. Relief is near. Satan is the one who keeps us locked up with his stinkin’ thinkin’ and his repetitive taunts. We fall for it. He’s a bully and he wants to keep us down. He does not want to see the Kingdom of God prosper. But you know what? Our God is alive and well and He is with us wherever we go! Joshua 1:9 “I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ ” We have to take a hold of that Truth and live it like we believe it! I pray that you do and I am anxious to see what God is going to do through YOU!