We have come to the close of an era, and the dawning of the New Day as it spills over dark horizons. Many who read and hear the rich word of the Kingdom, along with the world, are awaiting the great manifestation of the Sons of God. We cannot help from noting, however, there is a huge obstacle -- an unforgiving spirit -- in the paths of more than a few, and if it remains intact, there will be no manifestation in their lives. Even if there is one person we cannot forgive, even if they have the twin spirit to Osama bin Laden, it will be a disqualifying factor. Moreover, a bitter, unforgiving spirit is in itself the same as bin Laden's.
Have you ever noticed that when someone speaks to us about our need to forgive, immediately there is a resistance? There is an unwillingness to admit our need to forgive, and a defensive feeling of having been done some great wrong that "you don't understand." Yet, forgiving others of offenses and hurts committed against us is an absolute requirement of a Christian. One cannot walk with God while harboring unforgiveness in his heart, for how can two walk together except they be agreed? And our Father is a forgiving God and walking in agreement with Him means walking in forgiveness.
Picture yourself caring a heavy object (and unforgiveness is truly HEAVY), and suddenly you stop, extend it out in front of you, deliberately turn it loose, and let it drop. Then you turn and walk away from it, never looking back to see what became of it. Did someone come along and pick it up? Did it get swept away by wind or rain? Is it still there? You'll never know, for you are now totally disconnected and free from it
That's what Jesus portrayed in Mark 11:5: "And when you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in Heaven may also forgive you your [own failings and shortcomings and let them drop". (Amplified Bible) There may never be an apology--but that's all right. Our stubborn refusal to forgive others actually prohibits God's forgiveness from flowing to us. Then how can one hold unforgiveness in his heart? To do so, he must actually believe that he himself is totally without offense and has no need of forgiveness himself, and that he is righteous and perfect in all his ways. Isn't that ridiculous? This is the worst form of self-righteousness, and clothes us in filthy rags before a holy God.
Holding unforgiveness causes it to grow and become rooted in our heart -- it's called a root of bitterness in Heb. 12:15, and many will be defiled by it. And once left to grow, it becomes uncontrollable. It can no longer be channeled to only the offending party, but becomes a fountain of bitterness that will flow in all directions.
Finally, to persist in not forgiving others, one tramples under foot the work of the cross. That's the saddest part of all. Eph. 2:11-15 is a beautiful picture of the power of the cross to abolish all strife and enmity, break down walls of partition between us, for "He is Himself our peace (our bond of unity and harmony ... and has broken down, destroyed, abolished) the hostile dividing wall between us, by abolishing in his own crucified flesh the enmity ... so making peace .... by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end".
ALL FEUDS END AT THE CROSS. Not only between Jew and Gentile, but A-L-L FEUDS. I am convinced that an unforgiving heart is evidence that the one who walks in this darkness has not experienced the cross. In fact, the Word of God supports that conviction.
The pain and suffering that has been caused by an unforgiving spirit is without measure. May our Father pour out His Healing Grace into the body of Christ and create in us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. Then all the world will know He has come when we truly have fervent love for each other. Amen! And praise God!
Incidentally, to FORGIVE (for-give) is an INTENSIFIED FORM of GIVING. Let me ask, which seems the best to you -- intensified giving or intensified not giving (unforgiveness, or hatred)? Which, do you suppose, is Christ -- giving unrestrained love to hurting people, or hurting people with unforgiving hate? Do I need to say more? If the answer is the latter, we will never be entrusted with authority; for only reconcilers who are rooted in His love will merit such an honored place in God's Great Kingdom! If unforgiveness resides in our hearts, we are then in need of being reconciled, rather than being reconcilers. Which will it be for us, my friends? Again, do I need to say more? If there is even a small root of unforgiveness -- let us grow up and get over it!
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