Forgiveness – Part 14
Mark 11:25-26 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Forgiveness cannot exist in a void. Jesus spoke of a demon spirit being cast out, but returning to the place he once lived, and finding it swept (clean) and empty, will return with seven more evil spirits worse than himself. Unforgiveness operates in that same manner. If you say you forgive, you have declared war, and released yourself from being tied to the offender. But if you do not immediately begin the ongoing task of replacing the unforgiveness with the Word of God to build your faith against that unforgiveness, leaving yourself empty and void of the living Word, the death of unforgiveness will return, amplified, magnified, and emotionally sharpened to drag you down more quickly and deeper than at the time of the offense.
You are in a battle to forget. In order to forget, you must not only choose to push something aside, you must also choose what you will store in the place of what is put aside. Think of this. By the end of the first month of the first grade, now more than 65 years ago, I could tell you the name of every student in my class. I never thought about forgetting any of them. Today, I can only readily recall a few of those who were in my class, and if I stop and actively think about it, I can recall a few more. Most are forgotten. In that case, it is not because I chose to forget them, but simply because I replaced their names and faces with those of people with whom I more frequently interacted. I pastored a single church for 28 years. I cannot remember all the names, faces, and events of those 28 years. It is not because I chose to forget them, but because I replaced those thoughts and memories with new thoughts and new memories that hold more importance.
Forgiveness operates the same way, but you must also include strong faith. While choosing new thoughts and events to fill you heart, mind, and memory, in the arena of forgiveness, you have an enemy of your soul who keeps records of hurtful events and people, and works diligently to keep you reminded of them. For that, there is but one remedy. FAITH! Again, I remind you of the disciple’s request when Jesus taught them on forgiveness. They said, “Increase our faith.” Faith forgives, and then you must add the works that prove faith’s living presence and function. Control your mind, be filled with the mind of Christ, “think on these things (Philippians 4:8),” and bring “every thought into obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).” Fight the good fight of faith.
Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-27; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:6; Matthew 6:12-15; Luke 6:37; Luke 17:1-10; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 18:22; Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 12:34-37