Forgiveness – Part 20

Oh, the joy that belongs to the one who forgives!

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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.

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I don’t know how much you have been involved with physical training in your life, especially at a high, or what may be called a rigorous level.  I engaged in it for years, well into my 60’s.  I engaged in field events (shot put and discus), softball, weightlifting, racket ball, and especially martial arts (taekwondo, karate, judo, jiu jitsu, and many other styles, some competitively.  There were times in each of these arenas that the physical training for them was truly intense.  After a daily workout, I would find such wonderful relief after a hot shower, a fresh change of clothes, and if possible, a restful sit in the sunshine for a few minutes.  When the muscle stress was over, the breathing settled, the heart rate slowed, fatigued muscles warmed in a hot shower and by some sunshine, and the feeling of cleanness about me, it was as if I could start all over again at any time.

While what I have described is purely physical, it creates a picture of what forgiveness does for the mind and spirit, and believe it or not, strongly impacting the physical body, too.  It is like the sense of recovery from a major illness that has you bedridden.  It is difficult to find words to describe it.  But be assured, when you walk in forgiveness, the stress of carrying that weight is removed.  When you walk in the true spirit of forgiveness, the washing of the water of the Word cleanses the spirit, being freshly suited with the armor of God brings a sense of newness and readiness to move forward, and resting in the presence and ministry of Holy Spirit as you pray and worship in the Spirit is like having a fresh fire kindled inside you. 

Forgiveness frees you from the stress of offence, your breathing is anxiety free in peace, your spirit man becomes settled in knowing victory is present, and the refreshing of Holy Ghost  puts life back into what before felt like dry bones.  In your spirit man you can hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Stand, and see the salvation of the Lord.”  It’s like seeing Pharaoh’s army lost in the sea when you took courage and crossed over to the other side.  It’s like walking on the water with Jesus back to the boat when your focus is regained.  It’s like watching lions lay down all around you, or flames step back as you walk through them with the fourth man.  It’s watching fire devour the sacrifice, the stones, the water and the dust.  It’s watching axe heads float, eating heaven’s bread, drinking new wine at a wedding feast, and seeing through eyes that were blind only moments ago.  It’s freedom, my friend, freedom.  So, forgive.  Fight the good fight of faith.

Manna for Today – Mark 11:22-27; 1 John 1:9; Psalm 86:6; Matthew 6:12-34; Luke 6:37; Luke 17:1-10; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:2; 1 John 5:14; Matthew 18:22; Matthew 12:34-37; Luke 1:37; Ephesians 5:26