Empowered to Forgive
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
I remember as if it was yesterday, it was October 31,1980 I kneeled at my bedside asking the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart as my savior and Lord. When I had awakened the next morning I felt different, alive as if the cares and pressure of life were gone. My heart being heavy the night before felt as if it had been resuscitated, and indeed it had been,
resuscitated by the love of God through Jesus Christ my savior.
Before receiving Jesus into my life I was broken mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I had no self-worth, low self-esteem and had an addiction to drugs to mask my pain.
I had an eleven-month-old son and was living in fornication. Life was on a fast track to nowhere. I called out to God and He answered me.
13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[a]
Romans 10:13 (NIV)
‘Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.”
1 PETER 5:7 (GW)
Upon receiving Jesus Christ into my life not only as my savior but my Lord, meant that I could no longer live in a manner that did not characterize his Lordship. One area in particular was that of forgiveness. I was harboring an offence in my heart towards a family member. However, based upon the word of God I knew that I needed to forgive. So, in obedience I purposed in my heart to forgive my family member.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
However, the more I tried to forgive the more I struggled with forgiveness. So I began to pray, to talk God about my inability to forgive. I told the father (God) that I couldn’t do this forgiveness thing; it’s too difficult for me. Well, it was at that moment I felt that I had a spiritual encounter with the God; out of my heart I began to pray, “Father I’ll be a conduit for your presence to flow through. I knew that prayer came straight from the heart of God into my heart. I heard of the word conduit but I wasn’t really familiar with it’s meaning. (One of the meanings for the word “conduit” is, any means of transmission or conveyance, as of information.)
God was confirming my sentiments regarding my inability to forgive. He wanted me to know that I couldn’t forgive based on my willingness or desire alone to forgive. I needed his presence working in and through me by the working of Holy Spirit.
Well, I heed the counsel of THE Counselor and allowed Holy Spirit to work in me and through me. He began to teach me practical ways of walking in forgiveness towards my family member. I had to trust him, humble myself, and yield to his instruction. Holy Spirit would tell me to be cordial and speak when I didn’t want to. Showing me opportunities to serve when I didn’t want to and to always pray words of blessing over my family member.
It wasn’t long before I noticed that a change had occurred in my attitude, emotions and heart towards this family member. I moved past the state of begrudgingly walking out the instruction given by Holy Spirit to finding it pleasurable. I can truly say without question or doubt that I have not only forgiven my family member but I love her.
Then he said to me, This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
So. If the son makes you free, you will be free.
Thank you Holy Spirit!