LET IT GO!
One of my favorite services has always been at the end of the year. Freedom, ie deliverance, was the theme.
The intent was to set people free of all the wrongs of the current year. This was not a “shove it under the carpet” deal. In fact, it was just the opposite, and involved dragging things out from under the carpet! Once the hidden things were revealed, they needed to be dealt with.
The good news is once unresolved issues are exposed to the light, they lose their power of holding a person in shame. Given this service followed closely after Christmas, it was no surprise that each year, 2 main areas always emerged.
Christmas is the mega picture of God’s extravagant love for all creation. It is a mighty demonstration of His mercy, love, and reconciliation. Freely we have received, yet we are reluctant to do the same unto others. Jesus nailed it (no pun intended) in His parable of the unforgiving servant. Please read Matthew 18:21-35.
The essence of this parable is the master (God) mercifully forgives a servant (us) a huge debt (sin) he was unable to pay. Now this same guy finds a friend who owes him a small amount of money. Because he is unable to repay it, he now gets his friend thrown into prison. When the master hears about this injustice, he announces a judgment upon the unforgiving servant (verse 18:34,35)
“And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should
pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each
of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
That may not mean very much to you until you understand the significance of the word “torturers”. When a person was thrown in jail for not paying his debt, to motivate him to pay up, he was turned over to the torturers. There are several levels of understanding here, perhaps best seen as degrees of judgment. The first being the unmerciful servant is being mentally “tormented” in his thoughts because of his unwillingness to forgive. Secondly, the word also implies to be physically tormented by disease. Finally, depending upon the size of the debt, the imprisonment could be permanent. Yikes….
Applying this personally, it basically means God does not tolerate unforgiveness or pride in our lives. We need to settle up our account with Him. Forget who is at fault and stop believing you have a right not to forgive. My friend, that how we open the door to sickness, disease and spirits of torment and infirmity. Purpose in your heart to forgive and seek to be reconciled with others. Owe no one anything except the debt of love.
Refuse to drag all disobedience, unforgiveness, pride, self righteousness and such into the new year. Deal with it and then …
LET IT GO!
Yes, I plan to go into 2015 without unforgiveness towards anybody. It is easier for me to do that now than it used to be. It is always a hard road when in close relationship to someone who is in process of hurting you or someone you love but when it is only past memories the decision to forgive and the amazing gift of freedom from bitterness makes it so worthwhile as well as easier overtime. The road starts out complicated and painful but then you walk into wide open spaces and brighter days.