When I was a kid, my grandmother had this thing about going to bed with clean feet. I can remember getting ready to climb into bed and Granny, with her keen eye spotting what I wasn’t in the least concerned about, saying, “Get in there and wash those nasty feet!” To this day, if I look down and see the soles of my feet looking murky, I chuckle and think of her—and I dutifully go get the job done.
You and I walk through a lot of ugliness throughout the course of every day. Some of us are carrying worry, drama, bitterness, unforgiveness, traumatic experiences, anger, and unbelief right into bed with us, where we didn’t wash them from the part of us that comes into direct contact with these spiritual hindrances. They’re like filth, but in our souls instead of on our soles.
Father, we are getting ready to lie down and we want to receive the restorative sleep that You give to those You love. We ask Your forgiveness for anything that puts a barrier between You and us. We want nothing to isolate us from Your voice.
We ask You to wash us clean from the inside out. Lord, some of us have come into contact with evil spirits that would attach themselves to us like leeches. We have seen and heard things we shouldn’t have. Give us back our innocence and trust again so life doesn’t cause us to become calloused and hard.
And Lord, even though our feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, at the end of the day we still need to wash away the grime of walking through this world, picking up bad habits and wrong mindsets. We release our frustrations and our failures into the wash pan and we let You pour them down the drain forever. We don’t wallow tonight in regret or worry. Our feet are clean and we feel better, and we can now go to sleep knowing Your angels watch over us.
As You visit us in the night watches, upload Your mysteries into us. Let us awaken in the morning with praise and thanksgiving, a sense of peace and purpose, and wisdom to go about all we do with excellence. Your new mercies await us on the other side of the sleep we’re ready to receive. Tomorrow, You’ll order our steps again and at bedtime, we will allow You to wash away anything the day may have left behind.
Thank You for giving us clean hands (and feet), and a pure heart. Goodnight, our beloved Savior!
Fly—just as if it doesn’t occur to you that you cannot.
When I was a child, one of our neighbors had a ceramic kitchen plaque that told about the bumblebee being scientifically unable to fly because of its wing-to-body-size ratio. The plaque went on to conclude, “The bumblebee doesn’t know this, however, so it flies anyway.” Odd that these many years later, this memory still often comes to mind…
What thing has happened to you which makes you feel disqualified from your destiny? Is it a moral failure? A betrayal? Is it financial/asset loss? Bad decisions? Recurring weaknesses? Lack of education or credentials? Insecurity? Inexperience? Divorce? Has the enemy attacked your health?
Perhaps one day heaven will reveal why, but it’s ironic how some of the believers who’ve most successfully prayed for others to receive healing find themselves (or perhaps a close family member) bound by a chronic physical ailment which remains unhealed—much like the Apostle Paul, whose deliverance ministry to others didn’t exempt him from that persistent “thorn in the flesh.” Just as I’ve heard people mock someone who teaches on healing but still wears eyeglasses; or who has had to live with recurring cancer, or has had a child born with a birth defect, I wonder if Paul too had some accusers who were quick to point out his own unanswered prayers in progress.
Now is a season where the devil’s minions are attacking the body of Christ with accusations of unworthiness and disqualification. Many are torn between persevering and instead going underground, or even giving up altogether. Many mature saints find themselves now battling depression and despair; and moreover, some have had to rebuke the spirit of suicide in their own lives.
My word to you is DO NOT ABANDON YOUR POST! If you have undealt-with sin, confess and forsake it. Repent. Hold yourself accountable. Then get back to what God has assigned you. If it isn’t a sin issue but an attack against your character, your ministry, your family, your health or whatever, then dig in your heels and stay the course. I’ve had some nuisance illnesses and injuries over the past year or so for which the enemy has taunted, “Yeah, you teach on healing, but you can’t get healed yourself. You should just shut up because you make God look bad!” You may as well know this: in the same area God has gifted you also lies the potential for your greatest personal battle. You can be sure the devil has studied your weaknesses, and has mapped-out the places in which you pose the biggest threat against darkness. Don’t be moved by this. God’s power within you (not your own goodness or skill) qualifies your fragile earthen vessel to be a container of His treasures!
Don’t despair! Be like the bumblebee who is oblivious to the scientific arguments of its accuser. You may never soar with the agility of the butterfly, bumblebee, but you stay airborne anyway. Abraham “considered not his own (90+ year-old) body” when it came to believing God’s promises. When the accuser of the brethren tells you that you need to just crawl off and hide, to sit down, to silence your testimony, you tell him, “I DON’T CONSIDER IT! I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH!”
If God has called you, He has also equipped you…even if your wings appear too small to hold up the burden you’re bearing! Fly, child of God, fly!
“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9, Message Translation.
Sometimes we just have to hold our peace, because no answer is going to be the right one–and that’s generally true when emotions run high. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into commenting about something just for the sake of speaking about a matter, especially if you can’t see the big picture or have too little information to give a fair assessment.
When you blurt out a thought in haste that can be perceived in a way other than what you intended, it quite possibly will be! You or I can’t always convey with our mouth what’s in our heart…and sometimes we don’t realize how foolish something sounds until it rolls out. Man, it’s tough to walk that line in a culture where everyone is so vocal about anything and everything.
If you’ve ever experienced being misunderstood, you can relate to the embarrassment, horror, or pain that comes with it; so cut some slack to the other person whose words appear to have come out very wrong, especially if his/her comments can be taken multiple ways. We live in a world that loves to uncover and replay other people’s gaffes and flawed expressions for the purpose of discrediting, mocking, or harming. Even though it’s true that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…remember also that the mouth doesn’t always do a very good job expressing what’s actually in that heart.
As communication goes, we know how to do quantity; but quality, maybe not so much. Just as others don’t fully know us, we likewise don’t know what’s truly in the thoughts and intent of others; so perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to assume absolutes. Let’s be a little kinder to one another.
James 3:2 “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
Lord, help us not to stumble with our words!
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” (Proverbs 15:13 ESV)
I remember years ago when I worked in human resources in the mining industry, how that certain workers compensation claims were for a condition called cumulative trauma, defined as “the excessive wear and tear on tendons, muscles and sensitive nerve tissue caused by continuous use over an extended period of time.”
It wasn’t one big injury that caused a breakdown, but rather, a series of little ones over and over again, and instead of recuperating, the injuries weren’t given time to heal and they began to compound.
I believe there are a lot of us who emotionally are walking around with old injuries that were never healed, and who desperately need to be delivered from a literal spirit of trauma. We feel like because we’re saved and functional, that it’s ok to keep up appearances though we’re very much broken. It’s not an insufficiency on the part of Christ; but rather, a lack of awareness or at least of courage on our part to go back in and allow the pain of uncovering those old hurts in order that we might heal. It’s a bit like a surgery to re-break an old fracture so that it can begin to heal correctly. We avoid those situations because we know there is going to be pain involved; and we got enough of it the first time around. And since we are already suffering, we at least know the full measure of our pain and can compensate and cushion the known. It’s scary to venture past that threshold of knowing, so we stay broken–either out of fear, out of guilt or shame, out of dread, or we may just be too tired to pull ourselves up out of the ditch of despair.
I can only tell you this because I’m getting ready to do some hard work untangling some years-old trauma in my own life. I’m not looking forward to it. I need to though, because it stands in the way of my joy and it blocks who I need to become. Some of it involves generational issues, some involves too many hits with too little recovery time in between. I’ve hit a wall and all I really want to do is stick my head in the sand and hope for the best–just being transparent here! My desire for pretty much anything is drained. I’ve come to that place where I can’t really help any of you beyond a certain point until I deal with what I’ve put off confronting for years. I read awhile back in a book on deliverance ministry that until we do the work of cleansing our lives of bondages, we are hindered in our ability to help others with theirs. Gee, it’s painful just to admit that!
The good news is, there’s healing from trauma if we will come to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! He heals; make no mistake about that. If I fall short or anyone else, He is still totally able to help you be free if you’ll release your situation into His hands and be obedient. Pray with me, as you and I endeavor to launch into a new place of healing:
Lord, please bless those of us who are limping on old injuries and cumulative emotional trauma. It has become a crippling disease of the heart and soul, that keeps the wounded from moving forward and becoming whole again. Some don’t even know they’re in that state; except that they haven’t felt emotions for a long, long time. In one sense, it feels safe to be in that cocoon of emptiness; but in other ways, it’s incredibly dark and full of much regret. The duplicity is smothering. They don’t know whether to be glad or alarmed that they’re watching life and destiny move on without them.
These precious people have survived accidents, have served on the front lines of war, police, rescue workers, medical professionals, been abused or neglected or exploited, served in pastoral roles, as caregivers, have been victims of rape or battery, multiple tragedies, financial and emotional and spiritual bankruptcy, just to name a few. They have grown comfortably numb, and the alarm of their condition has begun to fade. They wanted more from life, but it seems to matter less all the time. Part of them wants to change, but the maintenance required seems too great. O God, would you minister to and heal them?
Cause them to remember joy and innocence again, what it was like before deep disappointment and tragedy and overload began to rob them of their soundness. Lord, would you revive the dreams they may have lost along the way? Would you help them learn now to stop padding their personal space to keep others well-beyond connection? Let them love and be loved in return. Bring back the laughter, the highs and lows, the ability to cry whereas now they don’t feel any of those emotions?
We ask You to show us how to minister and be ministered to. Father, if these have been overcome by a spirit of trauma, teach us how to break that stronghold so that healing can come. Lord, give us courage to allow You to tear away the crusted-on bandages where we’ve attempted to fix our own brokenness. Heal us of the gangrene of the heart. Help us, if needed, to forgive those who let us down. Help us to forgive ourselves for not measuring up in our own estimation. The losses keep endless-looping in our minds. Please break the cycle, Father. We need You to come to our rescue.
Teach us to pray, Lord. And for those of use who are hurting so badly that we can’t pray, surround us with intercessors. We need to learn how to be restored, Father. If we’ve allowed certain sins or habits or wrong feelings to grant the enemy legal access in our lives, please show us where we have gone wrong. Some of us may have been traumatized our whole life and have never really experienced extended periods of security or joy. Our habits mimic the instability of our life stories. Lord, let this be the season where we are made whole. We’ve learned to manage, but it’s time to go beyond maintaining. You are the glory and the lifter of our head. Make us trophies of Your deliverance, and help us to rescue others who are in the quagmire of despair as well. You are rescuing us to make us rescuers of others, and in Jesus’ name, we will have a genuine, unfeigned victory: no longer covering up a state of deep unhappiness, but sharing a testimony of true freedom.
“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 AMPC
I remember as a child one day, my family was in our car on the road around Marmet, WV, at the point where the highway runs parallel with Interstate 64. I watch intently as, just across concrete dividers, cars whizzed by in a great hurry on a road much nicer than the one on which we were traveling. I asked my dad why we weren’t on that other road, and he explained to me that it wasn’t really going to the same place we were headed; and besides, it was a “toll road” you had to pay to use. The whole concept of a special road on which you had to pay to ride was huge for a little kid to grasp, but I knew my dad was not going to pay that toll just to satisfy a curious Lisa with her nose pressed to the rear window glass! It would be quite a few years later before I would ever be headed anywhere that necessitated the use of that interstate toll road; and yet, almost 50 years later, I still recall that conversation and the longing I felt to go wherever was special enough to justify paying that toll!
Some of you are feeling frustrated because you’re on one road and you feel as if your destiny is on another. The roads may even be running right alongside one another, and all that seems to separate you from where you want to be is a wall. You may have great responsibilities that seem as if they’ll hold you in limbo forever, and the only thing worse than having no destiny at all is having one that you can see but can’t reach.
Father, I pray for the frustrated and discouraged, that You’ll meet them where they are. It’s a hard thing to be separated from our life purpose by the concrete divider of, as Ecclesiastes puts it, “time and chance,” and we humans sometimes fear we will never fulfill the reason for our being here. We are stuck behind debt, or life events that derail our momentum, or our own sense of inadequacy, or even our reluctance to step out in faith. Our road seems so shabby and secondhand compared to the on on which we see others traveling.
Keep us focused on right goals. Help us to appreciate the seasons, and not to wish away the significant moments on this current path which we find ourselves. Help us to maintain integrity to keep doing what’s good and right even when others don’t see. Help us to see that You’re for us, and that You will finish the good work You’ve begin in us. If we are meant to accomplish a particular thing, we won’t miss it as long as we trust, obey You, and operate on Your divine timeline.
If we make bad decisions, please redeem the time for us. May the detour not be wasted time, and may we come away from that season having learned and having grown. May we be even more determined, but wiser for having to put our trust in Your grace and unfailing love for us.
And Father, help us never lose the wonder we had on the other side of the dream. Keep us humble and grateful when we do at last walk in our destiny. Help us to remember, when we’ve been granted our answers to prayer, to pay forward the gifts which we’ve been entrusted. May we use words like “please” and “thank-you” often, never forgetting those who’ve helped us get onto that new road we once longed to travel.
Thank You for reminding us today that we are in Your hands—the safest, most opportune, most joyful place we can ever hope to be. Our steps are ordered of the Lord. It’s good to trust You. Amen.
”To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 NKJV
Ever notice that when God introduces an exchanging of circumstances, the two extremes come into proximity of one another at some point? It’s as if beauty meets ashes in a narrow corridor, and the two have to turn sideways to get past each other.
I don’t have all the answers, but I believe that God in His goodness allows us to actually be eyewitnesses of mercy overtaking our judgment, healing overtaking our woundedness, success overtaking our failure, joy overtaking our heartbreak. He tends not to leave a long pause between the departure of the bad and the arrival of the good in many of our life situations. I pondered that today as I drove along in the rain. Perhaps God does this so that when the blessing replaces the curse, we will know it’s His fingerprints on a divine plan for our restoration…and not just some cosmic coincidence.
“Beauty” may not be immediately in sight tonight, but I pray that the time will soon arrive when you see “ashes” on its way out your door. Don’t be surprised if you hear beauty say, “excuse me,” as it gently but resolutely brushes past the ashes of what once was. It will perhaps be a little bonus gift for you to eavesdrop on the exchange as it occurs.
Your night won’t last forever. God hasn’t forgotten you. He has many more reasons for you to keep getting out of bed, breathing, willing yourself to live!
Before they came to be known as the Twelve Apostles, they were just some men who dropped what they were doing and said yes to the invitation to follow Jesus. They weren’t seminary students, temple dwellers, priests, or skilled with anything other than the tools they used to make a secular living. They had rough edges and obvious flaws—issues to be worked out. One of this team would even become His betrayer. And in a critical time when He needed them most, they fell asleep instead of watching and praying, or fled when He was arrested. In other words, they were ordinary, very imperfect people who were blessed to become part of something way bigger than the scope of their lifetimes.
And yet, when among all the followers, Christ hand-picked his core, The Twelve (and even an inner core of three of those), He “deputized” 😉 them to do something great. It was on-the-job training like the world had never seen. He was continually having to work on them, cultivate them, correct their attitudes, even referee when they disagreed with one another. They sounded a little bit like…us, don’t you think? We’re in on-the-job training, too.
So when you see an unlikely someone whose testimony attracts a whole crowd and compels them to follow Jesus Christ, don’t be so quick to write it off as counterproductive, not genuine, a ploy for attention, or even “another gospel.” Don’t pick apart his or her fledgling faith and the untrained tongue that simply tells what God has done in that person’s own life. If you or I or these excited new witnesses wait until we are all “qualified,” there will never be carriers of the Good News. We are the unqualified called—all whom Christ has rescued!
Yes, there’s always that risk that the person won’t get everything just right. We ourselves don’t always get everything just right, either. If God has called him or her to a higher place of ministry, He will groom that new disciple with time, experience, and correction.
Inexperienced and untrained as he was, one of the most powerful “witnesses” in all the Bible was a man who didn’t even know Jesus was the Christ, in the moment he was asked to give account for the unusual miracle which been done to him. The Pharisees were hoping he would give evidence to support that the miracle didn’t really come from God, because they were already accusing Jesus of being a sinner. The man, when asked, simply told the people what had been done for him: “Whether he (Jesus) be a sinner or not, I know not. One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.” (John 9:25). Isn’t it interesting that the Lord healed people who didn’t have a clue who He really was? What love for a humanity who were so unprepared to host such a Guest among them!
I believe that the last days will see more non-“preachers” leading souls to Christ than suit-and-tie clergy behind podiums in ornate buildings with stained glass windows. In moments when people are desperate for hope, they won’t be asking the witness for a copy of his/her ordination certificate; they will instead be wanting honest answers as to why we actually believe in this God we call our Heavenly Father, with whom we embrace a relationship. A hundred bullet points of theology won’t resonate to a troubled, unchurched soul like the simple words, “This is what He did for me. He will do it for you, too, if you put your trust in Him.”
The theology will come. Spiritual maturity will take place all in good time. But let the Good News run through the streets like floodwaters, spilling out of those who don’t even know the fullness of the gospel…but they DO know that, once they were blind but now they see. Don’t beat down their zeal or crush their spirit just because they’re not as schooled in the Word as you, yet. Let the babes in Christ wave their palm branches and cry, “Hosannah!” who aren’t even old enough in their spiritual birth to know why He is who they proclaim Him to be. God will use for His glory and purpose those whose gifts may have been used elsewhere. He will pull His most grateful out of crack houses, gutters, jail cells, and nightclubs. He will turn the once foul-mouthed fisherman into a follower, then a disciple, and then perhaps even an apostle—and a fisher of men!
And never hesitate to be one of those inexperienced, uneducated carriers of the gospel yourself. While many argue who can be a “preacher” and who can’t, remember: the moment you tell someone else what Jesus has done for you, you have just, in a roundabout way, done the work of an evangelist! Do it and allow the Holy Spirit to inspire someone else to put his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, too! There is no advertisement more powerful than word-of-mouth from someone who has, firsthand, tasted and seen that the Lord is good!
Proclaimed—in spite of the fact that I am one of the “unqualified” —with love!
Don’t you hate when your computer bogs out and you’re stuck on “the blue screen of death?” Spyware. Adware. Viruses. Trojan horses. Sometimes even the plugging in of just one more device. That’s the way we are when we max out our soul with carnality…then when we need to access and engage our spirit man, the soul is still trying to process all the open files of meaningless things we’ve filled up on. We feel stuck, bogged down, powerless.
Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. “(NCV) Get alone and meditate on the Lord each day, and be selective about what you allow to occupy the caches of your soul. If it’s going to slow you down or hinder your relationship with God in any way, don’t allow it in!
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.” “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15)
Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise [to God]. Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (James 5:13-16)
Is there really a connection between unforgiveness and sickness? One might argue that the two subjects were addressed separately in the Scriptures, or that one has nothing to do with the other, but I urge you to consider the possibility of how dispensing forgiveness is integral component to our health and well-being. We all get wounded by others at some point in our lives. There’s no sin in that. When we refuse to move on and we let it become a wall between us and the God who has asked us to forgive when we are wronged, it’s like applying a tourniquet to a hemorrhaging wound, but permanently. It cuts all blood flow and life off to the injured part. So one would wind up damaging or even losing the very thing he or she tried to preserve. When we refuse to forgive, it is a rebellion and therefore, sin. Making a spirit of offense a way of life can set us up for iniquity (deep, embedded sin) that is toxic to our loved ones. Look at entire cultures who live for revenge! Gangs. The Mob. We take on that same mentality of an eye-for-an-eye when we refuse to forgive. There are individuals and groups of people who are still hating and warring against one another for wrongs committed years and even centuries before they were born!
Back to the point. Forgiving those who have harmed or offended us is a critical element of healing of illnesses in our bodies. If we hold offense toward other people, it can actually hinder our recovery from sickness and can even be the root cause of certain instances of disease! And while I certainly don’t believe that every sickness is tied to unforgiveness or other sin in one’s life, I would ask you to do some honest self-assessment if you are battling a health or mental issue or other chronic problem that just won’t go away. Whether you never get well in the physical (and I believe you can), you owe it to your soul’s peace to toss some excess baggage over the side of the ship. I don’t care what excuse you’re prepared to offer me, it’s worth peace and healing to let that vendetta die and stay in the past.
Even medical science, though not necessarily enlightened as to the spiritual aspect, agrees with the assessment that unforgiveness can breed/perpetuate illness. Even if it feels unfair for you to be required to release forgiveness to someone who hurt you, please let me separate their act from your choice in my appeal for forgiveness. You had no power over what they did. You do, however, have power over what you choose to do going forward. It doesn’t mean that you are agreeing to or pleased with what they did, or that you no longer feel it was wrong. It doesn’t mean that justice no longer is applicable. It simply means that you are shifting responsibility for retribution, going forward, out of your hands and into God’s. You are no longer the jailor OR the jailed. I plead with you to value your physical, spiritual, and emotional health over the luxury of holding your offender(s) in the limbo of offense. Moreover, I plead with you to value your right standing with God in higher regard than your compulsion to hate and despise those who’ve mistreated you! The satisfaction of incubating resentment is a cheap substitute for true freedom…and it’s a poor swap for health and peace of mind.
And if it doesn’t concern you enough for your physical health, let me tell you that unforgiveness can drive you quite literally mad. I know the true story of a person whose family had a grave injustice done. I certainly don’t downplay the seriousness of what happened; but this particular member of the family would not forgive, obsessed about the situation to the point of a nervous breakdown, and now is clinically insane. That person babbles and rants all the time about what happened and is isolated from family and friends and community because the unforgiveness drove him/her to a loss of mental stability. Unless a deliverance from that tormenting lunatic spirit were to take place, the person will remain in a mental state where reason and communication and peace are beyond reach. Yes, it’s that serious. How far are you willing to let the devil enslave you to unforgiveness? Are you willing to never recover, or do you want to be free?
I wish I could tell you that you have every right to carry that grudge if it makes you feel better, but I’d be doing you a terrible disservice. You can choose to keep carrying that thing, but not without terrible consequences to yourself. You’re not hurting the other party–you’re letting poison sludge through your own body, soul, and spirit. You tie the hands of God from righting the wrong when you take this liberty to violate what His Word says about forgiveness, justice, revenge, and mercy. A grudge doesn’t create a separation from you and the person who hurt you, as it seems it should–but it actually cements the connection. Would you like to handcuff yourself to someone you have something against and have him/her everywhere you go, 24/7? When you refuse to forgive, that’s exactly what you do in the spirit realm. That person or offense then follows you day and night, giving you no rest, giving the devil legal access to attack you in your body and mind. Sickness, depression, anxiety, fear…they love to sneak through the cracks in your armor left by unforgiveness. The only way to truly sever a tie that’s capable of keeping you sick is to forgive and release. Don’t be mad because I’ve told you the truth–the good news is, you can set yourself free when you forgive.
If someone has done a terrible injustice to you, let God be the one responsible for dispensing the justice. No one wants to be sick or to suffer or to create an iniquity that can go from generation to generation in one’s family! The devil tells you that you cannot forgive that person, that employer, that race of people, that school, that political group, that church. He will even tell you that you are betraying yourself, your family, or your cause if you forgive and release. But I tell you, you can. And you must, if you want to walk in the full blessing of God! If laws have been broken and moral laws violated, judges and courts may still dispense justice and in many cases, absolutely should. But don’t let the probability of or the right/wrong outcome of those things determine whether you forgive and forgive quickly. Do it now, before a root of bitterness springs up and starts an avalanche of emotional and physical illnesses in your life.
Believe me when I tell you, people don’t really care if you choose to hurt yourself by holding that grudge. The other party may never know or never care that you feel this way. It won’t make anyone treat you better or feel sorry for you or grant you favor…or make you look like the one who was right. You sickening yourself through unforgiveness won’t compel the other person to make things right with you. If you choose to hold onto this offense, you do so to your own detriment. Please…let it go and be healed! You can do this. Pray with me:
Father, _____ hurt me. You saw it happen and you have watched from Day One as it all unfolded. I am still harboring anger, hurt, resentment, and yes, unforgiveness. It’s so hard to just let this go! My flesh says I can’t! But…I don’t want any barriers between You and me. I don’t want my refusal to cooperate with Your Word to be a cause for sickness and disease, or to cause a chain-reaction unfortunate events in my life and in my family. I don’t want to pass on a begrudging, vengeful spirit to my children and grandchildren as they watch me stew and rant and implode. I don’t want the people around me to grow weary with my constant re-hashing how I’ve been done wrong and how I can get even. I repent before You, even though the devil has told me I shouldn’t have to be sorry. I’m sorry that I let my feelings come before my relationship with You. Jesus didn’t just die for me, He died for the people who hurt and crucified Him; and He died for the people who have hurt me, too.
I declare with my mouth that I forgive ____ and I release him/her/them from this day forward of this injustice against me. Every time what was done to me comes back to my mind, I will say “I forgive” over and over again. Your Word mentioned a 70 x 7 of offenses; and while that person may not be doing evil things to me 490 times in a day, my thoughts may be rehearsing those past wrongs that many times or more in a day. So I will address every instant replay with “I forgive” because I AM forgiving! I even forgive those who are now in the grave. I even forgive myself of things I’ve done, should not have done, said, whatever. I may have done a great job of hiding my feelings about this thing, but You knew my heart all along. Forgive what I held in contempt privately even though I never told a soul! Forgiveness isn’t saying that I deny any wrongdoing on the other person’s part. It doesn’t mean that his/her/their actions will not bear consequences of sowing and reaping. It doesn’t even mean that I have to welcome future opportunities for abuse. It does, however, mean that I no longer wish harm on that person! It does mean that I stop obsessing about what I can’t rewind and change. It does mean that I love You more than I love to feel as if I’m in control. It means that I am willing to do as Jesus taught: I will love those who have made themselves my enemy. I will bless those who have cursed me. I will do good to those who hate me, and I will pray for those who persecute, bully, and accuse me falsely. You would never ask me to do what Your grace could not enable me to do, so in faith I say that I am a FORGIVER. In giving my best effort to do these things, I release Your favor over my life and I loose Your hands to be my vindicator, my healer, and my protector! When I’m tempted to take on this spirit of heaviness and unforgiveness again, I’ll think of myself kind of like a hermit crab–offense may have once been my identity; but I’ve grown since then and I can’t squeeze back into that old, small, suffocating, incarcerating shell!
And now, Father, I lay my physical and mental health conditions before You and ask that Your healing go to work in those things which unforgiveness may have caused or exasperated. Send Your blessing over my life and mend the brokenness. You can restore all things which may have lain in ruins. I look to You to provide for my needs, to right the wrongs, to bring joy and health back to me, and You may even enable me to laugh at the very thing which tried to take me out! I love You, I trust You, and I ask Your will to be done in my life. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart please You, my Rock and Redeemer! Thank You for revealing the problem and helping me to get on the path to WHOLENESS!