There is freedom released in the heart of a man who forgives and feels forgiven by God! No question, forgiveness is the very heart of God toward us. But its also an agreement with the heart of God toward others. How do we know when we have entered into the process of Biblical forgiveness? A burden is lifted in our heart!
Forgiving is the experience that shapes the heart of every follower of Christ! When a burden is lifted – freedom breaks forth! The fruit of engaging in the process of forgiveness with God increases your ability to be yourself and love as you were created to love… with all your heart. This work of the Holy Spirit results in a tenderness toward God and those who have wounded us. We come to the other side of forgiveness when we are able to agree with the heart of God toward those who have wronged us. We begin to see those who hurt us through the eyes of Jesus. We begin to feel what He feels towards them.
Best of all, we can begin to pray for others as Jesus prays for them – without hindrance or hesitation! (Heb. 7:25)
Jesus commanded us to pray for our enemies and bless them with our words. We can do this only as we forgive and live free of wounds. As we contend for and practice walking in forgiveness, we see the fruit of true freedom on the inside by breaking the roots of bitterness and judgmental attitudes. Forgiveness must be understood as a spiritual reality, where God gets involved on a level that goes beyond our human reasoning. Forgiving is, to our heart; like cancelling a debt we feel we are owed by the person who wronged us. Yet, when done in the power of the Holy Spirit, there is always a burst of energy to live in greater victory in Christ!
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance…” (Rom. 5:3)
Rejoicing in the Freedom:
Learning how to rejoice in the reward of our temporary sufferings and pain, is one of the greatest spiritual principles of life in Christ. We forgive because it is the will of God, but also because it releases greater freedom in the spirit! This is how we overcome everything that life throws at us… with praise. Over time, we discover the great joy that is on the other side of wounds… something is produced in us.
The process of restoring our wounded heart, begins with a choice. Choose to look up, not inward! For the strength to believe, that His love is enough to soften the hurts; comes from God through the Holy Spirit (Ps. 121:1-8). The Lord is your Keeper, He is the shade that protects from the heat of the sun, He shall preserve your soul (your mind, will and emotions). He will release in you a freedom to sustain you in your going out and coming in… forever. This promise is true and I consistently rejoice in it every time I need to forgive!
…And freedom breaks forth to sweeten my victory.
We appreciate what the Lord is doing through you and RevivalHut Ministry. Many nations are coming to know who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Even now we are full of joy especially through the teaching and testimonies in this part of Kenya. Bungoma leaders and pastors who attended the teachings say the following after talking to them:
- they were equipped with the teachings
- their congregations have increased
- they now have spiritual food for the flock
- they are receiving the first certificates, ready to start the next level
- they have witnessed the Glory of God.
We just want to inform you that we shall put our resources again into this work and spare no limit to time for these teachings… the second lessons. For Christ sake we shall sacrifice and believe for advance to the Kingdom of God. That is what we always do. We have sent a signal to the regions to which we have teaching points (locations) that soon manuals will be out and students are very happy.
We know your busy schedule – time and funds may not allow you to visit nations frequently, because the demand may be very high. We request you come for conference and promoting to see what God is doing… at a time when you are in Kenya. We will go on without you coming to start because of financial complications, but we love you and need to stay in touch with you. Maybe, God willing may just come at a latter stage when all lessons are through and when everything is okay.
Our hope is to train in all ways in second teachings. You said something about artisan work, like dress making, carpentry and marketable skills… do you still carry this vision? We have space and rooms that have electricity, we can use them after registering with the government. Many are ready to move at the “Pace of God”.
Finally we want to say that we benefited through the teaching in many ways… First – those who come invited for teaching received Christ and are our church members. These have given us hope and strength, it is an increase and impact in the region. Second – we are becoming equipped ministers of the Gospel of the Kingdom and we desire more of God. There is no limiting God and the teachings of Jesus, even other pastors say so. With great joy, friendship grows much living in God’s House.
Sister Beatrice & Chris
The first thing we learn from this verse is that fear is a spirit… an atmosphere that is personified. This means a being with a spirit is occupying some space in our thoughts and imagination that is not from God. In other words, its a demonic stronghold… a house of thoughts ruled by a demonic spirit. We understand that this spirit is not from God, because of two realities. First, has to do with what God has given every believer… “power, love and soundness of mind, or peace. These are the greatest platforms to build a spiritual identity! Now the second reality is that what God gives has authority or dominion over fear… power dissolves fear, love casts out fear and soundness of mind breaks the power of fear. Well… that means there is just no place for the devil to hide in the believer’s identity, unless that believer allows squatters. The true believer can be clothed in the Glory of God!
Let Me Explain:
It’s interesting to me that all of the creatures God made had coverings… except man. Animals had fur, birds had feathers and fish had scales or shells. But man did not have any outer covering… as he didn’t need it before the fall. Why? Because God clothed man in His Glory.
“You made him (man) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honor.” (Ps 8:5)
The atmosphere of the Garden of Eden was permeated with the same splendor as heaven… a fearless place full of worship and love. There was no sin in the beginning and man walked with God everyday in a peace filled relationship in the “cool of the day”. Even the term “cool of the day” is ruach in the Hebrew language and means spirit or glory. This means they walked together daily in a spiritual dimension where they shared a oneness that was maintained by God’s Glory (a heavenly covering) and God’s Honor (heaven’s atmosphere).
The Garden of Eden was Heaven on Earth:
The original Hebrew word for “crowned” means “to encircle”, “to surround’. In other words, Adam and his wife were surrounded by God’s Glory and Honor. They had been clothed with the Glory of God and didn’t need natural clothing. They were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship and did not need natural knowledge. God was giving man a wonderful environment to rule, where God would truly be their provision and protection if this stewardship could be maintained.
Losing the Glory:
However, once they had been deceived by the serpent and sinned, they were no longer able to focus on spiritual reality as the Glory that once clothed them, seemed to lift. They found themselves naked. Notice that they immediately respond to their new condition by becoming afraid. They made coverings for themselves and hid from God. This is an interesting response since Adam and his wife felt no shame of being naked before they sinned (Gen 2:25).
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Gen 3:7)
Why would they even consider making coverings for themselves? Weren’t they the only human beings in the Garden of Eden? Weren’t they surrounded by only animals, birds and fish? Yet an opening of their eyes also left an opening of the door to a spirit of fear.
Hearing God’s Voice:
The reason is given when Adam is answering God’s call “He answered, I heard You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Gen 3:10). Adam and Eve were afraid, because they were naked before God. I understand being ashamed, but why would they be afraid? They were afraid, because they were naked and had lost their original God given Glory. Now they found themselves controlled by a deception, a satanic lie that they needed natural covering and natural knowledge to sustain their lives. This came as a fulfillment to what God said to them earlier, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). The moment they were no longer in God’s Glory, they died spiritually and inner peace was replaced with fear and torment.
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor 4:6) NO MORE FEAR!
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us (or restore to us) all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32) HE HAS DELIVERED US!
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 Jn. 4:17-19) LOVE HAS CONQUERED FEAR!
We must speak the truth in love! In trying to win the approval of others I hear so many stories. Stories that might be exciting and fun to listen to, but lack integrity. What is not truthful, does not qualify as a testimony! By that I mean the story goal might be very virtuous, in that we want our listeners to be moved to change their direction in life… but when facts do not line up, God cannot bless our efforts. The reason for that is obvious I think… it wreaks of manipulation, and therefore it is not the truth spoken in love. We must value the integrity of truth! Remind yourself of the goal again… “that we grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ”!
Truth is Vital for Belief!
One of the most important reasons truth matters so much, is that we are telling a bigger story than our own! Notice the following testimony from a soldier who was at the cross when Jesus was being crucified. Notice the testimony fulfills Scripture! Its less about the one testifying … and more about the King of Glory. Read it and then I will share some thoughts about this interesting moment.
“Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who were crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN. And again another Scripture says, they shall look on Him whom they pierced” (Jn. 19:32-37)
An Eye Witness Account Carries Seed for the Future!
This testimony was no simple observation, it was an eye witness account of a “kairos” moment in history… a seed for future fruitful belief. Something was clicked into human events that God would make sure carried more weight than just a nice story line. God was making a significant point, that although Jesus was dying like a ruthless criminal; this was no ordinary moment in the handling of human justice. This man was innocent and the testimony of His innocence reverberated all the way through Biblical history and discourse.
During the days of Moses and the Exodus of the Jews from Egyptian slavery, a prophetic act was performed during the last night before their deliverance. Blood from an unblemished lamb was to be placed on the door posts and lintel of the houses where they ate and when the death angel passed over the houses of the Children of Israel… they would be spared. Interestingly, they were to eat the lamb without breaking any of its bones (Ex. 12:46)(Nu. 9:12). In order to preserve the truthfulness of this event the Jewish people commemorate and remember all that took place through a Passover Celebration every year. They tell the stories and remember the significance of the blood that was shed, even in the way they prepared their unblemished lamb for the feast… not a bone shall be broken.
It Testifies of the Authenticity of Christ – The Lamb of God!
The true Unblemished Lamb gave Himself for the sins of the world. He died to bring deliverance to every believing heart. He died without any bones broken, and fulfilled the Scripture through the mouth of a soldier who observed His crucifixion. It speaks to the honor God gives to the innocent! Even David would later tell us that God will deliver the righteous from all affliction. Although God would place our sin upon Christ in His death on the cross; He would not allow any bones to be broken in the process (Ps. 34:19-20). It is because He was innocent, that this testimony becomes a powerful point of our believing.
The Grip of Sin is Broken – And the Testimony of Christ is True!
“I will restore or replace for you” says the Lord, “the years that the locust has eaten… the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame. And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.” (Joel 2:25-27)
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Although the past is irreversible and overwhelming at times… God is the restorer of broken dreams and shattered lives! He has declared a New Day available for all of humanity! God has laid a foundation of hope in Christ – He is saying we can be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)… and our old ways can be in the past! There is a new beginning waiting for us, filled with new chances, new opportunities and new expectations (Isa. 43:18-21). God will wipe away our rotten past and restore that which was lost, stolen or destroyed by sin, brokenness or the devil.
Restoration begins by Believing!
As the Savior of mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ has done all to rescue us from the things that diminish or destroy us. If we can but believe – hope opens the door! There is a restoration coming into our spirits, minds, bodies, relationships, and other aspects of our humanity. Believers can be delivered from oppression (Acts 10:38) and rest in the safety that effects spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being (Mt. 11:28-30).
Come, you weary, broken and lost and find a place of safety in His loving care for you.
Hope is a Destination!
Run into the arms of your Father in the Spirit! There you will have plenty and be complete, satisfied and whole. He wants you to know the truth and the freedom of walking in His Presence! It is His joy to reveal His heart toward you! He is a Father… like no other. He will not allow His people to be orphans or feel ashamed anymore. This is a profound truth that no one else can claim.