Tag Archives: unforgiveness

Dining on Prison Swill

ball and chainRecently, I had a short dream in which I saw prison keepers in a dungeon-like setting, who were eating “the prison diet.” This meant that they were eating the same poor-quality food as the prisoners whom they were guarding.

After pondering the dream and praying into it, I understood that the prison keepers represented any of us who, in our minds, hold other people under lock and key.  We do this by having attitudes of unforgiveness, offense, jealousy, envy, and criticalness. We may feel justified in doing so, because in many cases those whom we mentally hold in prison really did something that was wrong.

But by holding such grudges, prison keepers end up in the same bondage as the prisoners. They become like them, not enjoying the goodness which God meant for them to enjoy — hence, the picture of them eating the prison diet.

If we want to live in the freedom which God intends for us, we have to let those whom we have “locked up” in our minds go free. In giving freedom, we receive it.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Jesus told us, in Matthew 5:44, to bless those who curse us and pray for them who despitefully use us. What we dish out to others is what we end up eating ourselves.

Open Doors to Deception

Believe it or not, some Christians are deceived because they have openings to the occult in their lives.  I discussed this at greater length in one of my previous posts, What Well Are You Dipping From?  If we have not repented of and renounced past occult dealings, there can be a door ajar in our lives for deception to sneak through.  I have known prophetic people who were so eager for revelation that they were not fussy about where it came from, as long as they got it.  We must not desire knowledge at any price.  Adam and Eve were tempted by the serpent with illicit knowledge, and the result of them caving in to that temptation was deception and death (Genesis 3).  Deception always results in some form of death.

Pride is a huge entrance for deception in our lives.  Obadiah 1:3 says, “The pride of your heart has deceived you.”  The devil’s rebellion against God was brought about by his pride: I will ascend … I will exalt my throne … I will sit … I will be like the Most High” (see Isaiah 14:12-15).  His pride deceived him into thinking he could actually depose God Almighty and usurp His throne.  He didn’t stand a chance! – but he was so deceived that he didn’t know it.

We must be humble, teachable, and accountable if we are to stay clean of deception (or get free from it).  We must be willing to receive correction.

Feeding on things written or spoken by those who make it their “ministry” to criticize and “expose” other Christians opens us up to deception, because the spirit of the accuser of the brethren is behind these materials.  The authors of them follow in the footsteps of the one who “accused them [God’s saints] before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10).

There is a valid place for apologists who inform us about cults.  Unfortunately, there are many who cry “cult” and “heretic” about everyone who does not interpret Scripture from the same viewpoint as theirs.  How do we identify those who are accusers and differentiate them from true ministries?

1.)  They are consistently critical, not only pointing out error, but trashing the person, rather than exposing a spirit.

2.)  They want to talk about negatives, but don’t have positives to offer.  Yelling, “It’s dark in there!” doesn’t do anything to dispel the darkness.  You have to turn on the light.  God wants us to spread light to the lost and live in Christ-likeness, not grouse about how bad other Christians are.

3.)  There is no spirit of love, grace, and mercy.

4.)  There is an attitude of mocking, scoffing, and sarcasm.

Fearing deception opens us up to it.  Fear it and you will find it.  The fear of error can so paralyze us that we are unable to walk in God’s truth.  God is able to keep us from deception if we trust Him to do so.  More on this when we get to the post on antidotes to deception.

Second-guessing words or impressions we receive from the Lord brings confusion and an inability to hear God rightly.  He has promised to speak to us and to help us recognize His voice.  Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Read John 10:1-29 for a fuller understanding of this promise.

Allowing oneself to think and say what does not line up with truth and God’s Word is a surefire way to succumb to deception.  Doing this brings destruction in many lives.  “God doesn’t love me.”  “I can’t do that!” (when God has given you a gift or task).  “I am not as good as so-and-so.”  “God doesn’t want to heal me.”  “God may do things for others, but He won’t do them for me.”  Please stop that!  If you keep saying it, you will believe it and thereby neutralize your destiny.  It is not the truth.  It is deception.

Refusal to acknowledge, confess, repent of, and renounce sin in our lives flings the door wide open to deception.  “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). 

Unforgiveness, bitterness, and lack of love for others will always lead to deception as well.  “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now.  He who loves his brother dwells in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him.  But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:9-11).

We need to regularly ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts for any hidden sin or unforgiveness issues, and to reveal these areas to us so that we can repent and be clean.

Next time we will talk about some antidotes to deception.

Previous: Deceived or Not Deceived? (Part 2)
Next: Antidotes to Deception (Part 4) 

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Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual

Out of the Fire Ministries

 

Forever Forgiven (Part 5): Forgiveness vs. Righteous Judgment

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Although we must forgive even when the offender is not repentant, forgiveness does not cancel out God’s righteous judgment.  God is a just God.  He will vindicate the innocent, and He will deal with the guilty.  In Exodus 34: 6, 7, God calls Himself, “…The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and trangression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.”

It is our place to make the decision to forgive, but it is God’s place to sort out how to deal with the trespasses that have been committed.  Some of us have suffered very deep wrongs — crimes against ourselves and our loved ones that are unthinkable.  In the natural world order, we may forgive murderers and molesters who have wreaked havoc in our lives, but their wrongdoing must still be paid for in the criminal court system.  Justice will be served.  Consequences must be handed out.

The need for justice goes beyond criminal court cases in the natural world.  When deep offenses take place, and we do our part to forgive, we can leave the injustices we have suffered in God’s hands.  His sense of fairness is bigger than ours.  He knows how to deal with it.

You may be thinking, “I forgave ___________, but I don’t think I can trust him anymore.”  Maybe not.  Forgiveness does not necessarily bring with it automatic trust.  Forgiveness is to be given freely, but reestablishing trust takes time.  Not trusting someone does not necessarily mean you are harboring unforgiveness toward him.  To hand your wallet to a person who recently pilfered from you would not be wisdom. Neither would it be wise to immediately entrust a betrayer of your deepest secrets with more of the same.  Restoration is a process.

This concludes the Forever Forgiven series of posts.  May you find freedom in knowing that your forgiven sins are completely washed away.  May you pass that same freedom on to others by forgiving them from the heart and choosing to remember their sins no longer.

Previous — Forever Forgiven (Part 4): The Redeeming Power of Forgiveness

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

Before Whom We Stand, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Forever Forgiven (Part 4): The Redeeming Power of Forgiveness

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When we forgive people, we supernaturally release freedom into their lives, so that they can come into their God-given destinies.  Even if they are not sorry for what they have done, by forgiving them we prepare the way in the spirit realm for them to hear God speak to them about repentance.  This is true because of the law of binding and loosing (releasing), which God has given to His Church: And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19).

Jesus gave us the perfect example of the power of forgiveness to set people free.  When He was dying on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  Jesus forgave entirely unrepentant men for the sin they were committing against Him.  Some time later, Acts 6:7 tells us that “…the word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly.  And a great number of the priests were obedient to the faith.  Very likely, many of these priests had played a guilty part in crucifying Jesus!  We don’t know how much time went by between the crucifixion and their conversion, but there is a direct connection between Jesus forgiving them from the cross, and their hearts eventually being changed to believe on Him.

When we release things upon the earth, according to Matthew 16:19, they are released in heaven.  Changes are put into motion in the spirit realm.  Those things, in turn, eventually are released back into the earth.  Our willingness to forgive those who have harmed us brings blessing, freedom, and godly change into their lives.

Previous — Forever Forgiven (Part 3): Forgiving in His Likeness 
Next — Forever Forgiven (Part 5): Forgiveness vs. Righteous Judgment

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

Before Whom We Stand, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

Forever Forgiven (Part 3): Forgiving in His Likeness

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We said that God not only covered our sin with Jesus’ blood; He washed it away.  This is also how He wants us to look at other people’s sin against us.  When God forgives us, He chooses to forget our sin.  He wants us to choose not to remember their sin anymore, either.  Once we have forgiven them, as far as we are concerned, their sin is erased, not merely covered.  We can’t peek under a covering at their sin any more than we can for our own forgiven sin.  It is gone, and we must treat it that way.  This is especially true if the process of asking and giving forgiveness has taken place between us and the one who has offended us.

We can be like God in the completeness of our forgiving:

Jeremiah 31:34 For I will forgive their wickedness, and I will remember their sin no more. 

We can determine that once we have forgiven an offense, we will never mention it to the offender again.

Ezekiel 33:16None of their past sins will be brought up again …. 

We can decide to forgive — even if the person does not ask forgiveness — and choose to forget the offense.  This means if we find ourselves at future times thinking again about the hurtful incident, we say, “God, I forgave _____________, and I’m not going to dredge that up again in my mind.”

Forgiveness is not easy, because our emotions get in the way.  But as we keep on choosing to forgive, remind ourselves that we have forgiven, and ask God to take away the hurt from our insides, eventually our emotions line up with our righteous decision to forgive.

If you are harboring any unforgiveness toward anyone and you would like to be free, here’s a simple prayer of release to help you:

Father, I have been hurt so badly by ____________, but I choose to forgive right now.  I understand that ____________’s sin against me is now erased, as far as how I must look at it.  Please give me grace to not remember the offense anymore, and to love ____________ as though it had never happened.  I ask you to take away my hurt, and to set the matter right.  Thank You that You are faithful to do the healing in my heart.  In Jesus’ Name I pray.

Previous — Forever Forgiven (Part 2): Holding Offense 
Next — Forever Forgiven (Part 4): The Redeeming Power of Forgiveness

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

Before Whom We Stand, by Lee Ann Rubsam