Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Matthew 6:14, 15
14 "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
I remember, one time, while a young mother, I was carrying our oldest son on my hip, and helping our oldest girl out of the car. We'd gone uptown to run some errands, and as the door on the car was shut I looked up at the pane glass window of the business I parked in front of to see our reflection and distinctly heard a voice inside me say, "If you don't forgive that dead man, you'll not grow any closer with Me."
This took my breath away. I knew this to be the voice of the Lord, I gave my life to Him when I was 8 years old. He was (and is) EVERYTHING TO ME. I knew the "dead man" He spoke to me about to have been my father. He died when I was about 12 years old.
My Daddy was a tough old bird. He didn't really have a good handle on relationships. Had a difficult time showing his affections and overall, just a crusty, hard man that my brother and I had a difficult time with, him, his discipline, mannerisms, emotions etc. He was an officer in the military in WWII, and he also didn't know how to leave THAT behind. Our home was ran like a military establishment. :) He said "Jump!", we'd said "How far?" and so on. You get the picture. His father gave he and his siblings away after his Mom died (he was 7) and NONE of them could ever reconcile with that one.
I was 12 when he died, and had a lot of unresolved conflict concerning my Dad. It had to be dealt with, and thus the visit from the Lord that day on downtown Main Street. My immediate response was something like, OK, I'll get back with you on this. My heart sank and stayed that way all morning long.
After I got home fed the kids and put them down for a nap, I knew it was time to take care of business. While I was before the Lord, I humm hawed around and finally told him that I was in a RUT, with this unforgiveness, had been there so long that I didn't know HOW to get out of it. Told Him that I was willing, but needed His HELP.
We can stay in unforgiveness so long, that it will harden our hearts and cause a root of bitterness and we will be like a poison to everyone we touch...it will just ooozzze out of us that way. So pitiful and so ugly, isn't it? We have all known people that way, even if we've not been there ourselves, it's sad to see and even worse to be there, it's about like having a rotten gut all the time.
My Dad was not INTENTIONALLY being a jerk...it's just what he knew.
God HELPED me, I got over it and it was a VALUABLE lesson the Lord taught me.....But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. GOD HELP US. None of us want to be on the unforgiving side of God.
Matthew 6:12 tells us:
12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
Someone told me recently that we don't forgive people - we forgive their sin, because forgive means to cut off. Well, YES - that is ONE of the meanings of the word......we do forgive them their trespass against us, but God is plain and clear that we forgive our debtors as well, and if we don't, what the consequences are. It's a package deal, else it would be lopsided, that "forgiveness." We need it ALL.
Not long ago, the Lord asked me to phone a person that has done my family great harm, and tell them that I forgive them. I thought of it ONLY a moment and said YES. After I made the phone call, said what I needed to, the person wanted to DRAG me into conversation that was not beneficial, and so I just let it be known that I said what I needed to and was bringing the call to an end. When I hung up the phone, the Lord WASHED OVER my spirit, soul and body and confirmed to me by His Spirit what I'd done was pleasing to Him and HELPED ME.
Anything that would remove us from fellowship with the Lord is unfortunate, because the Lord is after RELATIONSHIP with us....and that should also be what motivates us. I don't want anything between He and I. I don't want anything between me and anyone else...that would hinder my relationship with the Lord, that's what our enemy the devil is after, he's the stealer, killer and destroyer, and lives up to his title (John 10:10). I want to be on good terms with the Lord, no matter what it costs me.
Father, HELP US!!!! We need You! We need You to help us to see when we need forgiveness, and when we need to forgive. We don't want ANYTHING between You and us. Help us to see with Your eyes. To listen to You and do what You say. In Jesus' Name.