People have expectations. Such is life. It’s when people have and place expectations on others that can cause more problems than people realize. What most don’t realize is that most will have an expectation. Society has expectations. Churches have expectations. Companies have expectations. Families too have expectations. None are immune. For me it was a few days ago when I expected that the person in line in front of me to order his food would have been ready to order after standing and waiting for 4 minutes. But no; the person had to think about it. But I digress. It’s when you recognize that just because people have expectations; how you interact with them is on you. Just because someone sends you a text for instance; doesn’t mean you have to reply in .5 seconds. Forgiveness of the expectations of others is what can set you free.
You see; everywhere you go there is an agenda. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy so it reads in John 10:10. Now you define who the enemy is in your life. is it the media telling you what to think? Perhaps the advertisers of companies making you believe you need to have a new cell phone every 2 months. Or maybe it’s your family pushing you to have children when you haven’t even decided you want to marry the person you have been dating a hot minute. Don’t want that law degree? It doesn’t matter what it is. You need to be on watch so you don’t fall into the trap of what others want to put on you to live. You are the one living with the consequences of the choices that you make. Forgive others for putting something on you that they don’t even know they are pushing!
Jeremiah 29:11 is clear that God has a plan for you. God does! Now the caveat is that it is your responsibility to get it. Once you get your assignment from God then the expectations and plans of others are of no issue or consequence to you. So where does one begin in gaining and living in freedom?
1. Recognize that others have a plan for your life. It doesn’t matter who the ‘others’ are because it’s just you recognizing it.
2. Forgive those who have put their plan for your life upon you. They probably are not even aware of what they are doing.
3- Forgive yourself for falling into the trap of allowing the plans of others to become yours. Whatever you allow in your life is responsibility.
4- Ask God to reveal His purpose and plan for your life. And guess what? He will!
5- Start living it! There is no time like right now for you to start living!
People typically will do what they know how to do. And for you; it’s simply forgive the plans and expectations and get to living your most abundant life without barriers!
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Living in sin kills. Period. There is no freedom anywhere found in sin. And it doesn’t matter what the sin is; it kills. Forgiveness and choosing to live in perpetual sin is very dangerous because God’s Word does not change; and there is no mercy for the sins. And until that revelation is grasped in its purest form; people perish. And many more than you think are perishing right before your very eyes yet they know it not. And you too may be perishing and know it not.
Psalms 32 is very clear when it reads, “Blessed is he who transgressions are forgiven, who sins are covered.”
Now in order to have those transgressions forgiven and covered it means one not only has to acknowledge them but also repent according to Acts 3:19 where it reads to“Repent and seek forgiveness, so that times of refreshing may come.”
If you are not blessed; perhaps seeking forgiveness of sins may be the first place to start.
It continues on in verse 2 of Psalm 32, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Now; the reward is evident that man will be blessed is that no sin will count against him but also pay close attention to the second part: ‘Whose spirit is no deceit.’ This caveat is very clear that if there is deceit there is a problem. Not only this in James 1:8 it is clearly written that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Trying to hide deception is a sin in and of itself! And God is the one who knows the motives of the heart so if you think you can live in the sin and hide you are kidding yourself! Bottom line is that seeking forgiveness and living a righteous life requires confession of rebellious ways; and it doesn’t matter what you are rebelling from. Rebellion to God in sin is still rebellion to God in sin. It doesn’t matter if you are sexually immoral, bitter or a murderer. Not confessing your sin will kill you.
Psalm 32 verse 5 shares “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”-and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” What is wonderful about this particular verse is how many things occur in it. 1) first the person (David the Psalmist) acknowledge the sin, 2)confession to the Lord for the sin took place, 3) God forgave and forgave the guilt of the sin. Notice that nothing occurred until the sin was acknowledged. Nothing except the continued living in the sin and the guilt that comes with it. So I ask today: what sin are you ready to be delivered from? What do you truly need to repent of? Should you say you are without out sin I kindly ask you to seek the Lord and let Him reveal to you the truth of that. Being so deceived will only kill you as God will not be mocked nor will God uphold your sinful ways because you have chosen to deceive yourself. God is pure and just and people and sin are not.
In Psalm 32 verse 6 it reads, “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.” It is very clear ‘everyone who is godly’ which would make sense as how can you be delivered from sin when you refuse to acknowledge the One who can free you of it? God is not the father of all as that too is clear that no one get to the Father but through Jesus. Notice too the scripture is clear ‘while you may be found’ which is clear that time is of the essence. Should you choose your perpetual sin as a lifestyle you may not experience the joy of the Lord as He does not change to cower down to your sinful ways. And what a shame that would be to choose to have satan as your master who creates bondage rather than the Jesus who came to set the captives free! So again the question for the day is: what sin do you want delivered from? It doesn’t matter if it is pornography addiction, extra-marital affairs, sexual deviancy or anything else. Anything not of God is not of God and God will never change His pure mind on that. It is us that must get that and soon before it’s too late. Romans 12:2 tells us to not conform to the ways of the world but to be renewed my the transforming our minds. And that my dear reader; is a command.
Psalm 32:8 provides us with what God will do for us should we stop our nonsense and recognize the truth of His Word. It reads, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” God’s entire Word and all the words in it are instructions for life; and life in abundance according to His Word. It is not a book written for people to pick and choose what and when they want which parts that are fitting to the sin they want to keep. It is all for today as it was yesterday and will still be the law of the land tomorrow and forever. It is simply a matter of what it will take for people to get it. When people remove themselves in all their ignorance and glory to believe they know better than the One who created them; they create more bondage to live in. What must be understood is written carefully in Psalm 12: 6-8:
And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
When there is no repentance of sin there are consequences.Upholding sin is still sin as you are either for God or against Him. You cannot claim His Word and live against it and Him at the same time. Until forgiveness for sin is sought from the Lord; no times of refreshing may come. Deu 30:19 tells us, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Make today the day that you bow before God Almighty and seek forgiveness for your sins; all of them. And for your children so they may live. Do it before it’s too late.
Unforgiveness kills. Plain and simple. Many may call it cancer; however, it is a heart condition that spreads like cancer; reaching every single part of a person’s being. Unforgiveness literally kills you. Now that you know this; what is the cure? Well; the most basic and foundation element if you are a follower of Christ is quite simple. What is it? What could possibly heal one of what is causing death and destruction? God’s Word. And following God’s Word; else what would be the point? Too many people today have missed the latter although it goes like this:
Repent. Sure you may say of what but let me first provide supporting scripture. Acts 3:19 makes it very clear: “Repent and then seek forgiveness so that times of refreshing may come. ” (NKJ) Now the NIV puts it this way: “19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” so either way you put it- there is something for ‘you’ to do. Repent of harboring the unforgiveness because otherwise God’s Word would not say to start there. If you have nothing wrong then the verse would need not be there. Refusing to repent causes what is there to continue to be there and spread in ways you can’t possibly imagine. The times of refreshing come ‘after’ repentance so it reads. It’s quite simple. Follow the steps if you want the desired outcome. It’s a two part step with an outcome.
What occurs spiritually in a person manifests itself physically and that is your choice. What are you allowing to rule you? God’s Word is also true in Romans 12:2 “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” There is a command of what not to do and secondly; there is another command of what to do- oh and again with the outcome of it.
See; God’s Word is the same yesterday and forever. Society is not. And so when you read God’s Word it is very clear that Believers are not to conform to the pattern of the world but be ‘transformed’ by the renewing of the mind. Now- God’s Word would not give a command to do something unless it was possible for it to be done. There is a means of renewing the mind. Apostle Paul would not have talked about such things if he did not know. Scientists and doctors like Caroline Leaf would not share that when you align your mind with scripture your life changes. Your brain is required and the electrons in it are reprogrammed as what is not of God is replaced with what is of God. In essence we need more of God’s Word and truth for healing and less drugs; but I digress.
And so it goes unforgiveness isn’t only a heart condition but also a sin. It is sin against God which is why repentance is required. It does not matter what anyone has done to you; but what you do about it. Period. And again; God’s Word reads ‘repent’. This is the first place to start because harboring unforgiveness is as I said a sin but also a silent killer.
Unforgiveness has almost 40 symptoms. Yes- 40! Yet most people never get past anger or resentment to recognize how deep unforgiveness goes into the entire body and being of who they are. Let’s include just for fun bitterness, separation from God, blocked blessings; just to name a few. And this is how your life is wrecked. See; you have an assignment. When you live in unforgiveness it keeps you from living it out. And too many people are not living out their assignments from God because they are too busy dying of unforgiveness. Don’t let that be you!
Once you understand howunforgiveness takes over the body and every single aspect of it- you will want to get rid of all of and quick! Let it be known that most of what people have internally is only able to be revealed through the power of God, Jesus and His Holy Spirit. Hence; why we all need a savior and relationship with Christ. How do I know? Because when I had to go through God’s full process of forgiveness my eye color changed and my voice changed. God gave me the revelation from His Word about how deep this truly is and my prayer for you is that you would not wait another day thinking you are free of unforgiveness when probably deep down there has been something lingering. This is not psychotherapy or anything else as anything not of God is simply not of God and never can be of God.
Should you be sick and tired of being sick and tired and want healing in the full it’s time to get real- and quick. It’s time to stop allowing yourself to be a victim focusing on what others have done that they probably don’t even have a clue that they’ve done. It’s time to grasp that reality that God’s Word is real and true and that time is of the essence.
Get with the One who heals, who redeems; the One who created you long before the foundation of the earth. The One who knows your pain and can take away your pain. You are too precious to live life dying when you don’t have to. Start with Acts 3:19 and let the times of refreshing come. They will. It takes one step at a time yet each step brings more power into the lives of those who forgive. I am living proof. And don’t you want to be too?
If I were to ask you how your relationship is with your pastor what would you say? How about your relationship with your church? How about Jesus? God? The Holy Spirit? The church in America is and has been in trouble for quite some time and forgiveness must reign when or should a church you are in splits. Jesus should and must always be the center of everything for His Word is clear that you shall have no other Gods before Him; and yes that would mean the god of pastor worship and religion.
You see; when people get so caught up into their church that should it split; it’s much more challenging to overcome. it’s the devastation to those who didn’t see it coming. It’s the pain of loss of trust and the reality of the truth; nothing will ever be as it once was. Now it’s not to say that it isn’t difficult for everyone involved but if your focus is in a place of people focus and not God focus; you may be blindsided. You may be blindsided to the fact that your pastor is not God- and that is not a good place to be.
Recognizing that a church is made of imperfect people should it splits forgiveness must reign. You see; pastors are people. As with anything some are honest and most are. They are men and women who love the Lord and serve honestly their congregations. Some pastors also prove to be liars and very very good at it. They probably have no clue that it’s their lies and deceit that causes their congregations to fall. And even in the midst of this; each person is still accountable to God for his or her actions therein. Forgiveness must be in the hearts of all involved in any church split.
So how does one forgive or even get to a place of forgiveness? Where does one even start?
1. Forgive the pastor for his faults. Pastors are men and women and not perfect. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” so it reads in Romans 3:23. Should you choose to harbor unforgiveness and judgment toward that pastor it will be what is in your heart; and that would not be of God. Now of course it isn’t to say that the pastor should not be held accountable; however, God is the one who will judge. Let me remind you that it was ‘God’ who used a hailstorm to annihilate the enemies and they all fell dead. So you don’t have to do anything but stay focused on forgiveness and let God do what God does!
2. Forgive yourself for any involvement. Now you may say you weren’t involved in the church split; although perhaps by being there you were. Perhaps you actually knew something at some point and did nothing. Doing nothing in silence is still doing something. You may also want to seek God for what caused you to not only be there, but stay there too. There is a reason why and maybe the Holy Spirit revealed to you long before it was time to go; and yet you didn’t. Remember that obedience is worth more than sacrifice. You want to ensure that you are on the right track with God so just clear the path with forgiveness between you and He.
3. Forgive the church for the pain it caused. Church splits cause much pain. They destroy relationships, they destroy congregations, they destroy the unity in the body of Christ; and they even cause people to simply walk away from Jesus. What must always be recognized is that Jesus is not a church building only open Sundays from 10am-2pm. This is why a relationship with Jesus must be the center of everything! Pastors and churches are two separate things; although may people just combine them as one. The pastor has a role and the church has a role. Make sure you that you are living in forgiveness of both the pastor and the church for pure freedom in Christ!
4. Be thankful. This obviously is a challenge to be thankful for such an experience that can devastate many lives; however, God’s Word is clear: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thes 5:18)(NIV) God isn’t unaware of what has occurred. He is aware of your level of thankfulness and your forgiveness- and where your heart is. Thank God that you are moving forward in a new direction. Thank God that there is freedom in the truth! John 8:32 says it straight: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Sure it may be a strange way to get set free; but at least you would be free.
Churches and people everywhere; including you need forgiveness. None are immune. None are perfect. What is most important is that whatever happens in life; your level of forgiveness is your responsibility and you are accountable for what you do. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does but what you do that is of importance. Should a church you are part of split; forgive. And then live. And forgive and live in thanks.
One of the largest issues facing many cultures and countries is fatherlessness. Children growing up without fathers are losing out. Whether or not a single mother raises her children; she still is not a father. A woman simply cannot teach a boy how to be a man. Just as much as the opposite is true. Men are needed and fathers must be elevated and celebrated. A father is more than what today’s society gives them credit for. We as a society cannot bow down or accept the notion that men are women, women are men; or that men and fathers are not needed. Without men- where would we be? The feminizing and diminishing of men and fathers needs forgiveness so that hearts and minds of people everywhere can change.
You see; men bring much to the table that people don’t recognize. Until we move beyond the mass media plan to remove men and fathers for all things women we won’t see the value of men. Imagine reading a Bible without King David; or even Jesus. Try reading a Bible without Adam and see how far you would get. There would be no life without a father; and God is the Father of it all. Whether you agree or disagree does not change the truth from being true. Men and fathers are needed. They have value. Period.
When we remove men and fathers from the equation we miss out on much. For example,
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
- 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Center for Disease Control)
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average. (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
- 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average. (U.S. Dept. of Justice
- 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.
Children lose out and in big ways when fathers are not present. Just because a woman’s voice is louder does not mean men and fathers need not be heard. It is time for all to stand up for fathers!
The importance of fathers is one that cannot be escaped; regardless of what propaganda companies and the media want to distort your thinking to be. While sure there may be many fathers who are deadbeats; this does not excuse the scripture that makes it clear in 1Peter 3: “Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God.” There is a responsibility that women have to men and men have to women for it reads that men should love their wives. Just because a man or father may not be standing up as a woman would; isn’t because he isn’t able. It may just be that he has been so beaten down that his voice is gone. It’s time for forgiveness and reign and fathers to pick themselves up and women to be in the role of help mate so that we can live united in this society.
When men are disintegrated to nothing more than kleenex and portrayed as disposable it builds the stage for future generations to live in it. We as a society stop this eradication of men and what they contribute to society because we are only hurting ourselves in the long run. The Word commands all to honor their mother and father. It does not read honor their mother and mother. Hence; men are fathers and should be honored. Society needs to be reminded that it’s men who are leaders, breadwinners; men of God. Warriors and hero’s for their children. It’s men who are the majority of world leaders. It’s men God first created to begin mankind.
Through forgiveness on the parts of men for not standing up for themselves, women for diminishing men; and companies movements to feminize men we will be better able to see the value of men as a whole. We will be able to raise up future generations of children who will be in position to stand firm as boys to young men to men raising up their own future generations. This is a call of repentance of believing its acceptable to live in a society where men are not needed and that women are fathers on fathers day. It is an act of purest disrespect to dishonor people in such a way and if we all want restoration of our families it must begin with forgiveness. Forgiveness will restore families and through it; help us each to get over ourselves to recognize that we all must stand together united as a house or country divided cannot stand.
As we get closer to Fathers Day remember fathers. Remember the sacrifices they have made. While your father may not be the one you wanted; reflect and be thankful to God your Father who gave you life. Reflect on the fact that He will never leave or forsake you. He created you for a purpose and most likely it was not to put down a gender or role of another. And so on this fathers day relish in the fact that you have the power to be the change that the next father needs to raise up the next generation. And what an absolute blessing that is!
When you live your life a certain way you get accustomed to it. When you live life in unforgiveness you grow accustomed to it. You know what it’s like; it’s predictable. Those who know you know how you will respond; the flareups and all. How life is after unforgiveness is different and in many ways. I didn’t realize just how different my life would be once I forgave and saw that I was an overcomer. That in and of itself was true victory! Amazing that a simple revelation is more life changing that moving to a new home or getting a promotion; but for me yes it was and still is.
When you forgive you change. You are never the same praise God! But sure you can recognize that but what does it mean? I have blogged about how life is not the same, your relationships are not the same and pretty much nothing is as it was in the past. But what about it is different? Let me share.
When you recognize as a Believer the authority you carry with the name of Jesus you have more power than you can imagine. When you live in unforgiveness this is simply not possible. Why? Because you are living defeated! Unforgiveness is one of the greatest ploys of the enemy to ruin lives and it works. My prayer for you today in the name of Jesus is that you see it; and that you break free in His name!
When I forgave all those people on NYE 2005/6 I felt different. My eye color changed and my voice changed. What else changed was the power in how I spoke. No longer was it the snippy, cold, attack but a soft boldness of power. The pain that was behind it was no longer. The power of love in Christ was instead in its place.
Once I understood the depths of forgiveness according to God’s Word; I started seeing life different. My life and ways of old were of no more. My heart for people changed. I felt an inner compassion like that of Christ that I never felt before; in ways that I couldn’t ever feel being unforgiving. What I wanted to do for people changed. And the biggest change was how I saw my mother. Before forgiveness I hated her. I really did. She was this disgusting person who made choices that wrecked my life. And I hated her. But once I forgave her I saw her as a precious child of God. My heart sang songs of love and lilies in the midst of a sunshiny Sunday. Life is precious. God became and still becomes more amazing with each passing day- because His love and the love of His Son is ever present. He will never leave us or forsake us and because His Word ‘never’ returns void that means it was true for me- and for you too.
And so life after overcoming unforgiveness bred a buffet of goodness that I never experienced before. Now don’t get me wrong; forgiving my biological mother was one thing but there were others that did even much much more damage to me than she did; and much deeper. The best news is that I thank God that I learned how to forgive so that I could continue to stay on the God path of forgiveness. I had to. I still have to. And so do you if you want the fullness of Him. It’s a command in God’s Word.
Through it all it’s what I see that has changed the most. People are people; and I am no different. I accept them more in more Christlike ways.I accept myself too. Now does it mean I live in tolerance of all things not of Christ. Nope. I stand on God’s Word and all of it; although it’s the love for people that I have in my heart that I didn’t before. I couldn’t. Unforgiveness doesn’t allow it.
The direction of my life changed entirely. The purpose and call on my life became more clear; and it will for you too. Unforgiveness is a blessing blocker. It blocks you from seeing, your heart from loving; your soul from receiving.
Life after unforgiveness is different in that its open. Open to more of He who created ‘you’ special for your special assignment. It brought purpose in ways that I never could have imagined; and bigger too. For the first time ever in my life after overcoming unforgiveness I was able to dream; and believe. For the first time I was able to see and fully a life filled with hope and amazement.
Through it all I can share this and much much more with you. I know what life is like in living in full unforgiveness; and living in full forgiveness. I know all of what comes with both and while forgiveness is a process, or journey some will say; it’s one that you want to go through. I don’t need to look back. And neither do you. You simply need to go through it. You simply need to to get to the other side. You need to experience life in a different way. And that is a life of forgiveness.
There is so much focus on forgiving and forgiveness which obviously is wonderful; but what about life after? What is life after forgiveness like? What should it be like? Most don’t ever get to a place of recognition of what it should be and that is a problem. Life after forgiveness is as much a process as forgiveness itself. Let’s explore!
1. Life after forgiveness is not the same as life with unforigveness. Everything is different when you lived as an unforgiver. Everything. The way you saw life and behaved in your relationships was based upon who you were at that time. As you forgave you changed. Therefore; nothing will be the same. Relish in that!
2. Life after forgiveness means relationships will change. Because you are are not who you used to be; your relationships can’t follow suit. Some may get better while others may dissolve. As a result of this; being aware of the changes that are coming into your life may take some time. Forgiveness and the entire process is healing. Remember you are the one who changed in your choice to forgive and as a result of you choosing to change; everything in your world will change too. For me personally; the larger things I had to forgive others for meant they were no longer in my life. There simply was no need. Some relationships had run their courses and I moved past what they could offer. It’s nothing against anyone; it simply was more about the changes that occurred in my life. I needed to move forward and some of my relationships simply would not be in alignment with that. In the case of a marriage situation; everything is forgivable. It is moreso a matter of whether or not we choose to get to a place in our hearts to forgive and then desire to continue to change in the relationship for it to grow in a healthy way.
3. Life after forgiveness will reflect the changes of you, who you are, and who you are becoming. After forgiveness nothing in you or your life will be as it once was nor will it be as it currently is. Don’t be alarmed by this! Your growth is what changes you. Now of course people who don’t forgive also grow- just not in the same way. When you forgive your life will reflect the positive growth in who you are based upon the choice to forgive but also through the act of forgiveness itself. You will never be the same. Because you aren’t the same; your life and the impact it has on others won’t either. This is probably the biggest testimony of life change through forgiveness. Who you become is reflected in the forgiveness you give.
My life changed after I forgave. Every single thing in my life changed. My eyes opened, my relationship with Christ deepened; my ministry was birthed. I was forever changed. It wasn’t until some time later that I started seeing all of what occurred through forgiveness and there are still days when I see just how much my life changed. Rest assured the one thing I can share with you is that you and your life will never be the same; but if you don’t forgive you won’t know. So today is the day to make sure you forgive so you can truly live!