Letting go

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress.

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom

and broke away their chains.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men.”

Psalm 107:13-15


How can the lack of forgiveness and hurt affect our walk with the Lord? So many of us walk around bound in the chains of the past and become stuck in a place of unhappiness. Everyone at one time or another experiences the pain of betrayal by someone we love and care deeply for whether it be a spouse, a friend, a child or a parent and we all also carry the experiences of our own sins and hurts that we have caused to others. It can literally destroy our lives if we let it and severely hinder our walk with the Lord if we do not let it go because we can become bound up and miss the opportunity of fully living in the present.


Once we have made Jesus Christ Lord of our life, we hand over the reins, giving Him the control of our lives able to lead us in the direction that He wants us to go. It means that we are no longer our own and have been brought back to God by the shedding of His Son’s blood for us. When we allow Him to lead, we have to let go of the things in our past that are controlling us and hindering us from being able to walk in God’s perfect plan for us. Jesus said that not anyone who is trying to move forward in his walk for God the Father – but keeps looking back – is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62) When we are walking with the Lord, we are to let go of the past and press forward because if we do not, we become stuck right where we are unable fully to accomplish all that God had planned for our lives. We cannot walk with Him if we are carrying loads of baggage because we are choosing the bondage of our past instead of the future He has for us. This then mean either we choose to throw ourselves pity parties, blaming everyone else for our misery or we can choose to rise up and be a brand new creation in Christ, choosing fully to surrender our lives to Him. Once we do that, He cleans out those closets and begins to heal our hearts making us usable for the plan that He had laid out for us even before we were born.


Now it is important that we learn from our past and realize where God has brought us but it cannot consume us to the point of becoming our focus. God is our healer and He is able to break away those chains and heal our hearts IF we fully believe that He can do it. For me, this came with the forgiveness of someone who betrayed my trust and hurt me deeply. I lived with anger towards this person for quite some time and every time I saw them, it would rage within me. Here is what I have learned. When someone hurts you, that person moves on with his or her life. If they have sinned and repented of this sin, for them it is over, God has forgiven them. They have moved on and God has redeemed them, giving them a new song to sing and a new life to live for Him. For those of us left in the wake of their sin, we must deal with the pain and hurt of the turbulence they caused in our lives. We are the ones who must deal with the resentment, bitterness and anger while they go about feeling freed of their past. Does not seem quite fair? Well here is what I have learned. It is totally fair because we too have sinned against someone in our own lives just like they have and we too have had to seek forgiveness from God for the hurt we’ve caused someone else and we too have moved on. So, why then do we dwell in self-pity and allow resentment to rage within our hearts? This is called human nature and happens when we are not willing to let go of the baggage we cling to so tightly instead of grabbing a hold of and clinging to God. You see, you cannot hold on to both things together because you cannot worship and follow God when you are clinging to the past, which has become your idol. He has to be your focus and He should be your focus because He is worth it all!


“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:12-14

We have to put into practice not focusing on what is behind us but instead pressing ahead toward the goal, the life God has planned. We must reach ahead and surrender every part of our lives to Him so that He can accomplish all that His plans entail for us. If not, we are allowing the past to steal our joy and happiness and distort our thinking. We must offer true forgiveness that can only come from the Holy Spirit living within us and turn it over to the hands of God and His justice. He is the One who will right every wrong ever done to us and because of this; we are able to relinquish even our worst enemy over to Him. It all comes down to us reaching out and grabbing His hand and allowing the Holy Spirit to clean up the wounds in our life so that we can live out the life that God has for us. It is our choice as to whether we will continue to allow it to strangle and paralyze our lives or say enough is enough and give God that control and move forward.

Forgiveness

“as far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Psalms 103:12

Praise God that He does not treat us the way in which we deserve or the way in which we treat other people who have wronged us. Instead, He shows us compassion, grace and His abundant love. He treats us in a way that is the example of how we should treat others who have wronged us.

Jesus taught that when we are sinned against, forgiveness is limitless. He paid the ultimate price for our forgiveness by giving His life so we have no grounds for withholding forgiveness from someone else. He says that we must forgive those who sin against us if we want God to forgive us. That is powerful.

Forgiveness can be a difficult thing when we hold on to past hurts too tightly. We become obsessed with the feelings of rejection and deception, and they begin to eat away at our soul causing bitterness. It leads us to a place without joy, and the Holy Spirit is grieved.

Once we realize the importance of forgiveness and its significance in our fellowship with God, we are able to break free from those chains of bondage and experience a more abundant life in Christ.

“Father God, I ask that today you teach me the importance of forgiving as You forgive. I pray that I not hold on to the things that others have used to hurt me so as not to grieve You or shadow the sacrifice Your Son paid for my forgiveness. I thank you for the limitless forgiveness that you offer me daily and for loving me enough to wipe it away and not bring it to mind again. Thank for your abundance of love, grace and mercy. Amen”

Written by Nicole

Sin

What is sin? According to the original translations of the bible, it means, “to miss the mark”. This means we miss the standard that was set by Jesus and the perfection that is God. We are all sinful and are easily tempted because of our sinful nature. Christians are ruthless for trying to compare sins. We tend to think that murder and adultery are major sins and those of lying, gossiping, cursing, idolatry and envy are of less value. None of us is good and does good all the time. We all are sinners and have fallen into some sort of temptation and sin.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:23

Temptation comes from our own sinful desires and draws us away from God. It does not come from God because He cannot be tempted by evil and He does not tempt anyone. (James 1:13) Jesus too was tempted and is able to sympathize with our struggles and weaknesses. He was tempted in many ways and was able to overcome them all. God is faithful and will not let us be tempted more then we can bear and He will always provide us a way out. We decide whether we will walk away or fall deeper into sin.

Until there is repentance and the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us, we are covered in sin. We try to put a price on sin saying that one is worse than the other but to God, they all cost Him the sacrifice of His Son. Because of this, we cannot compare ourselves to others and we must resist the temptation to act as if we are righteous.


“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”
1 John 1:8-10

In our own strength, we cannot escape our own mistakes nor be righteous. We have to recognize our weaknesses so that we will be able to rely on the sacrifice that Jesus was for each of us. It is then, in His strength that we can walk away from sin. Our sin can only distance us from God and so He wants us to recognize the sin and repent of it so that our relationship with Him can be restored.

Written by Nicole

Strongholds

Spiritual warfare is a real thing and it involves all believers.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Ephesians 6:12

Satan will attack from every direction and he knows our very strongholds. Strongholds are what hold us in bondage because we begin to think a certain way based on a distorted idea of our circumstances. We remain imprisoned by these things as long as we believe the lies presented to us. Satan is always trying to attack our minds with doubts and fears, discontent and irritation. He develops a well laid out scheme that takes time to cultivate. His attacks are persistent and he is relentless in his cause to send us into a downward spiral that leads us stumbling in our walk. His plan is so laid out that sometimes we do not see it coming until it is too late and we are already caught up in the middle of it all. We are going to be constantly under attack when we choose to live for the Lord and place Him on the throne of our life. Satan cannot physically harm us but he is constantly at work trying and wanting to see us fail. We were bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ and no weapon fashioned against us will stand when we put our faith and trust in Him.

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate defeat over Satan and his attack to claim our souls.

“And having disarmed the powers of authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Colossians 2:15

We now make the choice to accept Satan’s invitation to dwell upon our past or our weaknesses. This is what he hopes for and encourages us to do. We must stand firm in the word of God and hold to the truth He sets before us, that we have been forgiven.

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace…”

Ephesians 1:7

“as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalms 103:12

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we have His strength and can overcome the cleverness and deceit of Satan and his attacks. We must remember that sin does not come from bad genes and Satan definitely does not make us do it. We choose to act on the things that surround us or lies that are put into our minds. Satan does not ever force our hand; those decisions are made entirely on our own. This occurs when we are focused on ourselves and away from the Lord. We cannot live a God centered life when we are on the throne. So be encouraged, when you put on the Armor of God and place Him on the throne, stand firm in His promise of protection and love against the battle that wages on daily when you choose Him above all else and trust His word.

Ephesians 6:12, II Corinthians 10:4-5, Colossians 2:15, Ephesians 1:7, Psalms 103:12