I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)~ When we think about God, we think about Heaven, salvation, victory, triumph, strength, peace, joy, eternal life…the list goes on with all of these great and wonderful things that God brings us. Jesus promised us that by believing in God, who sent Him…believing in the Word He brings…we are free from the imprisonment of sin in our lives. Because you believe in Him, you are set free from the fear of death and can look forward to living forever with God in heaven. Yet we always find ourselves in a position of basically saying ‘Lord, I do believe…but help my unbelief!’ Yes, we come to a point where as much as we believe in Him, we exhibit unbelief! That unbelief is our “fear”. Not the fear of dangers and harm to our person – but the fear of walking in what we claim to believe God for! How can we talk about all of the great promises of God and know all about the ‘finished’ work of Christ, yet be fearful to walk in the deliverance of them? Why do we let fear imprison us? We have been given the victory but we walk in the shame of losers! We want to know victory and greatness in life and it’s given to us, but we keep living our lives like where we used to be! We want to see things differently but we keep walking the same and we eventually dread our lives because we think nothing ever changes…then it turns out that the only thing that DIDN’T change…was US! Those of us who do not love the lives we have are the ones who were afraid to change…our fear of what change might make us has imprisoned us in complacency and mediocrity! Have you ever seen a team win a championship and go to the showers like they were the losers because they didn’t want to take the trophy they went all season for? No, they walked in the victory! The prison gates are open and we have been exonerated, yet we sit there in our same old position of imprisonment because we’re scared to change our pattern and walk out the door in that freedom we have! To expect great results, while never changing your actions is a recipe of consistent failure (and insanity). Experiencing that freedom and that new life you’re looking for comes from the walks of faith, to dare to be and do what you have never done before. Fear will cause you to become complacent and remain in a continual prison of mediocrity, never growing or becoming more than what you have always been. But when you walk in the faith of the belief in the Lord, you will find that renewed strength that gives you limitless LIFE under His freedom! We are fearful to step out in faith because we think our lives will turn out different than we planned for. My friend, that is the GREATEST thing that could happen!!! God said “.. I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jer 29:11)”; and “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways (Isa 55:8)”. In other words, when you walk in that victory God has given you and drop that fear of being different from your own plans…trust in Him with all your heart rather than your own understanding, your life WILL be different than YOU planned. It will be what HE planned! What would you do if you had no fear? Think about a time when you faced your fear…you’re still here aren’t you? You got through it! It felt liberating didn’t it? God did not give us that spirit of fear… let it go … in fact, send it packing…and be free…and be blessed!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11:1)~ There comes a time in all of our lives when we need faith. It’s those times when we can’t see what’s ahead but we must go anyway. It’s in that darkness where we find our inner light. It’s in that darkness where we grow. It’s in that darkness where we become the person we were born to be. Faith always happens in the place where one cannot see. A faith walk is like a blind walk, it’s dark. You have to keep pushing forward with the belief that everything will work out in your favor. While in the situation, your thoughts will shape the darkness. If you allow yourself to be consumed by the darkness, it will stop you. But if you shift your thoughts to those of powerful assertions, you will illuminate the darkness and you will come out on the other side like brand new. We all have gone through rough seasons in our lives. We’ve been tested from every angle. You have to know that it isn’t meant to break you, but to build you. Yes, you want to give in and give up but instead you have to decide to shift your thoughts. Begin to think about the peace in the midst of the storm. Begin to think about the other side of defeat. Illuminate the darkness and your days will begin to change. Out of nowhere your breakthrough will come. The adversary will flee because you will beat him down. Your trials will become triumphs and your life will open up. In faith claim victory in the midst of challenge until you receive victory. Your thoughts can shift the atmosphere. I urge you today to keep walking through that dark tunnel. You may not see the light at the end, but know that it’s there. Let the light inside of you, guide you! Illuminate the darkness with your thoughts and you will see things begin to change. Don’t give in. Don’t give up. There’s only one way out and that’s forward…in Faith!
Alright, now about that “and forgive us our sins/debts as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us (our debtors).” We can’t appreciate the depth of God’s forgiveness given to us until we are willing to experience what it’s like to forgive. Even if it’s forgiving repeatedly. Even if we were unjustly treated. Even if what was done was deliberate.
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin (Ps 38:18)~ Taking ownership of the truth of your guilt is the first step toward repentance. If you cannot be truthful because you’re trying to gloss over or diminish or hide facts of your guilt, you are not owning up to the truth of it. You can’t repent from a sin that you aren’t ‘man’ enough to truthfully admit you’ve committed. Confess it to GOD and HE is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9)~ Stand before GOD and declare your inquity! No PERSON is in a moral position to condemn nor forgive you for your sin! Those are God’s exclusive privileges! And HE chose in Christ Jesus to forgive us! Now get ready – Owning up to your ‘self’ and being truly sorry will bring some pain to your heart.. you will even mourn over it! But Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted (Matt 5:4)~ That Godly sorrow brings true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind and continual dependence on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus! Finally, the hardest part for many of us…turn away from it and move on from it!! Yes, you can do this because you are no longer bound by it! He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but he who confesses AND forsakes them shall have mercy (Prov 28:13) and There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1)~ We have to stop holding onto stuff that’s already been forgiven. Stop holding onto self-defeating grudges and stop standing on the shore fishing out what God has thrown into the sea of forgetfulness! God has forgiven it and you are FREE from it! Why keep going back to it? Don’t imprison yourself any more…Own it, confess it, move on from it – Be blessed!