Total Forgiveness Leads to Total Freedom
No greater stumbling stone have I found in churches and among individual believers than this – reluctance to forgive!
I have seen “born again” Spirit-filled believers change churches rather than forgive an offense, rather than humbling themselves and moving on forward in love.
I have found “devoted” believers in the Lord holding on to a grudge, fostering bitterness, unwilling to humble their flesh and put pride to death.
Our Heavenly Father and Yeshua had me once teach on forgiveness but only AFTER I had walked through the “Gate of forgiveness” in Germany. This “Gate of forgiveness” resulted in my being immediately set free from the many years of deep seated bitterness and pain the shadow of the Nazi Holocaust had cast over my soul.
Forgiving the German people for having robbed me of everything except life itself liberated my soul while at the same time catapulted me into divine freedom unlike anything I had ever known.
Now the Lord would have me teach once again on forgiveness, an act of free will so powerful and far reaching that it would surely bring worldwide revival. Revival has been desired in every generation. Hundreds and thousands have fasted and prayed for hours, days and weeks on end, depriving themselves of every pleasure for the ushering in of revival. Yet, why the fires of revival burn lower and lower until they die out eludes the churches and their leaders. What causes this heavenly fire to wane? BITTERNESS AND GRUDGES! What causes it to flicker to near extinction? JUDGMENT, JEALOUSY AND ENVY, LIES, SLANDER AND THE POINTING OF THE FINGER. (Along with, of course, sinful immorality!) And what extinguishes this heavenly fire for sure? UNFORGIVENESS! Let us consider THE FORGIVENESS OF THE LORD:
Whenever we fall short in holiness and righteousness; whenever we commit impure acts, lie, and cheat and are dishonest; whenever we commit any sin at all, no matter how great or small, when we repent to the Lord with all our hearts and ask Him for forgiveness… what happens?
Does He say, “No, you’ve really messed up, this is unforgivable, be gone” and dump us like a hot potato?
Does He say, “Yes, I forgive you, you are forgiven of your trespass, I love you” but then has no more dealings with us, and we cease to exist for Him?
How DOES He forgive?
While near the broken-hearted and the contrite in spirit, He refuses to despise the sinner who repents of his sins. Not only this, but He actually FORGETS the sin, the offense, the wrongdoing, the trespass, remembering it NO MORE!
HE LOVES US as much and as dearly AS BEFORE AS THOUGH WE HAD NEVER SINNED!
What hope would there be if our Heavenly Father and Lord Yeshua treated us as so many of us treat each other?
NONE!!! We would be desolate, lost, bereft of all hope!
Are we not comforted in knowing that when He forgives us He STILL loves us? Are we not strengthened in knowing that He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us?
When the Lord forgives, He FORGIVES TOTALLY!
- Total Forgiveness Leads to Total Freedom
He FORGIVES AND FORGETS as if our transgressions had never happened. He LOVES us as if we had never transgressed.
Formerly I would ruminate over trespasses, repenting again and again through tears of guilt and shame. Yet the Lord would shake His head and say, “What are you talking about? I remember NO such thing. Your earnest repentance cast this behind you and the blood of the Lamb erased all record of it. Furthermore, I discarded it as something to be forgotten. Why insist on digging up dead bones?”
Just as we bury the dead six feet under never to be dug up again, so does G-d bury our offenses never to be remembered again.
Hence, so are we to bury wrongs committed against ourselves.
A Judaic teaching says that he who refuses to forgive when asked for forgiveness commits a greater sin than the sinner himself. Yeshua taught the same.
Unforgiveness is a CARDINAL sin!
How can we see the cross and His suffering for our sins – and THEN REFUSE TO FORGIVE him/her who has wronged us or whom we imagine has wronged us?
THAT, my friend, IS UNFORGIVABLE!
Furthermore, a mere “I forgive you” without love is NOT enough. Love MUST follow. Fulfilling the commandment our Redeemer and Lord gave us when He said, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another as I HAVE LOVED YOU!” is essential.
Formerly we were to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. But the NEW commandment is to love one another as HE loved us. Hence, love and forgiveness are joined together – for one cannot be without the other.
I had friends whose love and friendship I trusted as being faithful and enduring. Yet when I erred in a time of great duress, rather than reprimanding me lovingly they cut off all communication and “dropped me like a hot potato”.
“We have forgiven you,” they said, “and we will always love you.” But since then I am as good as dead to them and they have had no further dealings with me. It is as though my imperfections soil their perfection and our friendship has been spoiled for good. Do we not serve the same Lord?
Were the Lord to forgive us this way, what hope would anyone have?
Another dearly beloved friend with whom my soul was knit together joined with her husband publicly to slander me in a local newspaper. As a result, I was cut off from all our mutual friends except for one. I have never heard from any of them again.
Is this the kind of love and forgiveness the Lord shows us? Is this the love and forgiveness He requires us to show one another?
NO! GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS, and HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!
My mother – now with the Lord, may He bless her soul – twice said to me, “You are my daughter no more!” when I came to faith in Yeshua and when we moved to Israel. She cut off all communication with me, returning my letters unopened and hanging up the phone on me. Nevertheless, I continued to send her letters, flowers, birthday and holiday greetings and presents as if she had never ever said these words and I continued to visit her. My unconditional love persuaded her of the reality of Yeshua and G-d’s salvation by and in Him. Through tears she asked for my forgiveness which I said she already had and that I had never stopped loving her, my deeds being the proof of it.
Later on she needed my love when she succumbed to the Alzheimer’s disease. Here there was no room for unforgiveness, bitterness, or a grudge.
Who can afford not to forgive? I am careful to practice forgiveness and unconditional love because I myself am daily in need of G-d’s forgiveness and unfailing love.
How can any of us say, “Jesus/Yeshua, I love You! Father in heaven, I worship and love You!” if we fail to walk in the foremost, foundational rules of His Kingdom:
TO FORGIVE AND LOVE TOTALLY!