Saturday, May 5, 2012

UNFORGIVENESS: One of Satan's Greatest Tools

"For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs." — 2 Corinthians 2:9-11, ESV

Think about it: what would be one of the greatest things that Satan could do your life to keep you from experiencing the life that Christ has for you. And yes, Jesus has a specific life in mind for you. He told us about it, and the life that Satan wants to steal from you, when he said, "The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, ESV). Jesus has this "abundant life" in mind for you, and Satan's desire is to steal, kill, and destroy it.

So what would be one of the Enemy's greatest tools to see that abundant life that Jesus has in store for us never become a reality that we experience? Here it is: UNFORGIVENESS. To harbor unforgiveness is to increase in bitterness and anger. It keeps us from true reconciliation, left only to isolation and frustration which is the most fertile ground for the Enemy to work in. That's why Paul addresses this in the passage prior:

"Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him" (2 Corinthians 2:5-8, ESV).

Forgiveness is one of God's greatest gifts to us. That's right: it's a gift to us. When we forgive, we are being freed from the bitterness and anger that can build on the heart and soul when we are unwilling to forgive someone who has wronged us. It frees us to live in abundance of life rather than in bitterness of spirit. And I know that we all have been hurt in many different ways, and each of us could come up with a reason why we should or will never be able to forgive. But the truth is this: when we won't forgive someone else, we are then falling into the schemes of the Enemy, whose ultimately goal in our lives is to steal, kill, and destroy.

FORGIVE! Please forgive me, and others, for things in the future that I may not have even been done to you yet. Forgive those, including myself, who have hurt you in your past. Forgive and reaffirm your love for others, as this is part of Christ's abundant life in you. Live the life that Christ came to give rather than the one that the Enemy wants to destroy you with. Forgive.

Father —
Thank you so much for showing me, by your Holy Spirit, this passage on forgiveness. This reminder stood out so much this morning. Please reveal to me if there is any unforgiveness in my heart so that I might truly experience your abundant life today. I don't want the Enemy to have any victory in my life. I want to walk in total victory. Thank you for your forgiveness. Show me who I have not forgiven, and then give me the grace necessary to forgive them as you forgave me — completely.

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