Tag Archive | forgiveness

Roadblock #7 – Unwillingness to Forgive – The Enemy of Mercy

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

God’s Word is very clear on forgiveness. When we forgive others, God forgives us. When we do not forgive others, God does not forgive us. If we have an unforgiving heart, we put a distance between Him and ourselves. His voice may become silent. God may choose not to speak to us until we choose to forgive another who has hurt, offended, or sinned against us. A harsh, unforgiving, judgmental spirit can stifle our communication with God.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). Again, we hear very clearly that God will forgive us when we forgive others. Sometimes it feels impossible to forgive someone who hurts us deeply. Truly, we cannot climb this mountain in our own strength. Just as the Holy Spirit gives us the power of self-control to abstain from sin and wrongdoing, He also gives us the ability to forgive. Asking the Holy Spirit to change your heart toward the person who offended you enables you to see that person through the eyes of God. Praying for your enemies also softens your heart for them. Begin with small, one-sentence prayers led by the Holy Spirit, and soon your blossoming mercy will increase your petitions on behalf of those who hurt you.

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we do not know what to pray. Tune in to the Spirit of God within you to receive power from on high to do what seems impossible in your own strength. When you forgive others, God forgives you. When God forgives you, you must believe it and fully accept His gift of forgiveness.

Understanding how great a debt I owe for my sin and how much Jesus paid for it, I am grateful that God has already forgiven me. In turn, I should extend my gift of forgiveness to those who have sinned against me. Exercising forgiveness is a choice, just as accepting forgiveness is a choice.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

Continually thank God for His forgiveness and ask Him to carry on the healing process in you, so you feel both forgiven and forgiving, then walk in the freedom that brings. When you are freed from an unforgiving heart and let go of the sin that holds onto you, you may hear God speak to you clearly. Until then, you may have to sift through a few lies to get to God’s truth.

#1: I can’t forgive my brother or sister—he/she hurt me too deeply.

#2: God doesn’t expect me to forgive this one.

#3: God will forgive me, even if I don’t forgive others.

 Purchase my book, 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, today and find the truth to disprove the above lies. Also read a whole lot more about the truth in God’s Word on the subject of forgiveness. Practice removing the barriers that stand between you and God.  Then, resume your two-way communication and achieve greater intimacy with Jesus.

Click here to purchase book today.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

What Stands in Your Way of Hearing God Speak?

depositphotos_8137875-Barricade-and-Warning-Light-Closeup[1]It’s my prayer today, that if you’ve been following my blog for the past couple months, and applying the 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, you will be well on your way to hearing and recognizing the voice of God within you. However, if you’ve been regularly putting in the time and effort to listen to God, and not yet heard from Him, you may be wondering, Why? I am eager to share with you seven things I discovered that kept me from hearing God speak.

Before you think, But God won’t speak to me because… (Fill in the blank yourself), let me tell you, it’s really very simple. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and invited Him into your heart to be your Lord, then God does speak to you. However, something may be deafening your ears to His voice.

In this blog, over the next couple months, I will introduce seven roadblocks that may stand in your way of hearing God speak. As you read on, see if any of these barriers might be keeping you from enjoying two-way conversation and intimate relationship with Jesus.

After twenty years of following Christ and yet struggling with clinical depression, I was ready to throw in the towel. I could only hope there was more to life than what I’d experienced. I heard believers talk about a relationship with Jesus. I thought I had one. I talked to God, but unfairly, I didn’t leave room in the conversation for God to speak to me. I didn’t believe He would speak to me. Doubt was one of the roadblocks standing in my way of hearing God’s voice. I didn’t consider that the big God of the universe would speak to little ole me.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. About fifteen years ago, it all changed for me. One night, while talking to God, I actually made time to listen. I heard a voice in my thoughts that I knew was not my own. It was God! He spoke to me, an average girl. Now I know ordinary people hear from God, too.

You may wonder, Why doesn’t God speak to me? What am I doing wrong? How do I go about hearing His voice? I wrestled with these same uncertainties. In my quest for answers, God blessed me far beyond my heart’s desire. My relationship with the Lord grew stronger and deeper as I learned how to enjoy two-way communication with Him.

Does your relationship with Jesus lack the WOW factor? Mine did. But hearing God’s voice added an amazing new dimension to my faith adventure. Whenever we listen to God’s voice within us, we achieve a greater intimacy with the Lord. Hearing God’s voice is one of the keys to a deeper connection with Jesus Christ. It’s absolutely life-changing and life-giving!

Your search for deeper intimacy with God is about to yield results. After regularly hearing God speak for the last fifteen years, I nailed down 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Practicing any or all of the behaviors identified here may cause you to feel that the all-powerful God will not speak to you because you are not worthy or qualified to hear Him.

Truly, despite your flaws and feelings of inadequacy, God continues to pursue you passionately. He doesn’t wait until you are perfect and sin-free to speak to you. The Holy Spirit of God communicates with you all day, every day, in many different ways. He’s anxiously waiting for you to listen and recognize His voice!

As a Christian, you have the living God dwelling inside you, so why wouldn’t you be able to hear His voice? Well, these seven things may stand in the way: doubt, fear, pride, worry, busyness, disobedience, and an unwillingness to forgive. To be clear, these behaviors won’t necessarily keep God from speaking to you, but they may keep you from hearing Him. The indwelling Holy Spirit helps you become more Christ-like, so you have to be able to hear and recognize God’s voice within you to utilize the promptings and assistance the Holy Spirit offers you in the journey of sanctification.

Over the next several weeks, this blog will help you identify seven barriers that may cause deafness to God’s voice. Learn how to crush these deterrents and strengthen your relationship with the Lord. Achieve amazing results when you clear the path to listening to God. Truly, it’s worth your time and effort. In fact, it’s vital to experiencing the abundant life Jesus Christ came to give you!

All this information and more can be found in my book, 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak: Removing the Barriers Between You and God. It’s available from Amazon.com in Audio Book, Kindle, and Paperback. 

Click on this link to purchase the book

Book Two in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #2

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Reward #2 – Find Freedom in Forgiveness

In my mid-thirties, I learned from my sister that my mother tried to terminate her pregnancy with me. This new information devastated me. I needed to talk to my mom to find out why she went to this extreme. However, I couldn’t discuss it with her because she had died of cancer after my twenty-first birthday. I was left with the burden of sorting it out on my own. I didn’t want this news to set me back emotionally when Jesus had brought me so far in the healing journey. Fortunately, I could trade Him the heavy weight of my burden for a lighter load. The emotional healing He had already given afforded me the necessary foundation for processing this upsetting information more quickly and easily, to the degree that is feasible in Christ alone. I couldn’t dwell on this new discovery. I needed to get rid of it as soon as possible.

After experiencing God’s restoration of my broken heart, it was time for me to extend forgiveness to the one who hurt me—my mother. My mom was a wonderful woman, so I know deep down she would not have tried to get rid of me in the womb if Satan had not tricked her into feeling helpless and hopeless. I imagine the news she had become pregnant at forty while using birth control shocked and disappointed her. She found herself in a situation she did not want to be in and despaired. She herself may have been depressed. The enemy deceived my mom with lies; she believed ideas that did not hold true. She did not consider that God had planned her pregnancy. She didn’t know her part in the bigger picture.

I feel blessed God chose her to be my mom. I know eventually she did love me very much. I do not tell my story to dishonor her in any way. I tell it because it’s God’s story of His healing and transformation in my life. His plan and purpose for creating me was to use me to bring glory to Him by sharing His message of redeeming grace and His passion for spiritual intimacy with His children. If God had not allowed me to experience the depths of this story, I would never have needed Him or made the time to listen to His voice. In hindsight, I am now thankful God permitted me to endure these trials to help me grow up spiritually. I’m forever changed by God. He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise.

Still, I felt a need to address my mom about her actions when she carried me in her womb. I needed release from the emotions surrounding my knowledge of her attempts to miscarry or terminate the pregnancy. Since I couldn’t speak with her in person, I decided to write a letter to express my heart to her. It allowed me to release my feelings and empowered me to let go of my anger, blame, and disappointment. I could forgive her even though she had already passed away. Once more I was set free from things I tightly held. Forgiving is not necessarily a feeling; sometimes it’s a choice.

An unforgiving heart is a roadblock to God’s construction work in you. With the strength and power of the Holy Spirit inside you, find it in your heart to forgive the ones who have hurt you. If you are holding on to some emotion—anger, guilt, shame, or an unforgiving spirit—regarding someone who is alive or deceased, I recommend you write a letter to him or her. You don’t need to mail the letter. It’s a step in the right direction for your own therapeutic healing. Then let it go and let God do a redeeming work in your life. No longer do I carry the burden of an unforgiving spirit. I have been released from my yoke of bondage. You, too, will find freedom in forgiving. Forgive others as God in Christ has also forgiven you. Freedom feels fantastic! When the roadblock comes down, your ears will be open to encouraging words directly from the mouth of God.

Click here to order this book now.

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #1

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Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards

Hearing God’s voice for the first time resembles discovering a buried treasure. God’s amazing treasure chest holds at least seven priceless jewels.

7 Rewards of Hearing God’s Voice

Healing

Forgiveness

Encouragement

Instruction

Conviction

Wisdom

Peace

CLICK HERE for your FREE infographic of 7 Rewards of Hearing God’s Voice

Reward #1 – Absorb the Healing

My first depression plagued me most severely. The word shattered best describes the way depression feels to me. I felt shattered into a thousand pieces on the inside, held together only by my skin. I appeared completely normal from the outside, but I felt weak, fragile, and broken on the inside. Looking back, I now know God allowed me to hit rock bottom so I had nowhere else to turn but to Him. He permitted me to hit rock bottom, but He didn’t leave me there alone.

Through Christian counseling, God showed me what kept me from the life He intended for me. I had to confront my past. I had to be delivered from the bondage of my belief in Satan’s lies before I could effectively relate to God and worship Him with all my heart. I did the work of digging into my childhood to figure out what caused me to be stuck in this life.

We all have emotional wounds. Some of them are given to us by people we love and people who love us. My most major emotional wound came from believing lies in the words my mom used about me. I’m sure she didn’t intend to wound me, but Satan used the things she said to deceive me into believing his lies. As a young girl, I remember my mom telling other people of me, “She was an accident.” I heard my mom say I was an accident many, many times. Those words stabbed deep into my little girl heart. Those words gave me my identity:

I am an accident. I am not wanted. I am not loved.

Notice how Satan used the words, “You are an accident,” and twisted them to accuse me of his lies: “You are not wanted; you are not loved.” In John 8:44, Jesus exposed the devil’s ways: “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The enemy wanted me to believe lies that would keep me in bondage so I could not become all God wanted me to be, and I fell for it like a boulder plummeting down a mountainside.

Knowing I was unwanted caused me to become a people-pleaser. My entire life was driven by my desire to be needed and loved. My constant striving to satisfy and delight everyone required me to give large chunks of myself away. The more I gave, the more empty, unloved, and unappreciated I felt. My zest for life slowly drained out of me, leaving me unfulfilled and unhappy. I had a decent life, but if it equaled the life God had planned for me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. I had everything I needed and wanted, yet I lacked something. What I had was not enough to carry me through emotionally.

By believing the father of lies, I had let the deceit of Satan rule in my heart. God allowed me to experience depression so I would seek Him for help, answers, and healing. God wanted me to confront the emotional wounds from my past so He could wrap me in His blanket of light. God used my counseling as the venue where He performed the emotional healing I needed.

My counselor and I would spend time in inner healing prayer, bringing my wounds before Christ and asking Him to replace the lies I believed with the truth. Jesus showed me His presence in my childhood memories. He Himself told me of His great love for me and revealed the truth about me and the circumstances of my birth. He crushed the lies of the enemy. God planned me from the beginning; I was no accident. He wanted me and loved me.

This experience compelled me to trust Jesus even more. He is the way, the truth, and the life. The voice of Jesus in my memories transformed my life. When you are set straight by the God of the universe, it’s a permanent healing. It’s a healing you can’t get from counseling alone or from anything anyone else says to you. When God Himself meets you in your memories, shows you His presence in your life, speaks about how much He loves you, and couples it with strong, truthful feelings in your heart, it changes everything.

My beliefs about my own identity began to change. It no longer mattered that my mom didn’t want me, because the God of the universe planned me before He created the world. He wants me and loves me. I am His child, created in His image. I am a high priority to Him. My existence is important to Him. He wants to spend forever showing me how much He loves me. I know He feels the same about you.

God does speak to you in your thoughts. He can use your memories to bring you emotional healing and to show you His presence throughout your whole life. Come to Him, and quiet yourself enough to listen to what He has to say. He will enlighten you with His truth, replacing the darkness of the lies you believe.

In John 8:36, Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” I live a new life of freedom—a better life—because Christ set me free from my emotional prison, the bondage of the lies I held onto. That’s what Jesus came here to do—to “set the captives free.” (See Isaiah 61:1-3.) He is the truth.

Jesus Christ already won the battle over Satan, sin, and death with His obedience even unto death on the cross. God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heaven to rule over everything here on earth and in all eternity. God saved us by His grace, raised us up with Christ, and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms. Satan has been given his place already. He now resides under the feet of Christ, below His authority and below the authority of Christ’s body, the church, which includes all believers.

I believe in Christ; therefore, I have Jesus’ power and authority over Satan, sin, and death. Through the Holy Spirit living in me, I have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. If you believe in Jesus, so do you. Exercise authority and stand firm in the finished work of Christ, believing the truth. Resist the devil, and don’t be trapped by His snares of falsehood and temptation. Don’t give him more power than God has given Him. You are alive in Christ! Live in the grace and authority of Christ so you may carry out the work God prepared in advance for you to do. (See Ephesians 2:4-10.)

Through inner healing prayer and conversations with God, He spoke sincere, truthful words to me, healing the deepest wounds of my heart. He exposed my childhood belief in the deceit Satan had fabricated in my heart and mind. He gave me a new identity: “I am a child of God; He wants me and loves me.” Not only did my thinking change, but Jesus Christ Himself engraved it on my heart. He showed me the truth, and the truth set me free. God loves me more than I will ever comprehend, and He wanted me, even before He created the world. He feels the same about you.

God wants you and loves you very much. He desires to spend time with you daily in two-way conversation. Make time to listen to His voice and absorb His healing words.

When you have some time to yourself, seek God and ask Him to replace the lies you believe in your heart with His perfect truth. Ask for His protection from your enemy. Listen to His voice of truth in your thoughts. Confirm what you hear by finding God’s truth in His Word, the Bible. Spend time developing a deeper intimacy with Him. Ask Him what He wants to teach you. Absorb the healing He gives! Then find it in your heart to forgive the one(s) who hurt you.

Click here to order this book now.

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Thanksgiving or Giving Thanks

Heavenly Father, Almighty King–

Thank you for Thanksgiving. Thank you for a day that reminds us to be thankful for the many blessings you have given us. Thank you for…

Dying on the cross for me.

Your forgiveness and providing newness of life.

Your Word which is a lamp to my feet.

The gift of Your Holy Spirit Who lives in me.

The ability to hear Your voice within my thoughts.

Your goodness and faithfulness.

Your unconditional love.

Your guidance and protection.

Your perfect joy and peace, even in the midst of struggles.

My excellent husband and partner in life.

My children and the many gifts you have given them.

A godly husband for my daughter and a profession she loves.

A beautiful mind for my son and the ability to pursue the career of his choosing.

Faithful family and friends with whom we can share our lives.

My home and its furnishings, clothes to wear, and food to eat.

A church where I can worship You and fellowship with other Christ followers.

A country and constitution that still upholds the freedom of religion.

A new direction in federal government.

The promise that You are in control and will use everything for our good and Yours.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 

No Sin is too BIG

Have you ever felt that your sin is too BIG for God to forgive? Let me assure you, it’s NOT.

When I was a new believer, I wondered if God could really forgive my sins, or were they too great. Over the years, I felt I needed to keep asking God’s forgiveness for the same old sins of my youth, even though I was a new creation in Christ, the old ways were gone, and I hadn’t returned to them. Was my sin too BIG for God to forgive or was God’s forgiveness too BIG for me to grasp?

No sin is too BIG for God to forgive. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul assures the new Christ followers who previously were sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

When you accepted that Jesus Christ died for your sins and invited Him into your heart to be your Savior and the Lord of your life, He wiped your sin debt clean. By His death on the cross, He paid the penalty for all your sins—past, present, and future. By His resurrection, He made it possible for you to know and experience a living God who dwells in you. Jesus cleansed you of all unrighteousness, and the Holy Spirit continues to sanctify you through and through (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

It turns out my sins were NOT too great for Jesus to forgive, however, His forgiveness was too BIG for me to comprehend. Once I dug deeper into God’s Word and more fully understood His plan of salvation, I could more fully appreciate His amazing grace and accept His forgiveness. Then I could let go of the guilt and shame I tightly held and claim the freedom that His forgiveness offered me. I no longer dwelled in the prison of my past sin, but I lived the life of peace that God intended for me.

Have you asked Jesus to forgive you? He has. Have you fully accepted His forgiveness? If not, dive into Scripture to more completely understand and appreciate His plan of salvation and His promises. You are a child of God. You are forgiven. You have been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. Enjoy the peace that a Spirit-filled life extends to you.