Forgive. Starting last year, this is a word that began to pop into my spirit as I’ve been praying for people. It has caught my attention because this began when I was praying for people with requests for relief from physical maladies. As I heard it, I would stop and say something like, "I keep hearing 'forgive'. Is there someone or something you need to release?" The answers included a long pause and a wordless stare. Without exception they all have answered, "Yes". Our Heavenly Physician is often more interested in relieving and touching the state of our heart first, indicative perhaps of knowing this is the way to relieve physical pain.
Of late too, as I have been ministering in the meditative sessions, the LORD has been whispering “forgive” again. I am getting the same response; people are immediately connecting with a situation where forgiveness is needed. Sometimes they know they are not forgiving themselves; and sometimes they know it’s about someone or something else.
God’s heart is revealed in those whispers. He has always known forgiveness is the path for true healing and love. It is the central message for eternal salvation; it is the message of the cross. For us in our prayer life with God, it is essential to pay attention to his whispers to forgive. If we ignore it, we are setting up a block internally, maybe even one that will manifest physically or externally through chaotic life. Not forgiving can become a bitter root within that defiles many (Hebrews 12:15). Not forgiving can also lead us into a type of jail sentence.
I remember a situation where I was often rehearsing an offense. It was holding me captive, torturing me internally and coming out through my mood physically. After a good length of time had gone by, the LORD spoke to me about it. He took me to Matthew 18:21-35 and impressed on my heart, in a quite matter of fact way, “You are exacting a price on their behavior.” I still have the note in my Bible. He worked with me on it. He helped me mourn what I was stuffing and letting eat me alive. But the process didn’t stop there. There were actions I had to take. I obeyed and I took them. It brought freedom and healing.
The taking action part is where many stall in the process of forgiveness. We don’t take action; we either stay stuck rehearsing our pain or stuck in confusion on how to forgive.
Forgive is a verb. This is extremely important to acknowledge. It requires taking action, not just speaking words. Ultimately our actions will give credence to or disprove our words. Jesus did not merely say, “Your sins are forgiven.” He willing gave up his spirit, Matthew 27:50. Everything Christ said, He followed up with action. He did not just say He loved the world; His actions gave irrefutable evidence of His love. His act of forgiveness turned hearts of stone into hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19). By His Spirit in us, this is our divine access to forgiveness. Who can forgive sins but God alone?
Jesus said there will be a time when many will turn from the faith, betray and hate each other, that a time is coming (due to an increase of wickedness) when the love of most will grow cold (Matthew 24:9-14). Not forgiving is a path to love growing cold.
What do you think is the most common contextual meaning for the word ‘forgive’ in the New Testament? If you were to choose between the 2 descriptions below, which is more commonly used; 1 or 2?
The answer is #1. Interestingly, aphiēmi is translated as "forgive" 47 times and ALSO as “leave” 52 times, “let alone” 6 times, and “forsake” 6 times. Sending away, permitting, giving up, leaving, going away...
For #2 above, charizomai is only translated as "forgive" 11 times.
So the majority of the time, within the context of scripture, the word forgive is tied to an action of leaving, giving up, keeping no longer, not hindering, departing from one, leaving something or someone behind. Does this surprise you?
What is it that God doesn't want you to hold on to any longer? In what ways is He allowing you to walk away from a situation? What is He asking you to lay down, leave behind? Based upon examples Jesus taught in the Gospel accounts, He could very well be saying, "Let go. Let the person continue on as they are. Give it to Me. Release it. Go in a different direction. Follow Me, not them." This is key... follow Jesus. His is the path of forgiveness.
Meditating on some key scripture situations related to forgiving will be the content of the next meditation session toward the end of April. I will be posting the details on the calendar page next week.
Do you need help understanding a step God is asking you to take to forgive yourself or someone else? Do you need prayer? These are good reasons to attend the next meditative prayer session. We will spend time with God letting him search within and seek His help on how to act out the command to forgive.
I pray you stay in tune with God’s whispers. May you be cultivating your prayer life, investing your time with God to stay tuned to the state of your own soul. God is love and love never fails. He won't fail you.
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!