Week of June 17
by Margaret D. Mitchell
"We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments." -2 Corinthians 10:4
“You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.” -Romans 2:1
“As you have done, it wlll be done to you; your deeds will be returned upon your own head.”- Obadiah 1:15b
Recently, a family friend asked for help in combating horrendous enemy attacks. He had been embroiled in battles of persecution and was in a condition of great despair and loss. It had been ongoing for several years, and, still, no relief. In fact, it seemed circumstances had worsened with time. This friend is a Christian, doing the best he knew, and he had reached the end of his line. He felt powerless and very much a victim in every area of his life.
People in this condition require much ministry. And a particular area that was quickly identified, as my husband and I listened to our friend share his story, was judgment as it relates to unforgiveness. This is not a pretty topic, but it is an important one to God, and one for us to understand so that we can avoid some unnecessary consequences in our journey.
If you find yourself bound in cyclical issues (going around the mountain, like the Israelites), where there seems to be no relief, it may be due to judgment as it pertains to unforgiveness.
The best way out of this doubly binding situation is to consistently process through it God’s way. His truth will set us free. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." So armor up (Ephesians 6:13-18), and prepare for battle.
The enemy sometimes attacks us through others who sin against God and us. And sometimes, those people are closest to us. I believe God allows these afflictions, sometimes, for the purpose of showing us our own sin so that we will repent of them, lest the enemy locks us in accusation.
What stops the sin cycle of false accusation, condemnation, etc., and resets the pattern of blessing, is repentance and forgiveness in this order. Confessing other’s sins as our own also humbles us.
Here’s how to fight this battle God’s way:
- Since we can only control ourselves, and God holds us accountable for our behavior/sins, we need to repent for our own involvement in any issues. Repent for what you know you’ve done wrong; then as the Holy Spirit to reveal your secret (unknown) sins to you, and repent of them. Then make a list of sins you see other parties commit, those who are involved in your issue. And repent of them as though they are your own, because they are (Romans 2:1). At first, you probably won’t see how you committed these same sins, but as you confess them, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes.
- Next, forgive those who provoked you into that sin, and release them to God for Him to deal with (vengeance is His; Hebrews 10:30), knowing and trusting that He can handle them better than you. Only He sees the whole heart and knows all the circumstances. This will remove a heavy burden from you. God's yoke is light (Matthew 11:30). And forgiveness is a huge power tool, a weapon of warfare against the enemy. It does not mean that you condone the sin; it means you take that person off your hook, and put them onto God’s hook. Forgiveness is a weapon that slams a door in the face of the enemy. God expects us to forgive others so that we may be forgiven by Him (Matthew 6:15).
- Forgive yourself and receive God's forgiveness through His grace and mercy. It’s as simple as saying by faith, “I choose to forgive myself and receive God’s grace and mercy.” Your heart will catch up.
- Declare that you have broken all alignment with the enemy. Exercise your God-given authority by telling the enemy to get out of your life.
- Thank God for reversing the curse and restoring His blessings upon you by the work He did through His Son, Jesus Christ, at the cross! Ask Him to enable you to receive all of His blessings in full measure.
- Ask God to watch over all parties involved and set everything right in their lives. Bless them every time it comes to mind going forward (Luke 6:28). All your prayers will be stored up in golden bowls, from which angels will deliver to God (Revelation 5:8). Choose to trust God with those people and circumstances, that He is faithful to deliver them all.
- Once you process each issue, let it all go to the Lord. Lay it at the foot of the cross. Do not think about, talk about or analyze it. Doing so will limit God’s in the issue. In fully letting it go, He will take it and work it out for your good.
- Praise God!!! Trade in your ashes for beauty, and wear forgiveness like a crown. Praise and worship are huge power tools of spiritual warfare against the enemy. So do it frequently, especially when you don’t feel like it, sacrificially. This greatly honors God, and God greatly honors you for your sacrifice. You will see Him move on your behalf in His time and way.
- Going forward, process all issues immediately. Let the Holy Spirit be your helper and enforcer. Once you’ve spoken your peace. Let it go to God to finish it.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.