Thursday, August 21st, 2014
The Call To Overcome (Part 11)
Personal Battles: The Insurmountable Obstacle?
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Matthew 6:12 (NIV)
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:15 (NIV)
And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace...
Ephesians 6:15 (NKJV)
Seek peace and pursue it.
Psalm 34:14, 1 Peter 3:11 (NKJV)
Walk in love.
Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)
In God's call for you to overcome in the personal battles of your life, one obstacle looms like an immovable mountain: unforgiveness. It may not look like a mountain. In your good intention to 'move on' with your life, you may refuse to regard a past offender. Or, you may seek vengeance: to collect the goods, apology or punishment you believe is rightfully due.
But the demon of unforgiveness is a tricky monster. It moves around you and refuses to be forgotten. Vengeance feeds it. Apologies are insufficient.* Unforgiveness will continue to block your path like an invisible hulk. Not only that, it tortures you.**
One of God's Scriptural Gifts comes in Ephesians 6:10-18. It is the Armor of God. It describes the necessary Clothing, Shields and Swords for the army of Jesus Christ. It enables us to overcome our spiritual enemies.***
Within the Armor of God, theologians debate the meaning of our footgear; God tells us to 'Shod our feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace' (Ephesians 6:15). Bible scholars have different ideas about what that might mean, but I have one of my own.
The 'Preparation' we need to walk in love, to fulfill our Great Commission is... forgiveness. We can't move forward without it. Forgiveness is essential to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He tells us not only to forgive our enemies, but to love them and to bless them. He gave us a live demonstration in the worst possible circumstance.
'If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them' (Luke 6:32). Maybe you think the evil someone did to you is worse than anything you've ever done in your life. Maybe it is, but God doesn't see things like we do:
Without Jesus, 'All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6). Not only that, but it's God's business to judge--and His alone.****
Actors, models and talent for Christ: the world needs your witness. God calls you to rise and shine, to overcome evil with good, to raise His standard in media. If you are living with the demon of unforgiveness, however subtle or active he is, he will block your faith walk, and the success God has in store for you.
Therefore, ask God to search your heart. Ask Him to remind you of any person(s) you need to forgive--even to the point of love and blessing. Then do it. Forgiveness is the only way to overcome unforgiveness. Healing and restoration await you.
To Be Continued...
* An offender's apology to you, even if given, is often met without whole-hearted forgiveness.
** The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18%3A21-35&version=NKJV
** See a previous AMTC Devotion series, called Unforgiveness: http://www.amtcdevotions.com/unforgiveness-part-1-leprosy-of-the-heart
*** The Armor of God: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A10-18&version=NKJV
**** 'There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One Who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?' (James 4:12).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Call To Overcome series.