In the story of the widow in 2 Kings we learn much about our thinking. Her story is one that sheds light to the power of perception and how God can bring overflow into our lives when we are ready to receive. As such the widow learned the lesson and rather quickly.
When the woman was asked by the prophet Elisha what she had her reply was probably as most today would reply, “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” (2Kings 4:2)
In the big scheme of things she saw what she didn’t have; and the one tiny thing she did have. It was the tiny thing that became the largest.
When you look at your life do you spend more time looking at the largest thinking that only the largest things bring in the largest things? This story proves the exact opposite is true. Her story ends with so many jars of oil filled that in today’s economy she would probably be a billionaire.
Don’t limit yourself or limit God by what you think you don’t have. You have more than enough and you are already a conqueror. It’s just a matter of believing, receiving and living based upon it.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Forgiveness Tip #4
Forgiveness is the oil that changes lives and brings the outpour. ______________________________________________________
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Forgiveness is limiting. It limits everything in your life; your mental state, your emotional state, your health, opportunities. It limits everything It’s time to unlimit God through forgiveness.
When you forgive you are releasing everything good in your life to enter; which makes sense because it’s God who withholds no good thing. It’s us that blocks him from releasing it through disobedience in unforgiveness. It is sin that is the deadbolt to bondage. And now it’s time for you to break through and remove all limitations that unforgiveness has had on you.
You see; we all are faced with the choice to forgive. People hurt us. Things in life happen and it’s what we do when those hurricanes of life storm through that will have all the impact on everything in your life. Even Peter knew that forgiveness was something that needed to occur otherwise we would not read in Matthew 18:21 ‘Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” And wasn’t it Peter who walked on water?
If you want to go higher and deeper with the Lord; forgive. Clear the path. Move the mountain. Stop limiting God by being unforgiving.
Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’
Forgiveness Tip #1
You actually can forgive. You just need to align your mind to believe it. ______________________________________________________
Watch Living in Forgiveness nightly at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork.
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When you think of how long you may have suffered from something without knowing what it was how long would you say? The woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9 is a testimony on many great levels with much to learn from. Forgiveness is one such area where this testimony may shed light to your own personal journey with the Lord.
This woman’s issue; which by the way her name is never mentioned. This is curious although if you knew her name would it matter because she probably would still be identified by her issue and not her name but I digress. Her suffering was 12 years in the making before she reached Jesus. An issue of blood for a woman during her days would be much different than for women today. We may think of such an issue today as endometriosis or something related. Her condition was such that kept her ailing for many years; much like those who walk in unforgiveness.
What is most fascinating about the testimony is her perseverance for healing; for answers.So picture Jesus healing other people and being the great I AM and mobbed by people everywhere and then as it is written in scripture ‘suddenly’ He is touched by a woman. Now for her it probably was not ‘suddenly’ but rather a long, arduous, painful journey that led her to receive her ‘suddenly’ as in ‘suddenly healed’. She tried everything. What isn’t known is how many other times she tried to find Jesus or of this is the first; although what is clear is that when she got to Him she get her healing. It is written in the King James Matthew 9:21 ,’ For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.’ What must be made clear are several things:
1- She knew what she must do in order to be made whole- which was get to Jesus.
2- She wasn’t whole because if she were she wouldn’t have needed to get to Him at all.
3- She learned that obviously through 12 years of searching she needed something more than what she had been given or found.
4- Man in all his infinite wisdom still does not have the answers.
5- There is no wholeness or restoration to the full without the touch of Jesus.
When we relate this to forgiveness; there is no fullness of forgiveness without Jesus. Sure people daily can say some words that sound great; but that’s lipsmack. That doesn’t mean anything. When there is forgiveness there is a healing that takes place; a wholeness. There is a complete transformation within! One cannot simply transform their own selves in their own thinking that caused them the problems in the first place. It is not possible. If it were; then most people would not be in the situations they are in in the first place. Nothing that any of us do without Jesus can bring wholeness. Nothing!
This woman is proof of this! She is proof of what occurs when simply touching the hem of His garment. His garment! She is proof of what happens when we get to the end of ourselves and our quests for something that can only be done through and by Him. Your personal level of forgiveness is equally the same. You may try and try in all your might; yet your attempt is futile because without Him you will tire yourself and still be in need of something more. With Jesus; everything comes with Him.
As the testimony continues Jesus knew the power moved from Him as He felt it. It was that strong! “But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” (v22) What we can learn from this is that is was her faith that made the way. Her faith!
You see; many people who harbor unforgiveness also lack faith but not in the way most think. Sure they may have faith that that their favorite team will win the championship; but they don’t have the measure of faith to believe that through Jesus they can forgive; that they can trust Him to heal their pains and that He really is on their side. They don’t have the faith to believe that when they give the burdens to Jesus He will carry the load. And so on the cycle of misery goes; along with more medications and anger management classes. Year after year.
I didn’t know the depth of forgiveness until I was faced with it. I had faith in the Lord for many things but when it came to forgiveness; it was being vulnerable in the most vulnerable way possible. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do because it meant I had to trust that Jesus would be there; that He would bring justice to me and for me. And He did; but I had to step; like the woman with the issue of blood.
Reflect on her for a moment. How vulnerable do you think she had to be to even get herself to a place where Jesus was? People everywhere and if she were found out then what? How embarrassing right? To be caught with such an issue would be humuliating to say the least! And yet she sought. She had faith that if she got there her life would be changed. And we read again ‘”But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” (v22)
It’s so simple that we complicate it. All we need to is take the step. There is no reason for anyone to suffer unnecessarily; not even you. When you get to that place of being sick and tired of being sick and tired go to Jesus. Reach out and touch Him and you will feel His Presence. You will feel the healing that comes in that instant like it did for the woman with the issue of blood. You will be made whole; restored. You can’t not be. He is the Redeemer. He is the Healer. He is the Almighty! He is also there waiting just for you.
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In today’s society people pride themselves on being busy. Seriously; they do. Think about how often you speak of all the things that are keeping you busy. And through it all you are that much more important right? But here is the thing. Busy is a trap: Bound Under Satan’s Yoke. It’s time to break out of the prison. And now while you can.
The first step in even getting there is to recognize that being busy actually does put people in prison. Think of all the things that must get done; and how many of them are truly in need of getting done. What percentage would you say? 100% of course because you are in control and know all; you are the omnipotent one right that can handle it all. Yes you- are the hero! But get this; it’s only in your mind that you are.
If you were to remove just one item how much more time would you have? If you were to allow one person to do just one thing that needs getting done how much more peace would you have? If you were to pray two more minutes of prayer each day how much more wisdom would you grow into? If you were to make one change in your life how much better would your marriage be? Your business? Your employees? Your health? Your relationship with Jesus? How much? Count the cost of that and then calculate the cost of staying the same.
When you see it life will change. I too was locked up; in my mind. I didn’t know it. I didn’t know that all the running around was only keeping me out of breath; busy and in the end- tired and useless. You can’t be fruitful and busy at the same time because only one produces fruit. It was a process because I was able although just because you can doesn’t mean you should- do it all all the time that is.
So what do you do? How do you get out; break free? You make a choice. You go to the One who came to set the captives free for you are already free you just have to live free. And really; don’t think that you can do it on your own because if you could have- you would have known better than to get yourself there in the first place.
Your life is a reflection of the choices that you have made. Perhaps it’s time to start making new ones.It’s time to get a grip and be the one who is leading and not following the way. Don’t forget that Jesus was counter-cultural so if you claim to follow Him; don’t worry about being just that. It comes with the territory! And remember that it’s just as easy to create good habits as it is bad ones. So don’t let the bad ones exist just because you choose to not make good ones; you know the ones that keep you busy forever missing the actual life you were meant to live. Forgive yourself because if you don’t- you will only change your prison cell.
For more about freedom in forgiveness watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ weeknights at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork.
Does it feel like time is going by faster? Have you thought about what you are doing with the time that you have now? Are you investing it in your relationship with Jesus or wasting it on hobbies for self gratification? Are you living in unforgiveness? If you are really doing either of these then your time is not being invested wisely; it’s being wasted and all for the glory of the enemy.
It’s easy to waste a year and how it starts is unsuspecting; it starts simply by refusing to forgive which wastes a minute; a minute here a minute there- and a day is gone reflecting on nothing of importance other than who did this or that to you; a weekend spend lounging while taking the all important selfie; a week gone by and as the months creep in so do the wrinkles and bitterness. Yes it happens if you are not aware of it; and most are not aware. They think ‘tomorrow’ yet who even told you that tomorrow was a guarantee?
The enemy knows what he is doing; and sad to say but moreso than those who sit in church every Sunday thinking just because they showered they are better Christians; or that being there means something. It may to those collecting the tithes and offerings but if you are not doing you will be found out. Don’t be deceived. There is no time for that.
Unforgiveness impacts every person alive; as does wasting time. Not dealing with what must be dealt with only destroys. I wasted decades because I fell into the trap of the word of faith movement where you just claim it and it’s done- yet you can claim something is done but if you do nothing then ummmm; how is anything done? Oh sure I can claim victory that the kitchen is clean all day long but yet remember faith without works is dead. As was I because I never actually forgave though I claimed it all day long. No wonder my life was a mess!
When you are not productive for His Kingdom and living in the fullness of forgiveness and love; you are simply a tool used by the enemy. And remember God did not create people to be unproductive. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 clearly lays it out for us: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” In other words; laziness never pays! And neither does unforgiveness.
In our society where people are more into themselves and self-gratification in whatever form we need to remember that while you may think you are that important; if your love for yourself is higher than that of the Lord you will reap what you sow. If you believe that unforgiveness isn’t something you need to inquire of the Lord and you are hungry; perhaps the time is now to ask. In reality; the time really is now because there is not much of it left and we all need to be prepared in and out of season. Should we not be then we are only proving how distracted and dead we really are. As the Body of Christ are we not worth more than that? His Word clearly says so! Remember the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy-you! Don’t let it happen. Use your time wisely while you still have it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqEFqL3cqFs&feature=youtu.be
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Society is full of distractions. It’s easy to get caught up in them. Politics, Hollywood breakups; guns, Superbowl, the agendas that don’t nee any further life given to them. You get the idea. I’m sure you have your special ones too.
Recognize that the more time spent talking and arguing about things doesn’t solve anything. More often it separates people and if you are the one who doesn’t agree well; you are the racist, the bigot, the homophobe or whatever new name they want to call it. Still put it’s interesting that one’s opinion can be put into a label of intolerance yet if people were truly walking in tolerance they would be tolerant of anyone’s opinions regardless of what they are. Yet we are still called to love; and to walk in forgiveness. Period. There is no way around those two commands if you say you are a Christian. And the argument of whatever is the hot topic for the day doesn’t change anything now does it? Think about that? What does the engagement in debate of topic really do for anyone? Prove no on is right? Well that’s a solid investment of time right?!
For me it was the love of the argument really about anything-and much of it political. I was actually the oddball Christian teaching at secular colleges who didn’t back down and some hated me for it but I didn’t care. I had an opinion and would stop at nothing to share it; thinking that anyone cared to hear it. But you see; no lives changed. No one was right. And today; people fall into the same trap. How many arguments are on twitter and facebook of people arguing over this and that? And people get overemotional and call people names because of what? A difference of opinion? Sure because high blood pressure is worth it right? Seriously; think about it.
We need to see it’s a ploy by the enemy. It’s so simple yet millions fall for it not even seeing it and in the end; they are changed and for the worse. No hearts were won for Christ. Nothing; just the enemy sitting back laughing the whole way- watching. He watches Christians think in all their intellect that it’s cool to call out other ministries for whatever material possessions they have; great way to unite Christians right? Get them fighting! Then he sits back and laughs at the debates of race, politics; and who may or may not have ever said something that was or wasn’t a lie and that no one could ever change their mind in 20 years and if they did that too is a lie and all the sudden it’s viral! And now millions of people hate one another; time is lost and Jesus is left standing waiting for someone to want to talk to Him. Yeah reflect on that for a moment. Just a moment before you log back in to facebook and see what the Donald is up to. Do you see it? Do you see it?
When you get distracted by arguing over the things of current day you are missing the point. You are missing that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy and every minute you give in you are losing ground. And in some cases, your life, your family; your soul. It’s time we wake up and start doing something that will be a solution and not the problem. And the first place to start is with Jesus and in prayer.
We are all given choices to make. Did you know the average person makes 35k decisions every day? If you are a business owner it may be more. Now have you stopped to think about what those decisions actually are? Perhaps you should! You see; your decisions will lead you where you are and your body cannot go where your mind has not been.
And so on this day what do you spend most of your time doing and thinking about? How to make more money? That is your idol. The greed factor kills even the most of appearing to be humble persons. Do you pride yourself on your trophies of this or that sport? Do you pride yourself on how many philosophy degrees you have that let’s be honest; haven’t gotten you a job? Do you pride yourself on the neighborhood that you live in and boast about it during dinner parties? The number of shoes you have? Oh yes the days of Carrie Bradshaw may have you dreaming. Or even that you have the new job title and were first in line to get the latest phone? While all of that may make you think you are a better person- but does it? Your gun collection does not make you a better person. Oh and because your church is bigger than the one across the street still does not make you better. How would it?
Let’s get real. None of that matters. Period. None of it. In the Book of Ruth we see that Boaz loved Ruth because of her character- not how her nails were painted and her new stilettos. Sure those things may be nice and some can argue ‘Well; if men weren’t so visual I wouldn’t have to have all this’ but here is the thing: ‘real men’ will see beyond nail polish to see you. Period. Ruth demonstrates to us that who we are is more important than what we have.
So it begs the question: ‘Who’ are you? Who are you without all the stuff you idolize that you have allowed to imprison you? When you strip that away it will tell you everything. Ruth was beautiful yet came without Louboutin’s. And she married up! Her heart is what captured him. The more away from the world and its lies you get and the closer to Jesus you become the less worldly possessions you need. As ‘HE’ becomes all you need you realize what is truly important. And let us not forget God’s Word tells us to think on the things above; and seek the better things. And Jesus is the best thing. Make today the day that you build your character to be pleasing Him rather than your own castle in the sand. You won’t regret it.
The story of Hannah provides us much to reflect on. It is one where you can be like her in the beginning or the end- it’s your choice. But rest assured if you try in all your own strength you will fail. Why? Because God’s Word tells us that apart from Him we can do no good thing. (John 15:5) How hard it must have been for her to desire something so much and yet get it; that is until she surrendered. You may think that you are so smart investing in the stock market; and when it fully collapses what will you have? Anger toward God? Bitterness of the loss when in reality you just didn’t listen to God Almighty? Surrender to Him now. The reality is that you have nothing to lose and if you don’t; well you will lose and more than you know.
You see; you can’t have it both ways: serving yourself and God at the same time. You must choose. Hannah finally got the memo and guess what? It was ‘God’ who blessed her with a baby. No one else. No dead god or universe will bless you. It can’t. It doesn’t even know you! But the God who created you and knows every hair on your head can! It is always God and if you deny His ways then you will live with the consequences. It doesn’t matter if you are one individual or one nation turning your back on Him will prove to be disastrous- and one only need to look around and see the devastation surrounding us.
The good news is that there is still time! Who knows how long but rest assured if you do what Hannah did and repent and seek forgiveness; times of refreshing may come. Her bitterness left her ‘and then’ she became pregnant. Now- this would make sense right because bitterness rots the bones so in reality how would she be able to carry a baby to term with bitter bones? But if you choose to be independent and pride yourself for it you will fall. And why fall on your face when you can stand on God’s Word and live to tell about it?
It’s a wake up call for each of us to recognize that regardless of the amount of wisdom you think you have; you don’t. You did not create yourself and you really are not the best thing since sliced bread and when that sinks in and you understand that it isn’t about you but about Him your life will change. When I got over myself and all my accolades of man made ideas and trophies everything changed. Remember that on judgment day there simply won’t be a trophy or stupid ribbon given to you just because you were born. God is a just God and if you don’t choose to show up you won’t reap the rewards. Choose Him now.
Your life and death are the choices that begin in your mind. There is nothing that doesn’t occur that doesn’t first start with a thought. Every single thing man creates starts with what is in the mind. Forgiveness is no different. How your mind impacts forgiveness is something that most do not ever think about. Understanding forgiveness and how it relates to your mind will lead to freedom without a doubt.
To get freedom one needs to go no further than Romans 12:2 where it gives instruction clearly: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV)
There would to be no need for renewing of the mind if the mind were already in accordance with the will of God. Because of how far man has separated himself from God; there is no other option for recourse than a renewing of the mind. If there is no renewing in the mind; there is no forgiveness.
See; forgiveness can only come through a renewing of the mind. If you choose to not be obedient and live in forgiveness; you choose the consequences that come with it. God’s Word is not a joke and God will not be mocked. What you think will become what you will. If you think unforgiveness and that you are above it; your mind will not be renewed to be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. On the other hand; ‘when’ and yes I say ‘when’ you make the choice to get over yourself and forgive; through that process alone you are being renewed and refreshed.
The impact the mind on your life is huge; but also the impact that the mind has on forgiveness is equally as huge. Your life begins with the thoughts you allow in your head. Your mind determines what you see, what you say, what you allow to enter your life. It is a matter of where you choose to allow your mind to focus. The direction of your thoughts will be revealed by the life you life.
In the end; the health of your body and being is dependent upon the health of your mind. The level of forgiveness you have within your heart; it too dependent upon your mind. Do not be deceived into thinking otherwise as God’s Word also tells us in James 1:8 the truth about double-minded men, “Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (NIV) It is only until your mind is singly focused that you will get the results you want to achieve all that you can. This is through not only grasping that the mind impacts forgiveness but recognizing that through forgiveness itself your life will change. In the end; it is a matter of your mind and only you are in complete control of that.
Everything in life begins with a thought. It all does. Sex, shopping; buying a pug. It all begins with a thought. Adam and Eve thought and then looked at the fruit; seeing it was pretty to the eye. Forgiveness is the same. In order to get to a place of forgiving; you need to prepare your mind to forgive. It begins with the thought.
Let’s face it; forgiveness is not easy. This is why the weak do not do it. They can’t. Why can’t they? Because they cannot get their minds to a place of surrendering. The concern with this though is that as a result of choosing not to forgive; they instead choose death by default. How so? God’s Word says. In Deuteronomy 30:19 it plainly reads, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…” (NIV) So it’s a choice. The choice to get your mind prepared is what must be done if you want victory to the full. So it begs the question: what are you really preparing your mind for? You are preparing your mind to:
1. Let Go. Letting go of pain is not an easy task by any means. I remember in 2006/7 NYE when I had to forgive everyone who hurt me in my past I wasn’t sure how. I also wasn’t sure if I could do it to be honest with you. The amount of pain from my biological mother abandoning me was so painful. The pain of my adoptive parents putting me in a homeless shelter was even worse. It all ran so deep. But here is the thing: if I wanted what I wanted I had to. I wanted the torment to go away. I wanted the ministry God sent me to Dallas to start. I wanted freedom!
I had to get my mind in right alignment with God’s Word in Romans 12:2 where it reads, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (NIV) Until my mind was renewed; nothing would change or at least nothing that I wanted would change. The same for you. Letting go and letting God was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It brought my relationship with Him to a different level because it meant I didn’t have to go it alone. I could drop the burden at His feet and He would be there. He is there for you too; it’s just a matter of your mind reconciling that.
2. Be healed. Healing comes through forgiveness. I didn’t get it until I got it. I didn’t know just how much I would be healed from. I had to get myself in order to be healed and believe that I could and would be. It was hard to say the least. In reality; I didn’t really know what it meant. I just knew I needed to forgive. During the time of forgiving all the people who hurt me I started to feel different. Every person and every act that I had to forgive was hard in the beginning; but then as I forgave more the power within grew. Obviously this would make sense because the more of me that was removed; the more of God was there and able to truly operate. I was able to not only forgive; but receive healing spiritually and physically. Some of the healing that took place was the restoration of relationship with my biological mother and other relationships. In the physical; my voice and eye color changed. Imagine what healing you will have when you get your mind in order to forgive in accordance with His Word.
3. Go forward. Preparing your mind to go forward can be a challenge; especially if you have lived a life in unforgiveness! It’s hard to imagine what life without all the internal turmoil would be like that’s for sure. Unforgiveness keeps you stuck. Period. If you are not receiving all of what God has for you; there is a reason. Most likely that reason is not that God is so mean and is picking on you. That mindset is purely one of a victim sissy living in blame of God when in reality my best guess is if you get truly serious and dig deep and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you; you will find there has been deep rooted unforgiveness manifesting along with about 40 symptoms of it that you probably don’t even know about. It is not possible to live a life moving forward focusing on stuff from the past. I tried. Trust me it doesn’t work. Going forward with unforgiveness is like trying to drive a 2-wheel SUV through a Colorado blizzard wondering why you are stuck. You will need something much stronger to get out! When you get your mind right and are ready to go forward leaving the pain of the past behind your life will change in ways beyond imagine!
See; everything starts in the mind. I didn’t get that until long after I dealt with the amount of unforgiveness I had. I sat in a room for 2 days over NYE 2006/7 dealing with all the unforgiveness I had. I had to deal with it once and for all. There was no turning back; and there really isn’t for you either. This of course if you want the real life that God created you for.
Once I grasped that God’s Word is not a joke when it reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” in John 10:10 my life changed. I got the revelation that what I continued to allow was the enemy to win. It was a war for my life and it is for yours too. It is time for you today to get the reality that should you claim you are a Believer and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior you can do all things through Him who gives you strength. This means you have the power within you to get your mind prepared to forgive; and then forgive. Don’t be deceived into thinking you can’t as that too is a lie. Prepare your mind and get ready for the battle; and the victory waiting for you!