Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(day sixty-one) Breath of Life in the Face of Forgiveness

There's something that has been on my heart for several days now... not wanting to let me loose until I write about it. This is becoming a common occurrence for me lately. It's like I'll have this thing that wonders around in my brain for awhile until it grows to maturity and moves into my heart to be released to the masses. Because of my excitement (and mild impatience), there may be underdeveloped ideas that surface too soon. I try to watch for this, but I just pray that God is the one overseeing this whole process. I ask that He continues to guide my thoughts, words, and revelations. I also pray that God sends the messages to the people that need to hear it; and those that read will be challenged, inspired, encouraged, up-lifted, and motivated by His love and truth.

From reading His word, I'm seeing God's aching desire for our freedom. I truly believe He wants to "detox" us from all of the "hell" we've collected over the years. This "hell" being any sin we've chosen to be a part of, any negative thing that's ever been done to us, any lies we've believed, any negative emotion we've been hanging on to, any generational sins passed down, any negative spirit that's attached itself to us; ANYTHING that's in our mind, body, soul or spirit that is NOT of Him. We've got to let Him in EVERY waking moment. And just because we may have "said a prayer" once... I still believe it's an active/everyday choice to allow Him authority to move in our lives. So easily we can shut Him out and not even know it!

For years I did this and became numb to my own sin. I believed in the word of God but didn't live it... as a result I chose to live in this slavery. I absolutely hate that I broke my Daddy's heart during that time, but I know now He's forgiven me more than I could imagine. Let me tell you though, it was so hard to look Him in the eyes as He revealed my ugly flesh to me... I wanted to crawl in a hole. I'm so joyful to now live a free life. Sure, there is still the occasional stupid thing I do... but it's so important to get up off the floor and RUUUUUUN to Him!!!! He's the only one that can clean us up and make us whole again.

So this thing that's been rolling around in my head??? Well.... it's forgiveness. Remember those stupid things I said I have done?? Unfortunately they not only hurt me, but other innocent by-standers. I have never intended to hurt anyone in my life...EVER... but because I was not a free person, I was blind to the pain I was causing due to my own selfish ambition. Every time I became aware of something I had done, I asked for forgiveness from that person. A few of these people, one in particular, has not talked to me since. It's been over 6 years since this happened and all I hear in return is..... silence. I know I've done all I can do in the situation and I've been forgiven by God for hurting someone so dear... but it still pains me to know that she is obviously still aching or letting unforgiveness eat her up inside. I just pray that God will make things right one day and mend that broken relationship.

If someone has done wrong to you and you just can't let it go... I want to ask you forgive them on their behalf. They may not ever ask for forgiveness... and honestly they may not even know they hurt you. But I can promise you that the unforgiveness you hold inside will eventually hurt you more than it hurts them. I apologize on behalf of what the world has done or said to you, but I want to make it clear who the real enemy is.... he is the father of all lies, counterfeit and illusions. He will go to great lengths to steal, kill, and destroy you. Forgiveness is the first step to freedom. When we know and accept God's ultimate forgiveness we are then able to forgive ourselves. When this happens we must forgive others, wiping their debt to us... bestowing the same grace freely given to us. Your forgiveness is a powerful thing in the spiritual realm... don't ever underestimate what God can do in this obedience to Him. He now will have even more authority to move in amazing ways in both party's lives. Remember that self-righteous forgiveness is only a prideful illusion of the real thing.... supernatural forgiveness calls for humility, selflessness, and the power of the cross. It can break strongholds and chains if we take advantage of this gift and glorify the one who gave it.
the cross...up close and personal:

Last year in new zealand I remember lying on the floor during a worship session with my face buried in my hands. I don't recall what exactly I was praying... but all of the sudden it was like my eyes opened to a vision of the cross from a distance. I could barely see my Jesus up there... and most people were just walking by, minding to their business. Every once in awhile someone might bow down and say some prayers, but I found it odd (in my vision) that no one was crying out or running closer.

Then I felt my eyes close even tighter as I began to ask for more of Him. When I opened them in my vision a second time I was closer to the cross. It seemed that the closer I got, the more intense the repentance, praise, thanksgiving, and worship was of everyone around me. I felt myself take a deep breath as I closed my eyes a third time.

This time as I opened them in my hands I was so close to something I could barely make it out. This object was rough and was covered with dried blood. My vision was so clear that I could almost smell it. I could almost feel the grooves of the cross with my fingertips as I imagined my hand running over it. This piece of wood became more than just a piece of wood to me in that moment. I finally was beginning to understand the incredible magnitude of it's significance. I realized in this moment that I had known a whole lot "about" the cross, but I wasn't quite sure up until this point how much I "knew" the cross.

I began to weep as I felt only a microscopic version of the pain Christ must have endured up there. And I don't think I was quite prepared for what happened next. All of the sudden it was like I felt a face touching mine. (my face was still in my hands... or I would've thought it was someone else.) When I looked up this time I was looking directly in the eyes of my Savior. He began saying, "Lindsey I love you, and I'm doing this for you." In this very instant I was painfully lost in His love for me. As He began to breath His last He held my head secure looking straight into my eyes. And then it hit me.... As He was dying, He was breathing that very life straight into me.

Although I had "prayed the prayer" as a young child, this was the closest to a salvation experience I had ever felt in my entire life. THIS was true forgiveness. THIS was sacrifice. THIS was and is Love. The ONLY reason we are able to have true LIFE and FREEDOM is because the Son of the Living God died and rose again. In His death He breathed life into us. How can we now hold on to anything negative or sinful... when we really and truly realize the enormous capacity of what took place on that day.

I pray that you will close your eyes tonight and make a decision to walk up to the cross. Envision yourself, if you can... touching the cracks of the wood, seeing the blood and smelling the smells. Then picture yourself face to face with Jesus... eyes locked. You suddenly become lost in His love and want nothing more than to stay in that moment with Him forever. You know that you'll have to leave and so will He... but right now you are His and His alone. No one is around, no kids screaming, no bills need to be paid, no kidney is failing, no boss is demanding, no horn is honking, no church bells are ringing, no cake is baking, no back is aching, no fear in the world is dwelling.... ALL you know in this instant is the peace, forgiveness, joy, truth, and freedom of His love.

This is the love that will bring you to your knees every single day... not just in desperate need of a miracle, but knees bowing in complete humble adoration of the one who SAVED you. He saved you from an eternity without Him and He saves you for Himself. This is the love that will keep your hands held high in undignified praise, thanksgiving and worship. You will now TRUST in what His word says and spend your time giving Him your ALL the rest of your days!!!! You are a beloved child of the most High King. A King who humbled himself to a baby who would grow to live, serve, and die for you.

B90: (Ezekiel 22- 33:20) Two more days of Ezekiel. Hallelujah. When I read bigger chunks of the bible I tend to notice things I usually don't. Today I saw that God was saying this particular thing over and over, "Then they will know that I am the Lord God." He says "then" after all this all this bad stuff happens. Yikes, I don't wanna be one of the "thenners". I think I'd rather start getting to know my Dad now :) Ok, that's all I got for Ezekiel tonight... sleep tight in His arms tonight.

1 comment: