It’s amazing how God works.... He took me on a journey this week that led up to a new revelation for me regarding the power of forgiveness. His timing is so cool considering my blog topic this week is on forgiveness! Here’s the journey: Last Saturday, I flipped on the TV in the early morning and CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) was on. They had a story on the show about a girl who had suffered abuse up until she was 17 years old. She was invited to church by a friend, went, and was transformed by the forgiveness and love of Jesus. Her comments at the end of her testimony touched my heart and reminded me of the power that comes when we accept God’s forgiveness and when we forgive those who have hurt us. She said that you have to let the love of God come in and heal your heart. She said the key is forgiveness and you can’t allow what others have done to you to keep you from what God has purposed for your life. She said there is liberation in forgiveness! Devries says, “The prayer for forgiveness is for reconciliation with God and with each other. It’s a prayer for love.” This girl needed love in a big way. She had been mistreated and overlooked her entire life before she met the Lord. She was looking for love, for a Father, for reconciliation – so she could let go of the pain and shame – and God was there for her. She received liberation and freedom and her life became whole and purposeful. Imagine what direction her life would have taken without God’s love and forgiveness and without her forgiveness of those who abused her. Her testimony is amazing, so I am including the link here for you to watch! http://www.cbn.com/media/player/index.aspx?s=/mp4/JTS27v2_WS
On Monday, I had a friend text me and tell me she was in a very dark place in her life and needed prayer. This friend had experienced some similar abuse situations to the girl on CBN. But she was having trouble forgiving those who had hurt her... and felt shame from her abuse, so was having trouble receiving forgiveness from God. I prayed for her and I tried to speak truth to her about the power of forgiveness and the freedom that comes from receiving God’s love and forgiveness, but she was having trouble getting past the tormenting memories and shame. My words weren’t enough and she just couldn’t see or understand the power of that reconciliation.
On Wednesday in our staff meeting, there was also some conversation about forgiveness. God brought this scripture up during our discussion and it was so powerful for me. It’s 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. As I read this scripture, what really spoke to me and brought me to tears was that we are ambassadors for God and He makes His appeal through us. He wants to use us to impart forgiveness into people’s lives ( like my friend) who can’t seem to receive or give forgiveness on their own because of that “dark place” they are in. You see, I was wondering how my friend would ever understand the power and healing of forgiveness if my words were just words to her. But as an ambassador for Christ, I have the authority in Jesus’ name, to look in her eyes, and speak boldly to her that she is forgiven in the name of Jesus! Not just my words telling her, but the ministry of the Holy Spirit speaking through me to her and imparting forgiveness to her. This is so empowering for me... I don’t have to feel helpless to convey the “message” of forgiveness, but can actually be an instrument of God to “give His forgiveness” to my friend through His Presence and power at work through me.
This takes praying for my neighbors and my friends to a whole new level. God has given me the authority in His name to pray for reconciliation in homes around me... to pray that forgiveness happens... and to speak it to my neighbors when God opens that door. Not just praying over the homes, but actually praying INTO those homes and situations where the healing power of forgiveness is needed.
Lord, I want to speak your forgiveness into the life of my friend. By your authority and in the name of Jesus, please give me the opportunity to do this and prepare the heart of my friend to receive the transforming power and the healing power of your love and forgiveness. I am humbled to be an ambassador for you Lord. I am humbled that you would use me to be a conduit for your grace and forgiveness in someone’s life. Forgive me Lord... and thank you for your forgiveness and love and sacrifice. Amen
How did this devotion move you today? Did God reveal anything new to you like He did to me? I would love to hear it!