Early in Martha Kilpatrick’s book Altogether Forgiven she reveals how ALL is forgiven. In light of what I recently wrote on this blog, it is super helpful! Christ came to forgive the sins of the world. This is all the sins we perform. Everything done is forgiven because Christ the Forgiver paid for them all. His Blood and Life were sufficient to pay the complete debt. So how do I come in line with that forgiveness, both for my sins and the sins of others? Choice of agreement!
The Clear Way to Forgive
My job is to choose to come in line with what already is—Forgiveness. This doesn’t mean I acquiesce or fail to confront when the Spirit leads in this way. It means I actively choose to be aligned with the reality that He has pain for and how He has set things up. Forgiveness is a fact, but I have to position my heart within this reality. It isn’t about feeling the forgiveness, it is about choosing to agree with what has already been done.
Oh the enemy tricks us because if it isn’t something we “feel”…we often believe that forgiveness isn’t real. Nothing could be further from the Truth. The reality of forgiveness is in fact The TRUTH. Where I enter in is through choice. Yes, choice trumps feels! I choose to forgive as an act of my will because Jesus has already forgiven all the offenses. My choice is to agree with what He has already done. I don’t know about you but I could hear this over and over again and it still not be enough.
Forgiveness and Feelings
So if feelings don’t have to be involved, what if I have anger which is brought up over and over. Well, I can tell you how I deal with it. I accuse before God the offender of their offense. I let the emotions fly and upload my heart to the Lord. This is cathartic and helps me to empty my heart of the offense. Then I choose to forgive what has already been forgiven. I forgive the offense because Christ has already forgiven it and I want to be unified with Him and His mind. Then I go to thanks. I thank the Lord for various things.
This part is hugely relational. I may thank Him for allowing me to experience the fellowship of His suffering. Perhaps I express gratitude for letting me be the one who has to carry the whole load rather than a worthless person. There are many reasons, each deeply personal. My gratitude is usually just as much a choice as anything. I purpose to take it full circle, and this is because that is who my brain works.
Now, I may have to go around and round this circle again and again. This is how offense works. In actuality, sometimes I have to do it multiple times a day. Why do you think the disciple Peter asked Jesus, “How many times, Lord? Seven times?” Here is a man who faced his offenses in real time. And Christ upped the ante—“No I say, seventy times seven.” That is a lot of forgiving.
As we enter the end times, forgiveness is a reality we will increasingly need. When the volatility of the world flairs up in the most offensive ways, we have to rely on Christ’s forgiveness. To actively choose His Will and Way daily and even moment by moment, will be the only thing that will allow us to live clean and in right relationship with God and our fellow man.
Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.
Matthew 18:21-22 AMP