Unleash Your Inner Warrior
“We do not have to make God willing to forgive. In fact, it is God who is working to make us willing to seek His forgiveness” -Richard J. Foster
As believers, we all understand that we should confess our sins. At least, that is my hope. Confessing our sins and forgiving one another are vital parts of our walk with Christ. We cannot walk in step with Him if we are clinging to unforgiveness, clinging to anger and bitterness towards other people for having wounded us. Scripture tells us not to quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). One of the ways we quench the Spirit in our lives is by harboring unrepented sin in our lives. It creates a rift between God and us.
The first question for you then, dear warrior, is this: is there any unforgiveness in your life?
If your answer was ‘Nope!’ then sorry, try again. This time, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind where you need to forgive others; where you have unresolved anger, bitterness or hatred towards someone. Ask Him to point out things for which you have not forgiven yourself, or where you are mad at God, Himself.
Holy Spirit, where in my life do I have anger, bitterness, unforgiveness or unconfessed sin?
Take a moment. You probably are starting to realize: wow, I need to forgive a lot of people. …I need to forgive everyone I’ve ever met! That’s more like it.
"For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences." - Matthew 6:14
Some of you I’m sure have thought “I can’t forgive myself for what I’ve done!” No matter how many times you go over that one memory, you can’t forgive yourself for what you’ve done. You’ve carried that over yourself for so long now, and you are weighed down by shame, guilt and condemnation.
First of all, shame, guilt and condemnation are not from God. Those are tools of the enemy. God convicts. The enemy condemns. Conviction is when God points to something specific that is not right in our lives that He wants to fix. Condemnation, is when the enemy heaps a blanket feeling of shame on us, the feeling that you’re no good, that there’s no recovery and that you’ve messed up so bad that you can’t fix it and cannot go before God. You’d rather run and hide from God. This is incorrect.
Secondly, well, I’ll just quote C.S. Lewis: “I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.”
Forgiveness and healing are almost always mentioned together in scripture. There is a reason for this: forgiveness brings healing. In Western culture, and in our day and age, we underestimate (or completely discount) the impact of emotions and our spiritual well-being on our physical health. God understands this better than anyone, so of course He made a point to write it in the Bible. I found that healing and forgiveness were paired together throughout scripture, and realized that they work in tandem. The stripes that Christ bore, the blood that He shed was the same payment both for our sins and our sickness. By His stripes we are healed.
“Christ bore our sins in His body on a tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds we have been healed” – 1 Peter 2:24
The reason this is so pertinent in my life right now is because this is the story of my summer. At the beginning of the summer, God shared with me that this would be the summer of my healing. God has been asking me the same question over and over all summer: who do you need to forgive? Confess your unforgiveness to me. I thought I had already confessed everything, and had forgiven everyone. Boy, was I wrong. As it turned out, it was just the tip of the iceberg. I have a lifetime of people to forgive, and of anger and bitterness to confess. I realized that I had not even forgiven myself!
As God and I began to work through all my unforgiveness, and I confessed it as sin, I began to get set free from the most emotionally traumatic events, down to the tiniest of offenses I had been holding onto. As I confessed by sins, and as I forgave, I found that God was not just healing me emotionally, He was healing me physically, too! For those of you who know me, I've had upwards of 27 different allergies, ranging from anaphylactic food allergies to contact dermatitis. As I began to forgive myself and others, my allergies and health problems began to dissipate, and my heart has become light.
I am thrilled to share that I am no longer allergic to oats, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, apples, peanuts, and a number of other things! I no longer have eczema, skin problems, joint pain, stomach or digestive problems or pain, and am healthier and stronger now than I have ever been in my life. I am ecstatic! The best part of this season is that I have been getting to know Love, Himself, so personally. He has been transforming me from the inside out.
The saying she who has been forgiven much, loves much rings truer in my life now than I ever could have imagined. I have been finding that the next part of that verse (Luke 7:47) rings incredibly true, “but he who forgives little, loves little.”
I urge you today to confess your unforgiveness. There’s no reason to carry that around with you any longer. You’re only doing harm to yourself. I'v heard it said before that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Begin by asking the Holy Spirit to bring things to mind that He wants you free from. Confess those things (unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, shame, guilt, condemnation, etc) as sin. Then, make sure to ask the Holy Spirit to fill that part of your life. You allowed sin to take up residence in that part of your life; now it's time to let God take up residence there.
God, I confess _______ as sin, and I repent of it. I forgive myself (and forgive whatever other people were involved), I ask for Your forgiveness, and I receive Your forgiveness. I give it up to You, and I ask You to come into that part of my life and my heart that was not Yours. Thank You for setting me free! In Jesus name, Amen
The goal of war is to win the battle, to be victorious. Once you have the victory, you must occupy the land. The same is true of your inner life. Once sin is gone, your temple must be filled with Him. The enemy will seek re-entry (see Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24-26). Do not allow him to reoccupy that territory. If bitterness, anger, frustration, negativity or cynicism begin to rise again, reject those thoughts and feelings. It can be as simple as saying "No, I'm not thinking that. I reject it, in Jesus name." Keep forgiving. Keep practicing forgiveness and letting go. Have a positive expectation. Don't cling to negativity, pessimism or cynicism. The more you practice forgiving and letting go, the easier it will become.
Remember warriors, it takes more strength and courage to forgive than it does to be angry and bitter, to hold onto grudges. Be strong in the Lord, and choose to forgive. Do not quench the Spirit by your unforgiveness or unconfessed sins. Walk in freedom, because whom the Son sets free is free indeed!
©Michèle Aimée, 2015
*November 2015 update
I am no longer allergic to:
Praise to You, Lord Christ! I have also gained 12 pounds of pure muscle mass, have discovered a love for running, and do Calisthenics on a daily basis.
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.