“We have been sent into the world to implement the rule of God on earth. Where there is discord we are to replace it with harmony. Where there is hatred we are to replace it with agape. Where there is an offense simmering into a murderous conflict, we are to replace it with forgiveness. When we choose to forgive, we invade the realm of darkness and defeat those dark forces with the power of a resurrected life.”
As we mature in our destiny to reach the nations, there are things that can hinder our progress towards God’s plan for us. One of the greatest hindrances is unforgiveness. Realize that the enemy will try to trip you up as you move forward in your destiny, he will bring people in your path who irritate or hurt you, he will remind you of past hurts, and he will do everything he can to cause division. Why does he do this? Satan is afraid of the salvation of the lost. He is afraid of your destiny in reaching the nations. He knows that if you forgive others, then you will have a greater ability to set the captives free wherever you go. He tries everything to stop and entrap you. One of his main tactics is relational difficulty that leads to unforgiveness. If he has you here, he really has hindered your progress and your effectiveness. We have seen the damage caused by unforgiveness on the mission field again and again. It damages whole teams and hinders the work of God.
Forgiveness is one of the most important Christ-like responses that we could ever have. In fact, forgiveness is the power to set nations free. If you learn to forgive, you can help others to do likewise. The steps in forgiving others are not easy. The love of Christ is the only way that we can set free those who have deeply wounded us. But it is possible. There is perhaps no greater gift you can offer to God than a heart that knows the power of forgiveness, chooses to forgive, and sets others free. It is time to access this life-changing grace of forgiveness as we go to the nations.
“Who has offended or wounded you? Release them from unforgiveness. This release of divine power is resident, even now, in our capacity to set one another free from indebtedness. Forgive your debtors and maintain forgiveness.” Francis Frangipane
Many of us don’t realize the power released when we truly forgive one another. It is a power that can affect the whole world as each one of us chooses to walk in forgiveness on a daily basis, because it sets the captives free. Forgiveness defeats darkness on a massive scale because it involves the resurrection power of Jesus. There is nothing that can defeat the healing release that is in one act of forgiveness. This is why Jesus and the Biblical writers emphasize it so strongly. Paul says in Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Steps in Forgiving Others
“Forgiveness openly acknowledges God as sovereign Lord of our lives. It makes room for God’s perspective being larger and more encompassing than ours. It confirms that He is using everything in our existence for our good and His glory. Nothing gets through his hands that cannot mold us and mature us. He guarantees the grace to respond to every offense. He has promised to be in charge of all vengeance.”
- Recognize and call sin what God calls it – Be specific and thorough. Remember forgiveness is not excusing and approving of the behavior of others or saying that the offense is not important. Be honest with yourself, and recognize your emotional response. You may feel angry, sad, let down or disappointed. It isn’t wrong to have emotions. They are natural. It’s what you do with your emotions that can be sinful. Make sure there is no offensive way in you. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is an offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
- Share with God honestly, and let Him heal you – Share with God what happened to you and how you feel. He knows your pain. Look at His evaluation of the situation, and focus on Him and His faithfulness. Spend time with Him, and let Him restore where sin has destroyed. Forgiveness releases God’s divine healing power. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
- Set the offender free, understanding that it is a process – Declare forgiveness. Say, “I forgive (name individual or group) for (name the offense).” Don’t say, “I want to forgive.” Let them off the hook, and set them free. It takes time to go through the process of forgiveness. The hurt can come up at different times, and we must choose to forgive again. It doesn’t mean that we automatically forget the offense. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
- Release the offender to God, trusting Him as your Judge – Repent of your desires to punish and take revenge. Let God deal with the offense. Focus on today rather than the past. Declare God as Judge over the person and the situation. Transfer what happens next to God. Know that He is your protector. “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
- Bless the offender – Apply God’s forgiveness. Trust and reconcile when possible. Realize that forgiveness does not always mean that we have to relate in the future. In some cases, this is not possible. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14)
“When God forgives us, He not only accepts the consequences of our debt; He imparts the ability to forgive. In the same way, we can to the same degree enable others to forgive when we forgive them. Forgiveness is a power that can be transferred.” Unnamed quotes by Dudley Hall
May God give us the grace to fully free others. May we be like Jesus who was the first one to love, to forgive and to bless people. May the river of God’s life flow through each one of us so that we bless everyone we meet. May we remind people of how much they are loved by God. As we give our lives away in love and in forgiveness, we become free ourselves. Through a life that models forgiveness, we help enable others to forgive. Forgiveness is powerfully effective in setting nations free from hatred, disharmony and darkness. We are God’s called out people. We must know who we are in Christ and walk in love with God and one another.
“Forgiveness is the very spirit of heaven removing the hiding places of demonic activity from the caverns of the human soul. It is every wrong made right and every evil made void. The power released in forgiveness is actually a mighty weapon in the war to save our cities.” Francis Frangipane
For additional training in setting nations free; an anointing for missions, a passion that will burn like fire and God’s powerful light in a dark world, read the book called Go Forth in Power or Intercessors Arise by Norman and Debbie Przybylski.