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I’ve Been Set Free, But…

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So many years ago there was so much hurt and pain. The years of childhood were not happy ones and even though we go through many years of hard-core therapy to overcome those memories we can still be plagued by them.

How do we deal with the flashbacks, the times when we jerk straight up in bed awakened by a dream so real it feels like we’re reliving the event? Do we ignore what the Lord may be showing us through a dream? Do we assume it is a nightmare the devil is taunting us with? Do we wipe the sweat off our brow and finally go back to sleep ignoring it?

Several years have been spent reliving the traumatic events of an abusive childhood, the emotional attacks as well as the physical attacks. Child abuse leaves wounds to our hearts that seems to penetrate to the very cells of our bodies. God, with all His infinite wisdom, knows our past, our present, and our future.

He came that we may enjoy life. He came to give us the freedom to live an abundant life. Abundance does not mean just finances. It means freedom from pain and suffering.  It means that we do not have to live with memories of terror that leave us screaming, crying, and wanting to end it all. It means that He has given us a way to break the chains that bind us to our abuser/s.

Even after many years of therapy we will still remember the events that caused us so much pain. God does not give us amnesia so we never remember again. We can wallow in those memories and relive the pain, hold on to the anger that follows, let the bitterness turn our hearts to stone or we can sever the ties that bind us to them. If we do not sever those ties our abuser is still controlling us!

In Matthew 18:21,22 Peter came to the Lord and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  When we have those dreams, when we suddenly find an event that caused us so much pain come throbbing through our brain, or words that the abuser growled in our ear, isn’t that much like the sin is being perpetrated again? It feels like it.

But what did Jesus tell Peter? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” This is what breaks the ties that the devil is using to keep us bound! Every time a mental image comes of the abusive act say out loud, “I forgive (name the person) for (say what he/she did to you) in Jesus name. Satan hates forgiveness! You are naming the event that has been brought to mind.

In the case of an abuser’s hateful words being replayed, we do not have to tolerate the devil harassing us with hurtful statements from the past! When the devil starts spouting how horrible I am or how I’m nothing I say the 4 words that Michael said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)

The Lord forgives us and says He will not forgive us our sin if we do not forgive others theirs. Saying a prayer of forgiveness for something horrendous that was done to us does not cover all time! It isn’t like a one size fits all. We are to forgive over and over and over again if that is what is needed, and many times that is exactly what is needed!

Every dream, every memory, every mental picture, comes from either the Lord, to show us something important that He wants to bring to our attention or heal, the devil to taunt us and keep us in pain, or ourselves because we haven’t healed. Regardless of who, what, or where the memory comes from if we announce out loud “I forgive….” we benefit! The abusers hateful words being slammed into our memory you can bet comes from the devil. Rebuke him in Jesus name!

I’ve done this many, many times and it stops the enemy in his tracks! The Lord does not taunt us with painful memories! In my experience, if it is the Lord, He has done it through dreams, not nightmares, but dreams that will leave me wondering what He is trying to show me. Occasionally it will be a mental picture. I do not ignore either. I told the Lord one time after forgiving my abuser for what he did that came to mind, “I don’t feel that in my heart.” I learned that we speak it out and in time it will enter and come from our heart.

We are not only set free from the deep wounds to our soul and spirit from an abusive childhood or an abusive relationship but we are given a tool to use against the memories that on occasion jump up unexpectantly. We have been healed and no longer have to live in emotional torment. That does not mean we will never have to revisit some of those events but a revisit does not mean living it! You have been set free or you are being set free. Walk in that freedom!

“Whom the Lord sets free is free indeed.” Jn. 8:36

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Blessings to you.

 

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Stand Guard – But they didn’t!

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Psalm 25 is a plea for the Lord to guard, protect, forgive, and a statement of repentance.

As a child I went to others when I was being hurt by someone I trusted with my very life. I begged for protection and asked that this person stand guard over me so I would not be harmed any more.

Because of our human nature we do not always understand the voice of our children. I asked to be protected, that this person intercede because I was too small to defend myself, yet I was not heard.

I asked this person to stand guard, to be my knight and to do the battle that I could not. My life was in the hands of others. That’s the way God intended when He placed me within my family. Each parent was to be as a sentry at the gate of my heart. To love me as their child and to make sure I was safe from harm.

As a parent, each has the responsibility given to them by God to raise a child with fear (reverance) of God Almighty. To teach them to love God as well as others, and to be an example of what His love is.

Because they each had chosen a different path than the one that Christ had lain out, this child was not taught what Christ’s love is. This child was not taught that to forgive means that we leave the punishment, the judgment, and the retributions up to the Almighty.

To ask a person that does not know Christ what it means to repent would be like asking someone to explain a passage in the Bible that has never read the Bible.

To repent, is telling the Lord that I will turn away from whatever sin I have just told Him about, that I have confessed to God. To repent, does not mean I will never do that again. It means that I will change my thinking or actions. It means that I realize that those thoughts or actions are not what Christ wishes me to have or to do, so, I will do my humanly best to change. I will do my humanly best to be more like, act more like, think more like Christ does.

With the past filled with abusive acts I must forgive those who inflicted the wounds. I must try to see them as Christ see’s them. That is not easy nor is it possible if I have a heart that is filled with bitterness and hurt.

As long as the wounds from the past are still oozing their poisons we are not able to think about forgiving and as long as we are not able to forgive how then can we repent?

How can I think as Christ does if my heart is filled with anger, frustration, and hatred instead of love? How can I change my present pattern of thinking and acting if I don’t trust even God who created me to love, to love Him as well as others?

In Psalm 25 David is pleading with the Lord to show him how. He is telling the Lord that he is unable to do these things without the Lord’s help and guidance. He’s telling God he wants to change, he wants to repent and asking God to forgive him of his ungodly ways.

How can I ask God to help me if I am mad as the dicken’s at God? If I’m mad at my parent’s, at myself, at the world and at God, whom I feel has forsaken me, I can’t very well forgive my parents, myself, the world, or even God.

When we are mad we are not in love. And when we do not love we cannot repent, for God is love. Remember, repenting is to be more like Christ. How then will I even want to be more like Christ if I blame Him for the abuse I suffered from humans?

Humans are not perfect. They are going to fail a little, a lot, miserably. God doesn’t! Because we are conditioned by external things we look to humans and expect all of our needs to be met. Humans can not do that. God can!

For Christ to be a viable part of our heart we must remove those things that crowd Him out; the anger, the bitterness, those thoughts of “they don’t deserve”. All those areas that prevent us from experiencing love must go.

As David cried out unto the Lord, “To You, O’Lord, I lift up my soul; in You I trust, O’ my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me…” (v1-2) so must we put our trust in the Lord. So must we give Him our soul.

For it is our soul and spirit that abuse has hurt. And as long as our heart is filled with hurt, guilt, shame, fear, hatred, and bitterness, our enemies are still triumphet! And it is that triumph over us that is our shame.

How then do we become triumphet over the wounds from our past? How do we defeat the enemy that holds us in bondage?

We do as David and many, many others – we cry out to the Lord. God loves each of us. It is His perfect love that delivers us. It is He who created us to love and be loved that we can reach out to and be heard.

“Teach me Thy way, O’ Lord.”

Psalm 86:11

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Blessings to you.

Something to Think About.

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A Pen Tip

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HE WHO IS ON HIGH HAS GIVEN HIS

SON FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF YOU!

HOW CAN OTHERS WHO RECEIVE

SUCH A WONDERFUL AND BLESSED

GIFT IGNORE THAT PRECIOUS GIFT

AND WITHHOLD IT FROM OTHERS?

*

YOUR ETERNAL SALVATION DOES

NOT REST ON YOU FORGIVING

OTHERS, BUT BY FAITH IN THE 

ALMIGHTY SON OF GOD, TO FORGIVE

AS YOU HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN IS

WALKING IN THE WAYS OF THE LORD.

*

DO NOT CHEAT YOURSELF BY WITH-

HOLDING LOVE. FOR IT IS HIS LOVE

FOR YOU THAT HAS SET YOU FREE,

FROM CONDEMNATION, UNFORGIVE-

NESS, AND HELL ETERNALLY. BLESS

OTHERS WITH THE FORGIVENESS AND

BE BLESSED BY HE WHO LOVES YOU.

*

WALK IN HIS PEACE, WITH HIS JOY

FILLING YOUR HEART. BE AS HE WHO

LOVES YOU WOULD HAVE YOU BE.

                                                                    The Holy Spirit

Angels by Grace Pub. May 1998

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Blessings to you.

The Gift of Forgiveness

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I forgive you. Few words carry such an enormous impact upon both the speaker and the listener. It’s been my observation that forgiveness can break the chains that bind us to our past like few other things can. We all know we should forgive those who have wronged us, yet coming to a place of truly forgiving another can be fearful, difficult, or at times confusing.  Some find themselves in a place where they are unsure if they have forgiven or not. Still others ask, “Why should I forgive, I’m the one who was hurt?”

FORGIVENESS

SETS US FREE

FROM OUR OWN

PRISON CELL.

“What forgiveness is not”

Let me begin by sharing what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is NOT justifying, excusing, understanding or explaining away someone’s behavior. It is NOT denying angry feelings, forgetting about it, pretending it didn’t happen. Forgiveness does NOT require the cooperation, request or knowledge of the other person and is NOT the same as reconciliation, nor does it require reconciliation, as in cases of abuse or violence, etc. Forgive and forget is a myth. You are not capable of self-induced amnesia. We need to forgive and be willing to forget.

“What is forgiveness?”

I think the best way to understand forgiveness is to ask the One who invented it. Scripture is filled with awesome revelation of God’s incredible “transaction” with mankind. He took the sins of the world and placed then on Christ. He took Christ’s righteousness and offered it to all who would receive. Such an incredible offer, total forgiveness as well as Christ’s very life and righteousness made available to us. We first had to realize our “need,” then we entered into (receiving, appropriated) the work God had already prepared for us.

“Releasing a Debt”

This is forgiveness, a transaction whereby the debt of one is released by the willful act of another. This release is not earned or bargained for. It’s a gift only to be received. This is precisely the definitions of the two words used in the original language of the Bible that are translated “forgive.” One means, to release a debt, the other means to give a gift of grace (an unearned gift). It’s important to note that God did His forgiveness work before we asked Him to. This teaches an important lesson on our forgiveness of others. Forgiveness only takes one, reconciliation takes two.

“Doesn’t sound fair”

If we are the one who was hurt, then why should we release the other person from a debt that they haven’t paid? This doesn’t sound fair to me. Besides the obvious fact that forgiveness is a scriptural command, I find consolation in the scripture that reminds me that God forgives for His own sake. (Isa. 43:25) We are then one’s who benefit from forgiving others. Forgiveness sets us free from our own prison cell. The sad fact is, I can’t undo the past. As much as I might wish it were different, debts (hurts by others) of the past are debts that can never be paid. In areas where I’ve been wronged or hurt I only have two options, carry that hurt with bitterness or release the hurt through forgiveness. If you’re thinking that it doesn’t seem fair, you’re right, it’s not. In reality the harm done to us by others was in fact paid for by Jesus on the cross, and the cross wasn’t fair. From God’s perspective the cross is where unpaid debt of others is finally accounted for. From our limited perspective, it’s hard to see how the account is settled.

“FORGIVE AND

FORGET IS A MYTH.

YOU ARE NOT

CAPABLE OF SELF-

INDUCED AMNESIA.”

 “…AS YOU HAVE

BEEN FORGIVEN” Scripture tells us to “forgive as God has forgiven us” (Eph.4:32) To briefly list how God has forgiven us would include the following. God had a focal point (the cross). He charged the debt, poured out His wrath and made a transaction. Based on that transaction, He forgave and accepted us. He then took the chance we would fail again.

“How do I forgive?”

Our forgiveness of others include all these points. Just as  God had a focal point, you may find helpful to picture this person sitting in an empty chair or prayerfully giving the hurt to Jesus, after all “He bore our griefs and sorrows.” It is not required  the other person be present. This is your decision, you’re deciding what you will do with your life.

* Acknowledge the hurt (ie. charge the debt) verbally.

* Acknowledge how it made you feel. This means you need to “feel what you feel.”

* Verbally release the person from the debt they owe you. (saying in effect, “I release the debt,” “You don’t owe me any more,” “You are forgiven.”)   Forgiveness is a transaction based on will, not a feeling.                                 

 * Accepting the person just as they are (Ro.15:7)  I am entrusting this person into God’s hands. God is now responsible for changing this person. This person is not freed from the consequences of his actions. God is in charge of letting people experience the consequences of their actions, we are not called to be enablers or rescuers.

“WE ONLY HAVE TWO

OPTIONS, CARRY THE

HURT IN BITTERNESS

OR RELEASE THE HURT

THROUGH FORGIVENESS.”

Most of us have people who have hurt us deeply and need to forgive. This list usually includes ourselves. Failure to forgive ourselves is holding onto what God has released. This is one of the enemy’s traps.

“Picket fences or Prison walls?”

When hurt, most people develop rigid protective walls. Unless we are willing to cautiously lower these walls of protection, reconciliation becomes impossible. They become prison walls rather than picket fences that serve to define healthy personal boundaries. There is always the risk of being hurt again. This will mean trusting God with the future.

“Residual feelings”

The fact that passing thoughts and lingering hurt feelings may still occur proves two things. The devil is alive and well, and we still retain the memory of the hurt even after forgiveness. As we focus on the reality of our transaction, emotions slowly follow. We literally change the significance of a hurtful memory when we change its meaning. No longer a victim, we are an overcomer.

“Decision or Process?”

Is forgiveness a decision or a process? It’s both. Allow me to illustrate, almost seventeen years ago Carol and I walked into a church as single people. We said a few words, and the pastor (my father) said a few words. When we walked out we were married people. It became true because we made it true. It started with a decision, yet the implications of that wonderful decision are discovered in a lifelong process. This principle applies to forgiveness. It too begins with a decision, but it’s clearly a process of walking out our decision on a daily basis. Keeping our accounts at zero is an ongoing process.

“Reconciliation?”

 Many people ask questions like, “What if the other person isn’t sorry for what they did, or what if he never asks to be forgiven?” These questions are more about the issue of reconciliation than forgiveness. Remember, forgiveness takes one, reconciliation takes two working toward a common goal. Scripture implies that we will not be able to reconcile with everyone. (Rom. 12:18), however reconciliations is the natural goal in mind in most cases. We are responsible for our own willingness to reconcile, but not for others. I like to use the illustration that reconciliation is like two people on opposite sides of a large river and you only have enough lumber to build the bridge half-way across. The point being, if the other person doesn’t want their half of the bridge, you won’t get across. True reconciliation won’t take place. At best what you will have is an “arrangement” not a relationship with the other person. Arrangements are where two Peoples interactions with each other are governed by unspoken but clearly understood terms of rules.

“Forgiveness takes

one, reconciliation

takes two… what

you have is an

“arrangement”

not a relationship…”

“You are a forgiven person”

While forgiveness seems awkward at first, we soon discover that it is completely consistent with the new nature (2Pet.1:4) we received at salvation. In other words, we discover the truth that all believers are in fact forgiving people by virtue of God’s process of changing our hearts. Any time our daily walk becomes consistent with our new nature (Christ in us) we are on the path to freedom. Let’s walk in His freedom.

Written by James Eubanks – Grace Ministries, Inc. – Angels by Grace Publication-May 1998

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Blessings to you.

The Process of Forgiveness

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The Process Of Forgiveness

Neil AndeersonOctober 29Luke 6:27, 28
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat youHere are 12 simple steps you can use to walk through the process of forgiving someone who hurt you in the past.

Ask the Lord to reveal the names of the persons who offended you and the specific wrongs you suffered. Face the hurt and the hate. If you are going to forgive from your heart, you must let God search the depths of your heart. Acknowledge the significance of the cross. It is the cross of Christ that makes forgiveness legally and morally right. Decide that you will not retaliate by using the information about the offender’s sin against them (Luke 6:27-34). Decide to forgive. Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let the other person off the hook and free yourself from the past. Take your list of names to God and pray the following: “I forgive ___(name)___ for ___(specifically identify every remembered pain)__ .” Destroy the list. You are now free. Do not tell the offenders what you have done. Your forgiveness is between you and God unless the offenders have asked you for forgiveness. Do not expect that your decision to forgive will result in major changes in the other persons. Instead, pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Try to understand the people you have forgiven. They are victims also. Freedom is a result of forgiveness in you. In time you will be able to think about the people who offended you without feeling hurt or anger. Thank God for the lessons you have learned and the maturity you have gained. When appropriate, accept your part of the blame for the offenses you suffered. Confess your failure to God and to others (1 John 1:9) and realize that if someone has something against you, you must go to that person (Matthew 5:23-26).

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to love unconditionally and forgive quickly those who hate me, curse me or mistreat me.

Are your hands full?

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“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

One of the first articles I wrote for the new Cyber Support Group blog (Rocks in my Garden) was with an assignment of placing rocks in a basket as each issue was healed. Survivors carry much guilt, shame, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, anger, etc. The healing of these many issues takes time and much work. They did not happen over night and will not be healed over night. As each issue is looked at we go through the pain of having to relive some of the events of the past but as we do so the Lord is with us and helping us to delve into the deep dark secrets and the effects it has in our present life.

Shame is something that is placed on us through acts that defy what we are created to be. God did not create us to walk with shame or guilt or rage because of what was done to us. He wishes each of us to be free to laugh, love, and rejoice in Him with the freedom much like a child happily playing.

If we have these issues bearing down on us we cannot be free to be as He created us to be. We must take each issue and deal with it. We cannot do it alone! We need Christ’s wisdom, guidance, and insight. We need the support of others and possibly a good counselor that is willing to walk with us through the pain.

Anger is a volatile emotion that can debilitate us and affects every relationship we have. It’s as though we have a volcano deep inside just waiting to erupt. Healing the issues we have to deal with helps in easing the effects of the volcano. It brings about forgiveness and as forgiveness is granted, for us and our abuser/s, we are set free from the devastating effects. I have seen survivors who felt as though a million pounds had been lifted from their shoulders by the act of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is difficult when we have been so violated by another human being that we trusted. Betrayal of the deepest level is difficult to forgive but it is absolutely necessary for us to be able to move forward and become free. It is the most important step in gaining freedom. It is the goal that we can set before us – to be able to forgive the one/ones that so harmed us. I’m not talking about lip service forgiveness but the kind of forgiveness that truly comes from the heart. We can start by telling the Lord that because He forgives us we choose to forgive (abuser name) and eventually we will be able to forgive from the heart.

Forgiveness is a choice! It does not mean what was done was right. It does not mean you have to have a relationship, or even contact, with this person. It does not mean that you will forget what was done. It means you release the consequences and judgment to God. Unforgiveness is wanting revenge. Forgiveness means that you have broken the ties that your abuser has you bound up with. It means you have taken a most important step in being able to move forward and live the life that God wants you to have. It means freedom.

Here are some scriptures to help you with various issues you may be facing:

Eph. 4:20

Eph. 4:31, 32

Phil. 4:6,

Gen 28:15

Mark 11:25

Is. 26:37

Ps. 91:4-7

 If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

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 Elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.