7/22 Forgiveness from the Heart for Total Wholeness

We Christians know we should forgive

Forgiveness is one of those heart areas that we all need to address.  We, as Christians, know we ‘should’ forgive others.  However, the heart may still store pain and resentment and not want to let go of it.  We may have forgiven with our head – the decision to forgive – however, when we start working with our heart, we discover that our heart may not have forgiven.

1.  Hearing the heart’s emotions helps bring release

Often our hearts refusal to forgive can be due to some issue of injustice – “I didn’t deserve to be hurt like that!”  Sometimes it’s a matter of us not really ‘hearing’ the emotional pain the heart is still carrying – “That really, really did hurt me, you know!”  When we work through enough of the pain – of acknowledging it and bringing it to Jesus – then our heart can release the person who has offended and hurt us.

2.  Working with the heart helps us die to self

If we consider handling heart issues, the way Jesus would have us do, it is going to force us to decide:  God’s way or Self’s way?  By choosing the path of forgiveness – from our heart – we are choosing to die to the self’s way of doing things.  Then, another little bit of the Self has died and we are free to follow Jesus further.

We know that God desires for us to have a clean heart.  What does that really mean?  In the Hebrew language, ‘clean’ was to have physical, ceremonial and moral purity.  For the Christian, a clean heart is to be soft toward God and willing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit on any issue He brings up.  Having a ‘clean heart’ also helps us escape the torments of a guilty conscience, a living hell in the here and now, James 4:8, 1 Timothy 1:5, 19, Acts 24:16.

3.  So how do get a clean heart?

It doesn’t come with hard work out of our own efforts.  Partnership with God is necessary.  We become ‘clean’ through Jesus’ power and what He did for us on the Cross.  By applying God’s principles, our heart learns to trust and respond to Jesus’ initiatives. and allow His cleansing to happen.

4.  Some suggestions on ‘cleaning’ the heart

a. By renewing the mind, we can help cleanse our heart, John 15:3.  Renewing the mind allows the Word into our thoughts, emotions and decisions.  James 1:21 (KJV) says “…, and receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls.”  Or “…by the washing with water through the word, …”, Ephesians 5:26.

b. Spending time with Jesus, allows the ‘RHEMA’ word (Romans 10:17) to sink down into our heart.  Memorise and meditate on Scriptures, Proverbs 10:8.

c. Learn to seek God with your whole heart.  A divided heart will grieve the Holy Spirit and quench His power.

d. Ask God for insights into your heart.

e. Ask God for wisdom, James 1:6.  How does He see your heart?

f.  Consider the Father’s discipline.  Recognise God’s hand behind the pain and traumas of life, Psm. 109:22.

g. Prepare to participate at the Lord’s Table, 1 Corinthians 11:29-30.

h. Understand the holiness of God, Isaiah 6:5, Luke 5:8.  Contrast your sin with the wrongs of your offenders, Luke 18:13, Matthew 18:21-35.

i.  Look and see the mercies of the Lord, Matthew 18:26., Psalms 51:1.

j. Fully forgive all offenders and offences – working with your heart.

k. Discover why God lets things happen, reject bitterness, Romans 8:28.

l. Ask questions such as:  What character qualities can I gain from dealing with this offence in a Christ like manner?  How can this offence prepare me to help others?  Will this prepare me for leadership?

5.  Understand the death to self truth instead of legalism

When we begin our walk with the Lord, our heart is like a rubbish tip.  It is full of the things of our past life, our ungodly ways of looking at life and other problems.  That big Bible word, ‘sanctification’, describes the process of getting the junk out and Jesus into our hearts.

Death to the self-nature comes only when Biblical concepts get from the head into the heart.  Only then does the heart understand and be willing to submit in a healthy way to the Lordship of Jesus.  Mind control or beating up the heart with condemnation is never His way.

That is the way of ‘self effort’ and presumption, of false compliance and putting on the religious mask of being perfect.  Mind control and legalism will never really deal with or even heal the heart – and that is what Jesus came for!

6.  Conclusions

We have been stressing how important it is to allow the Holy Spirit to show us what is in our heart.  Part of our healthy walk with Jesus is the sanctification process, which is a moral and spiritual transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We walk this path by letting Him deal with heart issues at such a depth, the heart is released and healed.

In our next session on the heart, we will explore more how we actually get into our heart since it is hidden from us.  We can learn to work with the Holy Spirit to show us what is there and how to bring our heart under Jesus’ loving Lordship.  Remember, Session 5 is a practical workshop where we will put this all together.  We will observe the heart and practice heart work for ourselves.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author




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