Iam one of those women who never lost my love of dolls and I met with profound opposition to “play” with them throughout my life.
As a child..every doll I ever had was either lost..stolen..damaged by someone and then tossed..or I was told by age 11 that I would never have another doll because I was too old to be playing with dolls. Even though I continued to love them I fought with myself because it was NOT OKAY!!
So..40 some years into my married life I began to collect them. I must say that it was interesting how people came out of the woodwork to smirk..frown or look with raised eyebrows..and even Christians who used words like hoarder..kitch (meaningless..garish art collection that appeals to those of uncultured taste) or..being more Kingdom-of-God-minded would be more important in this world right now.
As I continued to grow in my relationship with Jesus..I found that it was His pleasure and purpose for me to have them. I also came to realize that the love of a doll like I had was a gift ! A gift for many reasons for sure but the only ones to mention here would be the fact that the Kingdom of God requires that we believe in Him and His promises with a child-like faith..AND..it can also take one on a path of..as Elinor Peace Bailey says..healing from a great deal of trauma or abuse in the formative years.
By September of 2015 I had joined several doll groups online to share this love of dolls with the only ones I found besides God who really understood. It was a blast sharing photos of our newest acquisitions or a new outfit we made for them.
THEN CAME A SALVAGE YARD ORPHAN
Ibegan to take the older used dolls from the 1950’s and restore them with new wigs..clothes..good cleaning..and a dab of fresh makeup. A friend I knew in one of the doll groups lived in New York. When she saw my restoration of other dolls she asked me if I would like a doll that had been given to her at work. She worked for a wrecking yard for old cars and one of the guys there found an old doll inside one of the cars that was about to be demolished. They knew that she “played“ with dolls so they asked her if she wanted it. She sent it to me for the cost of the shipping !!
Sweet Sue..about 1950’s
Sweet Sue came to me measuring about 20 inches in height. I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I opened up that box and saw her standing there. She was so beautiful to me !! I immediately began to go to work on her for a restoration that would prove to be astonishing !!
First..off came the clothes and the wig. You can see from a clear spot on her cheek above she was completely grimy and dusty with dirt and oils. Her cloudy eyes made her face appear to be sullen..sad and dreary. The wig was a challenge because of that tobacco-spit-looking glue that was all over her head. Whoever did it got it all over her ears so I had to soak the glue with a cream doll cleaner and used a hook-knife used in ceramics to scrape it off..without scraping the surface of her skin on the ears or her face. I had to literally scrub her with the doll cleaner over and over to get through all the layers of grime so as not damage the surface of her body. Within 24 hours of what felt like a fever-runof intensity she was finished ! I didn’t have to buy one thing to finish her. I used her own bloomers and everything else I had in my own doll stash of supplies. I made the crystal necklace and added makeup to her face with pastels and acrylic for the lips to bring back the glow to her face and skin.
Iwanted to give her a name that was a derivative of Sarah..wife of Abraham. 1Peter 3 speaks a great deal about the authority of wives to their husbands. It also says that we are Sarah’s daughters if we do what is right without fear of what our husbands might do. My choice for the name of Sarah was SALLEE..she looks like a Sallee.
NOW..WHY THIS STORY ??
The whole time I worked on the transformation of this doll..I kept telling the Lord that He was in it. I had never gone after a completion of a doll that quickly before. When she was finished I just stared at her. I told the Lord that she was absolutely stunning!! Lord, I can’t take my eyes off of her !!
THAT was when He spoke to me:
That is EXACTLYhow I feel when I look at YOU !! When you came to me all those years ago and I filled you with my Holy Spirit all the dirt and grime put upon you by life and sins disappeared and you were alive to Me !! You have had crimes committed against your soul and body but you are STUNNING TO ME FOR YOUR DEEP LOVE OF ME and your willingness to keep working on your sin-habits. I gave you this moment to show you how I see you and feel towards you so that you can better WALK that image before me and so that you can function better because of the beauty I see. On your worst day..I see you this way. I truly need for you to respond to Me and the days I am giving to you AS IF NOTHING EVER HAPPENED TO YOU. It’s okay to remember..to see how far I..your Lord..have brought you.. but not okay to walk in the pain and guilt and shame of what was done to you. You have forgiven all..now walk in the joy of my loveand brightness towards you. You are healed..and new..and I have plans for you !! I need you to stand in the beauty and joy I have in my heart for you..for you to be able to complete the days I have set before you. Yes..you have an enemy that works diligently to bring you under the shame of your childhood and to pile guilt upon you for every little thing you do from your flesh but all I require of you is to confess those things..and let them go..as I do the moment you ask. I am requiring you to let go of your inabilities and trust me to work through you. I ADORE WEAK VESSELS !! DO NOT CRY OVER YOUR FAILURES.Let me wipe them off from the sincerity of your heart so that you can move back into the light I shine on you and from within you. I am strong when you are weak..This Lion of Judahwill indeed take over and be your strength to carry on. DO NOT GIVE UP !! I LOVE YOU..MY BRIDE..Let me love you unto victory and the joy I intend for you to have in your heart. Let My Love for you draw you away from your sin-habits to fulfill My Word..It is not by your might nor by your power that these things can be done but by My Spirit. I adore you and you can never do anything from your heart of love to disappoint me.
WALK IN THAT LOVE MY BRIDE!!
WOW !! The Lord told me years ago..This is how I look at you !But this word today is FRESH. It is speaking to me all over again with a great deal of expansion..depth and prophecy with it !! It is for a greater purpose than just for me ! I HAVE been coming out from under all that pain and guilt and shame that the enemy so cleverly leads us into..like a cloak he throws upon us whenever anything comes our way to hurt us ..sometimes relentlessly to break us down. I HAVE been discovering the freedom we have because of the gospel. God holds no disappointment or impatience with us. Freedom is not only that the sin is washed away but the guilt the enemy would lay upon us is washed away as well !! Especially when the enemy has a habitual tie to us to bring it..from the past..but we rise up and cast it off and say NO MORE!!
NOW..all of this is also for every lover of Jesus Christ ! The GOOD NEWS of the gospel affords every Grace and Heavenly blessing to each soul who says YES..Let it be done unto me according to your will. We are headed into days whereby we will need to cling to Christ..the lover of our souls..and be able to shut out or cut loose from the world more than ever to hear him whisper to us. It is like walking with your Bridegroom as you lean in to each other oblivious to all else waiting for your LOVE to speak. Dependent upon Him and only Him for all that you say and do.
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
This scripture verse is full of so much meaning, purpose and mystery. The creation of a human person is not just about two people “enjoying each other” and then a pregnancy happens. It is truly more about a magnificent God..Jesus..who actually took the spirit of that child from within His own heart and created it and its identity into a human form or shape.. and THEN placed that spirit into the beginning of a human body being formed in the womb at the very moment of conception. Just like Jesus as a spirit..in human form or shape..was placed into the womb of Mary.
There is so much more in the use of this word yada in the Bible but in this context of KNOWING..
The scripture Jeremiah 1:5 is God’s own word to this effect. The word KNEW translates from the Hebrew word YADA. The word yada denotes a kind of intimacy..or “to know” in every instance in which it was used in the Bible. Whether it was used in the context of the sharing of love between Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1) or in mercy for animals (Proverbs 12:10) or in acting justly (Jeremiah 22: 15-16), these examples ALL had to do with an intimate or personal knowing of a person or situation which ultimately referred back to a deeper KNOWING of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Jesus as the Bridegroom refuses entrance through the DOOR of the Rapture because He never KNEW them..this is exactly what was being spoken of to them. They never took the time to develop an intimacy orYADA with him to learn and properly prepare themselves to be His Bride.
When I came upon this scripture, I was in my secret place very early in the morning. It stopped me and I began to ask the Lord about it. I knew enough about the Lord to realize that God created man with a free will..always we have a freewill choice over over what God asks of us in our lives. As I pondered free will and the words that Jesus KNEW meBEFORE I was formed in the womb. I instantly knew..rhema.. that God had told me everything my life would be about and that I had been given a choice to go or not go. Obviously I said YES ! It gave me a great deal of comfort over many things that had taken place in my life that one could wonder why God would send us into the world knowing our days as He does. I could feel such a great sense of His love over my life. That He really did know me more than I thought and so much more personal closeness occurred in my heart and soul and spirit. Jesus suffered and died so that I COULD get through it all and come back to Him. The world can be a cruel place but I also knew from testimonies of others who had been to Heaven that there are souls there who greatly desire to be among the redeemed of God. All of Heaven bows and honors those who have returned Home to take their places in God’s Kingdom.
So much more to be said about this but the point for this article is that we had our form and identity and a close relationship with Jesus BEFORE we were placed into our mother’s womb. How incredibly painful it must be for Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit to see the decimation of that precious soul before that person can have the chance to live out all the intentions that God had planned for them. God’s love began before we came to Earth. He enjoyed us and told us many things before we came to Earth. What love !
May God have mercy on every soul that takes the life of another soul and bring them into His forgiveness for their own eternal life and to experience God’s love for themselves.
The following is an excerpt from my private journal in my own journey into a deeper place in the heart of Jesus Christ.
June 11, 2015
In listening to Still Small Voice, Lord, I felt so comforted by the words you spoke through her. I sit here pondering how You adore me, delight in me, want to hold me, kiss me on the cheek or dance with me. I have never heard of all this before. I had never pondered the human side of your nature before. But it does remind me of a time when I did dance with You!
Agood many years before this entry in my journal, I had attended a Women’s Aglow retreat in McCall, Idaho. The shekinah glory would always manifest at those retreats. The manifest presence of God is amazing to behold and always left me in such awe as to feel literally dazed for several days. It was always like we had gone somewhere and when it was over we had to come back to the real world again. After I left the retreat I was riding home with other women and was captured in my heart by a vision of Jesus and myself dancing. I was in a purple floral dress and it appeared that I was about 8 or 9 years old.
Dancing with Jesus
Ohh my Lord I have danced with You before! I remember you holding my hands to encourage me to BE FREE and let You twirl me and be close to You! You have been inviting me to open my heart to you all these years..to let you truly love on me which would also heal me inside and allow my creative to come forth more fully. I have listened to Clare and want so much what she has experienced with You…a closer friendship. I can see that..like i thought all those years ago..You were imparting a healing to the little girl inside me and now it is time for my grown person to let You care for her as well. It is through the revealing of Clare’s experiences that You have helped me to release..let go..take a chance..to know that it will be a safe thing to do. In listening to her tell your Word I could feel that you were speaking to my heart. Through her I heard you speak tender words of an EXTRAVAGANT LOVE and closeness you desire. A side note here is that dieing for me is pretty extravagant. It’s astounding that You..God..want that closeness with US..ME..sinful creatures. I only regret that it took this long for me to be willing to say YES..to the DRESS! I know that I will allow that door to open to more fully enter into your heart more deeply!
Dancing in Jesus’ Heart
Iponder only briefly..2 yrs old..7 yrs old and only enough memory to reveal the perversion..You showed me the age I was..who it was..but the dastard deed itself has been blocked from my memory. I will never have any flashbacks of the acts committed aginst me at those tender years of 2 and 7. I am free now..as Donna DeShields said in the 80’s in a word from You in Aglow.. Free to advance into the Kingdom and now more free than back then. Free to go closer to You, Lord. I want more than just getting to Heaven. I want to have cut loose from the World enough to have more of You in Heaven. More than just knowing You are there nearby. I want to spend time with You..in Person 🙂 That person who suffered and died for me.Oh my! I can say here Jesus that You..as You are saying by all this..created something so special when you created Me and put all the these gifts within me. The enemy tried to destroy them..Me..before I was born..and since because he had to have SEEN it all in there. I pray that I cooperate with You..allow You..to invite actually..You to come closer. I choose it and want all that You plan for me in Heaven.
On November 10, 1982, I was participating in a bible study on David’s Psalms. It was in a private home and I personally knew all those present. My youngest son came with me as he was only a few months old. I remember as we began the study that it was said of King David that he was “a man after God’s own heart”. When I heard this I gasped as I felt it was true of myself also. On one of the study days..November 10..the leader of this study, Marilyn (Tucker) Thompson announced that were doing something different. She said that she had wrestled throughout the night about changing the subject of the study to that of a teaching on the occult.
Marilyn knew that the change of the lesson was for someone there but didn’t know who. We began in prayer as always and then what I later called an “occult” sheet was handed out to all those present. I have to state here that I had been under a severe depression that I could not shake for 3 weeks. As we went through the list of activities that were biblically considered of the occult, we were also told to examine the list to see if there were that any we had been involved with. We then prayed prayers of renouncement and forgiveness. Sciptures had been given to validate the truth against each of the involvements listed. I had had no idea that the things I had dabbled in were against the God I loved so much and whose love and approval I so deeply wanted.
Immediately upon renouncement of occult activitiesand prayers that followed, I felt a change in me that I did not understand at first. It felt as if I had come into a room with the shades pulled down but someone had come in and raised them up to let in the light. I also felt a sense of joy bubbling up through my body like clear crystal water filling me from my toes to my heart and mind. The depression was gone! When we went into praise and worship songs.. the songs felt drab to me. When Marilyn asked if anyone had a song they would like to sing, I jumped up and began to sing and clap the song: “In His Hands He’s Got the Whole World!”
Icertainly cannot go into all the happenings in my life since then. My intention is to show some of the important points along the way of a journey than spans almost 35 years and how my relationship began with Father God and ended up in the arms of Jesus Christ as his Bride.
Iwas prayed for at that time to receive the Holy Spirit which I had just received from the renouncement prayers and was counseled about the gift of speaking in tongues. I was able to do so a few days later. I was also counseled to begin reading the Bible starting with the book of John. So I did and read the bible like it was the greatest and most exciting novel I had ever read. I was reading it constantly and could hardly put it down. I also began to write down the words that I would receive from the Lord each day that spoke to my heart known as rhema. The Lord began through all this to renew my thinking (Romans 12:2) and I began to like or dislike different things than before as well as changing my behavior.
Stones made smooth by the stream..
Iwas learning what sin was for sure but I was also being shown secrets from the Word about the mind and ways of God and the Spiritual World. I would read the Word and justseemessages like reading behind the lines? Or seeing something deeper behind it. For example: 1 Samuel 17:40 Then he (David) took his staff in his hand, chose five stones made smooth by the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine (the enemy). The Lord quickened this to my heart in those early years and I had to stop and ask him why? Why 5 stones and 5 stones made smooth by the stream? As I sat and pondered it the answer came to me. David was a “type” of Christ, the 5 stones represented the five-fold ministry of the Church being made smooth by the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Sexual Immorality not for the Body
Itend to be able to see things. When something is happening in the natural world there is a correlation of activity in the spiritual world. Another example was the words in 1Corinthians 6:13 (NAS) Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.These words stopped me in my tracks as well. At first my mind just could NOT get it! I stayed with it though and it always felt like a Key turned and the Lord released my mind to understanding. This one said to me that food was created for the stomach and that irregardless of what kind of food..it was still food and could be taken in without so much regard to sin. BUT sexual immorality was another matter. I was flustered over the connection of the sexual immorality part to food until I heard the Lord say that food was for the stomach..even if too much it was still made to go into the stomach. But sexual immorality to the body was like kerosenewould be to the stomach! It wasn’t meant to go in there! Sexual immorality is the most destructive sin to one’s body or life or society. Because we live in the flesh when we do those things we don’t notice the damage it does to our soul or spirit.
Another would be that when in prayer with and for another person the Lord would show me a small bird and I would pray acording to what I saw and felt. A small bird..precious..needing to be protected and cared for with a call from His heart to them to come closer.
Contract on Life Diverted
Whenever I heard of a person having multiple close calls with their lives I would pray for them to be freed of a contract out on their life by the enemy. One such person like that was also on her way to taking a road trip that very day.
Through the years..it was always Father God this..Father God that. I came to where I could tell people that I had the best Father that a girl could ever ask for! I was learning His ways from His Word and time spent with Him and was able to apply those things to my daily life. I came to know of His Father’s love for me and experienced a great deal of healing from some horrendous events very early in my life.
THEN IT HAPPENED..
Loved bloomed..I became a Bride
Approximately 2 1/2 years ago I literally stumbled upon a youtube video that totally changed my life around! I met up with a woman by the name of Clare du Bois known on youtube as Still small voice. She was speaking about experiences with Jesus that many found to be weird and ungodly. I have to say that I was put off at first because for me I had had mostly..in my mind and heart..a close relationship with Father God. And at first it seemed to be carnal. But then the world treats marriage and the ACT of marriage with very carnal ideas anyway. I had sat at the Father’s feet for over 32 years by then. Besides, the Lord had always told me to “Take what was good and leave the rest”As I listened I realized that my actual relationship with Jesus was slim to none! I didn’t have that sense of closeness and furthermore never thought about it..until then. I knew Him as far as salvation was concerned..His suffering and death for me..but I seemed to converse with the Father. I began to develop a better, more personal way of speaking with Him..worshipping Him more directly.
After awhile I began to see myself with Him. I Had seen myself with Him as a young girl but the very first time I saw myself with Jesus as a young woman was in praise and worship. I saw myself walking along a beach in the evening. I looked like I was 18 or 20 years old with golden shoulder-length hair. I was wearing the most exquisite wedding dress. It was midi-length and covered in star-like tiny sequins with cap sleeves. I had slippers on that matched the dress. I was walking on the water’s edge and Jesus was about 3 feet away from me. I was talking to Him and laughing but it was more like a very nervous chatter and laughing. As we walked along I stumbled and He quickly caught my hand to keep me from falling. As I looked back on that moment I realized that I was very shy towards Him. I was the one that needed to not just allow.. but to invite Him closer. I didn’t need to be shy and inhibited in my relationship with Him. He literally went to hell for me! He should be my best friend.But because Jesus will never go against our will, it took time for that to come about. It wasn’t a question of my will as much as it was about being able to trust Him as well the knowing thatI am a sinner and He is the Holy One.
Father God Betrothed Me to Jesus
As the days and months went by I delveloped more trust by experiencing more healing in my soul and found myself with feelings of being in love with Jesus. Don’t go there..it is not a carnal love. It is a love of profound depth from the Lord and as we are able to go deeper into it we become so filled up with Him. We can also receive secrets he reveals to us through that relationship as well as exposing the sin in our hearts to a greater depth to better prepare to be that Bride without spot or wrinkle. It is like Heaven on earth. I am reminded of something a priest said from the pulpit at church, “I AM IN LOVE WITH JESUS CHRIST…ARE YOU”? I realized that I knew what he meant by that. As I pondered the changes taking place in my spirit and soul against sin.. I told Father God that it was as if I had spent all those years with Him like a child on a father’s lap. Then I grew to be as a young teen unto the maturity of a young woman. Now he had betrothed me to His Son by putting my hand in His. He chose me to be a Bride to His son. How cool is that?
The following worship music by Julie True inspired me to write this very brief story of my journey from intimacy with Father God to intimacy with His Son, Jesus. There are many aspects of this journey that will be given from moments recorded in my journals spanning 35 years in other entries as I compile and post them.
The Word of God speaks to the Church as clearly being the Bride of Christ.
Revelation 19: 7-9 Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
Ephesians 5: 25-27 Husbands, love your wives (your bride), even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with the water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
The scriptures are filled with many references to the church as being made up of the saints who are devoted and living for Jesus Christ, the One true God. As Jesus was presented as the Lamb for sacrifice without spot or wrinkle, the church also is to be found ready without spot or wrinkle for the time that Jesus, the Bridegroom, would come to take her home to dwell with Him forever.
Five were Ready..Five Were Not
BUT.. let us remember the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Five were ready to meet the groom five were not ready. Five entered into the wedding feast and five did not enter. In fact, Jesus said He did not even know them.. anymore
This article is not to prove or disprove the soon return of the Lord. It is for those who already believe or know that He is coming soon and yet, it is also for those who either think or know that they belong to Christ and that they will go with Him regardless of whether or not they live in ready-mode. There is a unique thing that happens when one lives on the edge of his seat for an event to come about as compared with the attitude that the events are in the someday realm of everyday life.
Every woman can relate to what she does when she has a specific event soon to happen in her home. She goes into to ready-mode (some more than others) to spiff up every detail of organization and cleanliness so as to have the place of meeting or celebration just so and to please her guests in every way. Thedesire is to have everything possible in its proper place and for her home to shine at its best.
The return of the Lord for His Bride is the same; to have everything in it’s proper place (in the heart) before the Bridegroom returns. This getting ready and to be always prepared is what the Lord expects of His followers to be able to beworthy of escape (Luke 21: 36). To be worthy is to have an honor bestowed in the giving of this gift. Honor is to be received by a performance that readies the receiver to it.What is the performance needed to escape?
Both sets of virgins fell asleep as they waited for the bridegroom. The huge difference between the two is theoil of readiness and desire to follow the Lord. The foolish virgins allowed their oil to be consumed by time (the delay of the Lord) and the flame of life. The wise virgins’ lamps were burning but their oil of readiness to follow had not been depleted as denoted by the extra flask of oil to keep thedesire and readiness alive. The flame must be fed and there must be plenty of oil to get the job done.
Do not be late for this very important date!
The Race is Almost Finished
Many people preparing for a wedding feast would certainly welcome any latecomers to the wedding event. But we are not talking about just any event here. We are really talking about the ultimate wedding feast of all time and eternity. God requires only one thing from us to be able to enter into the celebration. He wants us to want the coming of His Kingdom more than we want anything else in this life. If He finds that our eyes and affections are fixed on the things of this world then we are not worthy to escape. He will tell you as you strive to enter in with pleading and crying, “I do not know you.”A word to the wise..
Hunger and thirst for the Kingdom of God and the return of the Lord. Do not be or do as Lot’s wife when she turned to look back towards what she was leaving behind. The Word of God says,“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”(1Corinthians 2:9). Keep your eyes and heart focused on being only with the Lord and give your heart to the imagining of the next life with Christ in Heaven. This is so crucial and you do not want to miss it for the World, pun intended. It will require a vigilance that certainly gives you a ticket out of here before the Great Tribulation. Only a devoted bride will leave here when the Lord comes for her.
Necessary for the Days Ahead
Yes, the Bride of Christ is also called to put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18). She is a warrior in the trenches of the warfare of prayer. She is disposed to doing the works of God as presented to her in her daily life. The men and women of God are to be of sound mind or self control as well as devoted to the thoughts of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Keeping your boots laced up with a devotion to the Lord and His Kingdom will keep you ready for that Great Day as well as the trials that are soon to come to our Nation and the World. God is allowing a greatshaking to come upon the World and our Nation to bring His people back to Him with a renewed fervor and devotion that will save them. It will also bring the hearts of many who do not know Him to their knees to seek Him for safety and salvation. Many do not even realize that they don’t really know Him.Prepare for the worst and the best.
Prepare your hearts for the worst that this world has ever seen. Prepare for the best that this world has ever seen in the Rapture of the Bride of Jesus Christ. Many will be left behind either by default or by being chosen by the Lord to do so. Be prepared for the greatest outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit that the World has ever seen..whether it happens before the Rapture or immediately following. All good things for God’s people depends upon the devotion and diligence that has been stated here. Each and every day things are speeding up even more. Be on the side of being the Bride of Christ. Walk in the devotion of the Lord and His Kingdom. Be consumed with it. Let all things of this world fall away by comparison. Dwell on the next life and what God has planned for you to do now and in the future. It will be glorious here and in the world to come. Don’t miss the free gift of ESCAPE (Luke 21:36) from the Great Tribulation which will begin when the Bride of Christ is raptured out of here. There will be a great harvesting of souls during the great outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. If you keep your boots laced up and your devotion keen by praying to be made worthy of escape, it will be the most glorious event in all of the history of the World!
Forgiveness is not an optionis a statement that bears the need to repeat. God commands us to forgive in more than a hundred instances throughout the bible. In one moment Jesus is telling the disciples to forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-35). In another he tells them to be kind to one another, forgiving one another, even as He has forgiven them (Ephesians 4:32). In still another Jesus says to bless those who persecute them and not curse them (Romans 12:14). In none of these instances does the Lord say anything about “if you want to” or “if you feel like it” and yet God gives to us in this life, and eternally, based on the fact that he gives us our freedom to choose death or to “choose life” (Deut 28).
Forgiveness to many is based upon how they feel about the offense and is determined by the severity of the offense as well. “But you don’t know what they did..” is one of the most common responses to the topic of forgiveness, or “I won’t give them the satisfaction of it..” Most do not understand that forgiveness has nothing to do with how they feel but everything to do with choice, the effects of that choice upon their own lives and their spiritual growth and destination. Just as it has been said that love is a choice, so it follows that forgiveness is a choice also. God expects us to choose in accordance with what he commands us in his Word.
So, if we are to choose the action of forgiveness, how does one get past all those hurting feelings that are wrapped up in such a choice. What is it that we are choosing anyway? It is simple but hard. The feelings of offense are very powerful. Make no mistake about it. We, in and of ourselves cannot do this. This is truly one of those times that we have to rely upon the Lord and His power. He says that when we are weak, then in Him we are strong ( 2Cor 12:10). There is direction for this in the Word as well. Jesus says inPhilippians 4:8 to think on these things..whatever is pure, lovely, excellent, commendable, worthy of praise. In Deut 28 He tells us to choose life. So whenever the thoughts turn to the offense and the pain it causes, make the choice to turn the thoughts to that which is good in God’s eyes and in accordance to His Word.
Apowerful prayer for this can be “Lord, I choose as an act of my will to forgive so-and-so ( him or her or them) for whatever the offense is and I ask you to make it real and genuine in my heart”. This sometimes may need to be repeated many times unto feeling as if it were constant and even turning the mind to actually praying for the one who did the offense. This act takes ones mind off the offense and onto the Lord and lines the heart up with obedience to His Word. God blesses obedience (1 Samuel 15:25) and with diligence and in time His power truly causes the heart to “remember with peace“.
Numerous comments and questions about the previous article, Forgiveness is not an option, has prompted part 2. Many books have been written on the subject so this is not by any means an exhaustive on forgiveness but rather a few pertinent and important insights.
One cannot say enough or stress enough the crucial importance of forgiveness in the life of a believer. As said in the previous article God actually commands us to forgive. Why does God command us to do that which is so difficult to do? Feelings in this area are so powerful. Forgiveness unto salvation and peace and blessings for ourselves would be reason enough to forgive others. But we also release others more effectively into God’s hands as well.
The first and most important aspect of forgiveness is the fact thatwe cannot even have salvation without it. It is clearly the fact that a person realizes that he is a sinner that causes him to even look to a savior to give salvation to him..to alleviate himself of the burden and weight of his sin (Matthew 5:3). After we have come to the Lord and have received our salvation by it, it is then that Jesus says to forgive others as He forgave us in the first place (Ephesians 4:32). It is also clear that we cannot be forgiven of our own day-to-day sins without forgiveness of others (Matthew 6:14-15).
Forgiveness Releases for Salvation
This release of an offender through the choice to forgive also brings blessings into our lives. We are all in need of allowance for our own behaviors and thoughts and God promises that in whatever measure we use he will give back to us. If we are of a giving and forgiving spirit we will certainly reap what we sow into the lives of others. If we give forgiveness to others who have offended us, others will in turn forgive us. God promises that He, Himself will bless us with heavenly joys as well as earthly ones into our bosom and life(Luke 6:38)… pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over.
So look into the Word. It’s Jesus. Contemplate the verses given there and others you may find. If you don’t have a bible it would be good to get one. If that isn’t possible, look online. There is a myriad of resources online.
Forgiveness comes to us and must flow from us in order to come back to us.
In the discussion about forgiveness, numerous aspects of forgiveness have been covered. First, the statement that forgiveness is not an option and how the Word of God actually shows that God requires us to do so. The previous articles stated as to how that can be done, why it must be done, and the results of the completion of forgiveness to others. This 3rd part is being written to address yet another aspect of forgiveness; those who have gone through abject cruelty at some point either in their life as a child or at the hands of another in their adult life or both.
There are many kinds of cruelty in the world and many stories have been written and or heard about abuse and the devastation it placed upon its victims. The reactions or results of abuse can be as different or varied as the individuals involved. But the general result is that the soul suffers a kind of death within itself. The suffering of the soul can even impede learning and emotional development throughout a person’s life; especially if the abuse was perpetrated at a very young age. This aspect of abuse is mentioned in this series of articles because of the deeply rooted damage that occurs with the abuse making forgiveness seemingly insurmountable as well as the many difficulties that crop up in the victim’s ability to handle themselves in relationships later in life. It is usually later in life that an abused child begins to realize where his emotional pain and difficulties stem from in current relationships.
This now brings us to the aspect of forgiveness. Anyone who has suffered tragically at the hands of another, whether as a child or as an adult, has what can feel like a monumental chore to do to be able to obey God’s Word in the area of forgiveness. As it was stated in the first article of this series, forgiveness is a choice and has nothing to do with how one feels about it. But, having said that forgiveness can be a very different journey for the heart of one who has suffered so much and so deeply. The whole process for forgiving someone for a tragic hurt can take more time, much prayer, and even counseling by a Christian-based professional or by a pastor. While Christian-based counseling can certainly be helpful, much greater emphasis should be placed in the direction of prayer groups under the guidance of a pastor and/or healing minister as well. The Word calls for believers to be transformed in the renewing of their minds ( Romans 12:2 ).
Forgiveness Helps Us to Love Others
It is precisely the renewing of the mind that is so needed for the ability to let go and forgive someone for a tragedy against one’s soul, body, or spirit as well as for the healing to be able to take place. What a believer does when they use the scriptures in this way (think on these things…Phillippians 4:8) is to take a beautiful step forward into the arms of Christ to receive His response to it. A believer can actually sense the presence of a very loving merciful God in the person of Jesus. There can be thoughts and feelings of risk for this step forward (choice) given the past experiences of tragic abuse. But spending time in the Word and in prayer is to spend time with Jesus, Himself, and in time the believer begins to realize that indeed a transformation has taken place. Jesus tells us to come to Him. Let Him love on you and begin to understand a love that is the sweetest love you will ever know. This realization gives way to a sense of freedom, release, sweet joys unspeakable, and a newfound awareness of the passion of a loving God for loving and healing each of His children.
Healing a Child in You
Healing Your Adult
Let Jesus love you back to life. Let Him love you from the child you were to the adult man or woman you have become. It is a journey but it is certainly worth it!