By Stephen Piersall
Deliverance Personal Ministry, Central NY
Years ago my oldest son got involved with drugs/alcohol and a life of crime. I hated what he was doing but my love for him never wavered. The same can be said about God who loves us deeply, but hates the sin we do in our daily lives. Forgiveness and reconciliation is the most important part of the gospel and without forgiveness of our sins, we will face greater consequences from God. When we die, we ALL go before Him and have our life reviewed before our eyes. If you have already accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, you will enter Heaven and for those who have rejected God they will be sent to Hell a place where there is no relief from the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15).
Now when a person sins against us, Satan loves it when we place a wall up against that person. Our way of loving that person as Christ loved us is through forgiveness. Jesus died to tear down the roadblocks caused by our sin between God, and us and we are required to do the same to those who wrong us (Matthew 6:15)”But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions”. There may be times when we need to try to restore a broken relationship with another person. Jesus told us to love one another as Christ has loved us, and sometimes this may involve going to the person and telling them that you regret what you have done. (Matthew 5:23-24)
It is a lot easier to forgive somebody when they come to us and confess their wicked deed. When you go to somebody and ask him or her for their forgiveness, what you are doing is also helping them to break down the roadblock that Satan may have put in their way of loving you as Christ loved them. I am not saying that we must go back to everybody we have wronged and apologize for everything we have ever done wrong. What I am saying is that there may be times when you may have damaged a relationship with somebody, and it is important to restore it but you just cannot remember every single instance in your past life. Pray and listen to the Holy Spirit for guidance, you may have wronged someone ten years ago you dated and now that person is happily married and has children and you trying to contact them could do more damage than good to that person.
(1 John 1:9-10) “
In order for us to receive forgiveness, first we must recognize that we have sinned, confess our sins, and then put our faith in Jesus after all He died on the cross so that we might be forgiven. (Matthew 26:28). Repentance includes turning from our sins, and not continuing to do them and know Satan knows this weakness and may and will tempt you. If you seem to struggle with compulsive sinful habits, you may need to be free from a demonic influence. It may be necessary to renounce your sins aloud, and command them to leave.
I know for myself that forgiving “ME” is the hardest thing to do. It is often harder to forgive ourselves then to forgive others. However, what we must focus on is when God has forgiven us; we are CLEAN. (Psalms 103:12) ““. Sometimes we blame ourselves for not being good enough, and we must accept the fact that our sins have been forgiven. (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. The Devil is notorious for putting guilt on people, and is the accuser of the brethren. (Revelation 12:10) “Guilt can serve two purposes, it can show us the problem so that we might repent and receive forgiveness, or it can rub our mistake in our faces and make us feel hopeless. How can you tell the difference between condemnation (bad for us) and conviction (good for us)?
Start asking yourself, "Why am I feeling guilty? What is the purpose of this guilt?" You are feeling guilty because you have probably done something wrong, but there is a reason why you are feeling guilty. There is a source of your guilt; it could be God or it could be the Devil. God uses guilt to convict us (conviction) of our sins so that we make changes and make things better (receive forgiveness), while Satan uses guilt to burden us to feel hopeless about what we have done. When God convicts us, it is so that we might recognize the problem, and work on fixing it. Therefore, ask yourself "Is this guilt trying to bring me to repentance, or is it trying to tell me what a failure I am?" God does not tell us what a failure we are, His desire is reasonably that we may be reconciled with Him and receive forgiveness from our sins. If you have sins that you have not repented from, then by all means, repent and turn from your wicked ways. Do not try to blame your guilt on Satan or someone else if you know you are guilty and you have not repented of your sins.
If your sins are forgiven (1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Then Satan is burdening you down with guilt, you may have to renounce the spirit of guilt, and command it to leave. In addition, resist the Devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7) “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you“. It is God's aspiration for us to believe in His Son Jesus for the dwindling of our sins, and to have a clear sense of right and wrong that has been cut off from our past guilt (Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:2, Hebrews 10:22). He wants to forgive us of our sins for HIS sake (1 John 2:12) and He even chooses not to remember our sins (Isaiah 43:25). What a loving God we have to show us the way to walk the straight and narrow.