If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive [that one]; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of [and with the approval of] Christ, to keep Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes. 2_Corinthians 2:10-11 (Amp)
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, they were experiencing a major offense among the believers in Corinth. He urged them to forgive the individual, reinstate them, and reaffirm their love for them. The Bible never tells what the offense was, but the fact that Paul mentions it leads me to believe that it was significant. He warned them not to hold onto the offense and unforgiveness because he understood firsthand how detrimental they can be. No one wakes up and decides to hate, it’s a progressive emotion. First, there is an offense, the offense is not forgiven and turns into resentment. When we carry long term resentment, it develops into hate. This is why it’s so important for us to forgive offenses so that we don’t fall prey to the devil’s schemes.
For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 (Amplified)
There seems to be a lot of hurt feelings running around these days. First, I want to acknowledge that every aspect of our being was created by God, to include our feelings. However, He never intended for us to be led by our feelings, but to be led by the Holy Spirit who is connected to Him. Jesus said that He would not leave us alone to navigate life and ministry (yes, we all are called to attend to the needs of others = minister [verb]). In John 14:16-17, Jesus said,
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.
Most Christians are familiar with the functions of the Holy Spirit; comforter, counselor, and strengthener in times of need, but often fail to recognize the difference between the functions and the identity of the Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit of Truth. When we recognize his identity, we acknowledge that what He reveals to us must take precedence over our thoughts and emotions (fear, anger, lust, pride, etc.). For example, you are trying to decide on whether to form a business partnership with an individual. Everything looks good on paper and they have established good standing with leaders in the community, but you still feel uneasy about it. A logical person would think this is a sound decision, but you decide not to follow through with the partnership. You later find out that the individual has unresolved contracts with clients throughout your local area and is carrying a massive amount of business debt.
Only the Spirit of Truth can show us the things that are hidden. He reveals the will of God, as well as the true intentions of people and the schemes of the devil.
Now more than ever, I see the devil trying to destroy the witness of believers by creating strife among us. Believers are allowing themselves to be divided by the color of their skin, economic status, political affiliations, and the list goes on. We cannot allow ourselves to forget who the real enemy is. 1 Peter 5:8 says,
Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Think about how lions hunt. They sit observing the herd to see which targets are easiest to catch, then the set about to frighten and scatter them. When we divide ourselves we become weaker, easier prey for the enemy. This is why The Good Shepherd calls us to be gathered together in unity. In Psalm 133 David said,
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil [of consecration] poured on the head coming down on the beard, Even the beard of Aaron, coming down upon the edge of his [priestly] robes [consecrating the whole body]. It is like the dew of [Mount] Hermon coming down on the hills of Zion; For there the Lord has commanded the blessing: life forevermore. (Amplified)
Make no mistake, there won’t be sections of Heaven designated for Blacks, Whites, Asians, etc. Nor will there be sections designated for Pentecostals, Baptists, or Lutherans. There certainly won’t be any division of slums and estates. In Mark 3:24-25 Jesus said,
If a kingdom is divided [split into factions and rebelling] against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Let’s make a decision today to fight the way that God has instructed us, united. When we stand before the Lord to give an account for our lives, we want Him to say “Well done my good and faithful servant!” Until next time, be blessed! Khafia
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