Fasting Day 4: Chose to Forgive in Advance. Why and How to Walk in Forgiveness

Prophetic Declaration for the Year:

 “I have victory over everything that strove with me in the past, for God has given me room to flourish in the land.

“Therefore this is My Year of REHOBOTH.”

Today’s Reading:

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”] – Mark 11:25-26 (NASB).


REFLECTION

As the year begins and progresses, if there is one decision you have to take in advance, it is to walk in forgiveness. Mistakes will be made, offenses will come, but resolving to move on ahead of time will energize you to overcome the urge to fight back when these offenses come.

The condition of our heart is the key to our life in Christ. Pray that the Holy Spirit will search your heart and reveal areas that will block your relationship with Him.


3 Gifts of Forgiveness

The Bible talks about three gifts of forgiveness:

  1. The forgiveness God gives to us (1 John 1:9; Luke 7:47).
  2. The forgiveness we give to ourselves (Phil.3:13-14).
  3. The forgiveness we give to others (Luke 17:3-4).

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you” Colossians 3:13 (see also Ephesians 4:32).

These three gifts of forgiveness are important in our lives. We must understand God’s gift of forgiveness to us, through the shed blood of Jesus. But we must also learn to forgive ourselves – forgetting what is behind, looking away from our failures, mistakes and poor choices of the past – which simply means receiving God’s gift of forgiveness and agreeing with it.

Now we are obliged to forgive others.

If we refuse to forgive others, then unforgiveness will block the daily expression of God’s forgiveness in our lives and block our access to God’s blessings.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” – Matthew 6:14-15.


Stages of Unforgiveness

  • Initial hurt– someone says or does something that wounds our hearts (Psalm 109:22).
  • Resentment – if we don’t deal with it straight away, we begin to harbor resentment. Our hearts dwell on the hurt. We are filled with self-pity and a continuing anger against the person who hurt us (Colossians 3:8-10,12-14).
  • Retaliation – we get back at that person, usually either by not speaking to them, or by slandering them to others (Romans 12:17-20).
  • Bitterness – this is where we allow unforgiveness to defile our hearts (Hebrews 12:15; Ephesians 4:29-32).

Living One Day at a Time

Many Christians are either prisoners of the future (through worry) or prisoners of the past (through guilt and unforgiveness). God wants to set us free so that we can live each day with Him – a day at a time.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” – Matthew 6:34.

“‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” Ephesians 4:26-27.

One simple principle in forgiveness is not to allow feelings of hurt and unforgiveness to enter a second day. Each evening we can get things right with God and with others.


A Continuing Debt

When Jesus died for you, he took the judgment you deserved. You now owe Him a massive debt which you have no ability to repay. But God doesn’t require you to repay it -except in one way: God has transferred this debt to Him onto others around us.

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…” Romans 13:8.

We are now indebted to everyone. The only way we repay this continuing debt is by forgiving one another. When we consider how great our debt is to the Lord, is this too big to ask? We now express our love to God by loving others. We cannot be close to God while harboring hatred and unforgiveness.

“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” – 1 John 4:20.

When we forgive others, we acknowledge several things:

  • God’s love for us (Matt.18:21-35; Luke 6:36; John 13:34-35; Psalm 103:7-14).
  • Our love for God (Luke 7:47; 1 John 4:20).
  • Our trust in God’s justice (2 Thessalonians 1:3-7).
  • Our faith in God’s plan for us (Romans 8:28).
  • Our readiness to accept persecution (Matt.5:11-12).
  • Our enemy is not people (Ephesians 6:12).
  • Our secure position in Christ (Col.1:1-4).

If I forgive, will the hurt I feel go away?

Probably not immediately. But forgiveness has nothing to do with feelings. Forgiveness is a decision. Forgetting is a process. If we decide not to forgive, the hurt is like an open, festering wound, which is very difficult to heal. When we make the decision to forgive, the hurt is cleaned up, and the healing process is then quick.

One prayer believers should make from time to time is:

“LORD, please remind me if there is anyone I need to forgive in my past and move on, and also help me to forgive anyone who offends me in the future.”


PRAYER TO WALK IN FORGIVENESS

Heavenly Father,

I honor You and I bless You.  With all my soul and all that is within me, I bless Your holy Name.  It is You, Father, who crowns me with love and tender mercies and You fill my life with good things.

I give thanks to You and proclaim your greatness.

Lord, I will let the whole world know what You have done.  I will sing to You the praises due Your Name and tell everyone about Your wonderful deeds.

Thank You, Father, for loving me, forgiving me and saving me.  Thank You for being patient with me. Your compassion towards me is unfailing and Your mercies are new every morning.  Lord, Your faithfulness is great towards me.

O LORD, please forgive me for not being forgiving. Forgive me for thinking evil thoughts, and seeking revenge against people who have offended me.  Forgive me for hatred and for not walking in love.  Forgive me for gossiping, lying and for rehearsing in my minds what was said or done to me.  Lord, remind me of those persons I need to forgive, and help me to forgive.

Father, Your Word tells me that if I forgive those who have sinned against me, then You, my Heavenly Father, will forgive me.  But, if I refuse to forgive others, You will not forgive me of my sins.

Today I choose to forgive. Father, I declare that I will be patient with people and forgive those who have offended me.   I forgive ………………… for …………………………………., and I release them and let it go.

Holy Spirit, help all of me to forgive people who have hurt me.  Heal my emotions that have been wounded and teach me how to love unconditionally.  Continue to extend Your love and mercy toward me.  Please remind me daily to use Your power living on the inside of me which helps me in all things.  Help me to forget the past so that I can move forward to the future as I press toward the mark of my higher calling in Christ Jesus.

Holy Spirit, please empower me all through this year and beyond to walk in love, always forgiving and looking up to You in all things, in Jesus name.

Daniel C. Okpara is the author of numerous best-selling books, including, What Do You Have in Your House?, Parable of the Serpent, Pillars of Excellence in Life and Business, Take it By Force, Prayer Wave, and Many others. He is the founder of Better Life World Outreach Center, a non-denominational ministry dedicated to global evangelism and equipping of God's people to live a better life. He is also the founder of Breakthrough Prayers Foundation www.breakthroughprayers.org), an online portal leading people all over the world to encounter God and change their lives through prayer. He has authored over 50 books on business, prayer, relationship, and investment.

5 Comments
  1. Reply
    Hashila Jat January 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Today’s prayers are really timely. I feel refreshed… Truly we cannot grow maximally to our full potentials harbouring resentment, hatred, in forgiveness and worry. God’s got my back…

  2. Reply
    Caroline Brown January 12, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Comment…I Praise and thank God that my love for books, led me to you. I have just recently joined. I have downloaded some of your books, the words to describe is wow, very powerful and already has a great impact on my life. Pastor since I recently joined and want to do the fast. is it okay if I start late. The fast has been on for four days. in the area where I live it’s challenging to get wifi. and sometimes I get my message late.
    Please let me know so that I can start the fast, I already downloaded each page for each day for offline reading. I have been seeking answers from the Holy Spirit to help me grow closer to God and in my search that’s how I found you. Thank-you Pastor and believe i n all that I have read and eagerly look for towards learning more from you

    • Reply
      Daniel C. Okpara January 12, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Beloved, you can join us, notwithstanding. There are no set laws and rules. The point is for us to humble ourselves before God and learn His ways. We are seeking God for empowerment to fulfill His plans for our lives this year.

      Participants are expected to skip at least one meal a day to read the Bible, meditate and pray.

      We pray and believe that God will meet us all at the point of our deepest needs as we humble ourselves before Him and seek His wisdom for living, through Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior.

  3. Reply
    Ngonidzashe January 14, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    You are a blessing to the young Generation,Forgvns sure it is a key to our blessing..God bless man of God

  4. […] As the year is gradually winding up, if there is one area we need to look back, look forward, and constantly exercise ourselves, it is the area of forgiveness. From time to time, we need to come before God and willfully exercise ourselves unto forgiveness. […]

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