Feb 5, 2015

Two Life Changing Words

Micah 7: 18-19 
"Who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity .... You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."

Psalm 103:11-14 Amplified Bible
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. [with reverence, worship, and awe]
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].
14 For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust.

Matthew 18:21-22   (AMPC)
21 Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?
22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!  (490 times)

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There are two words starting with the letter F that have life changing results for us all. They are "forgive" and "forget" which God's word commands us to do, but are so hard for us because we have memories. 

The memories of hurt, betrayal, desertion, trauma, danger etc. are attached to emotions like anger, resentment, fear, discouragement, loneliness and more which are also stored in our brain's large capacity memory cells.

Things we encounter daily, like a comment someone makes or an event we see or hear, can trigger those memories and the associated emotion and cause us to experience that moment again, even if it took place years ago. That is why forgiving and forgetting is so important for our well being which we will have to do frequently.

It could be a friend or family member or worse, a spouse or child that caused you hurt and each time you see or hear from them, the associated memory and emotion rises up and immediately, we have to exercise forgiveness. The truth is, even the person you are trying to forgive will have memories and emotions of negative things that took place in their lives that require them to exercise the two F's regularly.

The question is, how do we overcome these negative memories. The answer is to build many more positive memories and emotions than their are negative ones. The scriptures tell us "be transformed by the renewing of you mind, by it's new ideas and attitudes." (From the Amplified version) The ideas being new positive memories and the attitudes are the associated positive emotions of love, peace, joy and goodness. Over time, the negative memories fade and our lives take on a more positive direction.

The minute a negative memory arises we forgive, and immediately redirect those thought processes to to what God says on the matter, by quoting a scripture or singing and making melody in our hearts and praising God. Don't start rebuking the devil. He is not all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. Only God is and the devil does not control your thoughts, you do. Christians have taken "resist the devil and he will flee" to extremes, where they are resisting the devil almost every day for things he had nothing to do with and could not possibly do even if he wanted to.

In fact, God's word is full of recommendations of things that we can do such as ...
  • "let the peace of God rule in your heart." Col.3:15.    
  • "Have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. 1 Pet. 4:8. 
  • "The joy of the Lord is your strength" Neh. 8:10. 
  • "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thes. 5:18
You cannot be full of joy and anger at the same time. 
You cannot be full of peace and fear at the same time. 
The fruits of the Spirit dispel the works of the flesh. 

These are things we have to submit to daily and allow them to enter our hearts and minds. God does not and cannot force them into me because of my free will, but I can embrace them and open the door of my heart to allow peace, love and joy to come. When they come in, anger, resentment, fear, discouragement and loneliness leave.  The reason is simple.

If you find yourself dealing with negative memories and emotions, quickly forgive the person involved and ask the Holy Spirit, who is your comforter, teacher and guide, to help you, then begin to praise and worship Him and yield to God's presence and power.

Fill your mind with good anointed worship and listen to good preaching and teaching and spend time in fellowship with God and His word.

Be encouraged today.

God bless you richly.

Gil Howard-Browne

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