Keeping Short Accounts
KEEPING SHORT ACCOUNTS
By Rodney W. Francis
We are living in trouble-some times. More and more we are hearing of people who have big and deep hurts in their lives. Many of them are professing Christians. These end-time days are bringing increased pressures, criticisms and oppositions to Christians as the world grows more and more anti-Christ in its ways. Jesus told us that “It is impossible that no offenses (“stumbling blocks”) should come, but woe to him through whom they do come” (Luke 17:1). “Woe to the world because of offenses (“enticements to sin”)! For offenses must come, but woe to that man (or woman) by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:7).
We see by these verses that we cannot avoid offenses. The big issue for Christians is:
- “What do we do when they come to us?”
- We cannot ignore them, and we cannot afford to let them build hurt, anger, resentment and unforgiveness in our hearts.
- The sooner we give those things over to Jesus Christ, placing them on to His altar, forgiving those who have offended us, and those who have been offended by us, and leaving them with Jesus, then the sooner we can get on with living the life that Jesus saved us for.
- If we do not deal quickly with those issues at those times, then we will be guilty of harbouring wrong things in our hearts, which then work against us and lock us up into wrong motives, negative and hurtful talking against those who have offended us, etc., which all lead to resentment and bitterness in us.
- This is where many Christians are getting themselves into all kinds of bondages that rob us of that abundant life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10).
- We carry the hurts and offenses instead of giving them over to Jesus as soon as we possibly can.
- When we submit all our hurts and offenses over to Jesus ~ and leave them there with Him ~ then He will deal with those who have caused us the hurts, etc.
WE REAP WHAT WE SOW
There is a principle in life recorded in the Bible: “For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). This does not apply only to Christians, but to all people. It is a principle of life. I have watched over the years those who have tried to take us out of the ministry that God called us into (mainly Christians), and, as a result, they have not prospered in their lives and ministries. Some are not even in ministry anymore, and some (even Christian leaders who opposed us) died at a reasonably young age. When we are doing the will of God, then God watches over us to keep us in all our ways. That does not mean that we will not have any trials and afflictions. “Many are the afflictions (“to break, to break in pieces; to do ill, to afflict”) of the righteous, but the Lord delivers us out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). If we give all our afflictions over to God as soon as we can, then He uses them to crucify “the flesh” part of us so we can be of even greater usefulness to Him and His purposes. Praise the Lord! The devil hates it when his devices to pull and break us down are used by God to build us up higher in Him than we have been before. Hallelujah!
My experience over the years is that the more we are doing the will of God the more do Christians mis-understand us. Some are not slow in telling us that we have got it all wrong; that it is not God’s will; that we should be doing something else, etc. These are hurtful times, especially when those negative criticisms come from people who you thought knew your heart. As I look back over the years of the things we have been through, I can see how God turned those negative and hurtful times into “stepping stones” into something greater and more effective in Him. When you see how God uses those times, it makes you grateful that you went through them ~ because we would not be where we are today if we had not gone through those times. Today we are touching multiplied thousands of lives around the world for Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. All Glory to God!
LET THE PAST GO!
For anyone reading this message (who is still battling with the hurts of the past), let me encourage you to give it all to Jesus.
- Let the past go!
- You cannot change anything that has happened to you in the past, so let it go.
- Do not let the past rob you of a wonderful future with Jesus.
As long as we carry the negative things of the past in our hearts, then we are holding unforgiveness against those who caused it/them. When we hold unforgiveness in our hearts, then it is a blockage between us and God. This is what Jesus says: “For if you forgive men their trespasses (“a falling aside from right truth or duty, lapse” – Bullinger’s), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). No one can win when there is unforgiveness in our heart.
It really saddens me when we talk with those who have carried their hurts for numbers of years. Their lives have been robbed of a meaningful existence and relationship with God. Some even blame God for what has happened to them. That is very sad, for no one can win fighting against God. “Forgiveness of hurts is a sign of true love” (David Tait). The sooner we can yield all our past and hurts over to Jesus ~ and leave them with Him ~ the sooner we will be able to rise up and fulfil our destiny in Him. God has a purpose for every one of us, and when we are walking in that purpose then we are very fulfilled in our daily life. Knowing His purpose for us motivates us to rise above the negatives in life, and to rejoice in the fact that Jesus has chosen us to be His representative here on earth. Jesus desires us to walk in love, not in hurts and unforgiveness. The love of Jesus at work in our hearts is a wonderful healer of every negative thing the enemy brings against us. And “perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:15-21).
The Lord taught me how to forgive someone who offends me:
- He told me to pray for them out loud by name and ask God to bless them.
- When I could pray that prayer out loud and mean it from my heart, then I would know that I had forgiven that person.
- It wasn’t easy to start with; but as I persisted it got easier each day until I genuinely wanted God to bless that person. Hallelujah!
For those who are still carrying hurts from the past, please pray this prayer out loud:
“Dear God, I come to You in the Name of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and I ask You to help me to place all my hurts on to Your altar. Help me to genuinely forgive those who have hurt me and caused me so much pain over the years. I release all unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness out of my heart and spirit, and I give it all to You, Lord Jesus. Forgive me for holding unforgiveness in my heart towards others, and release and heal me from all the hurts and woundings in my spirit. Help me to love where I have been negative and critical towards those who have hurt me. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I can overflow with Your love and blessings ~ and be the free-in-spirit person that You purchased for me at Calvary’s Cross, and demonstrated His love and power for me through His Mighty Resurrection. Thank You, Jesus, that You live today to heal me of all my past and hurts. I accept Your forgiveness now in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Now believe that prayer; forgive yourself as well, and develop a greater hunger to get into God’s Word so you can get to know the love and teachings of Jesus Christ much better. The more you can believe God’s Word the more you will know and walk in the Victory that He came to give you. Press in closer to Him every day and watch what he will do for you. He loves you very much and so desires for you to live and walk in His Victory daily. God heal and bless you more than ever!