It is easy to forgive those who forgive us. It is even easier to forgive those who love and support us. Or is it?
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10-12)
We all struggle with letting go. We all have good reasons, too. Sometimes, we can forgive, but we cannot let go and then we wonder why, like Israel, we keep going around the same mountain over and over again.
It all comes down to the measure of our value and worth. All of us look to others to see our value and worth. We look at external indicators to ascertain our value and worth. What measure are you using? Why am I talking about the measure of value and worth in regards to forgiveness and letting go? Because it is only by having a full revelation of your true value and worth, that you will ever get to that place of forgiving those who have wronged you and will no longer fall prey to the condemnation that Satan is bringing against you.
When God created man, He created us in His image and likeness and there is a very good reason for that. I believe with all of my heart, that God created us to express Who He Is. God is love. Love needs to be expressed. It needs a place to be poured out into. If He simply wanted to be worshiped, there was no need for Him to create man. He already had the whole of heaven and all of the angels to worship Him. We pour of ourselves into others who are most like us. That is why a parent can love a child, regardless of what they do or how much they hurt them. It is a part of them. An eternal bond with someone in their “likeness” and “image”. Man was intended to be the vessel into which God poured out of Himself into. When the separation took place in the Garden of Eden and man was removed from it, it did not mean that His love or intent ever changed. It remained the same.
Yet, now man no longer had that intimacy with God he had before and Satan was ever so ready and eager to convince us of how we have now fallen and that we no longer have that love for and by which we were created. Yet in spite of that, God still had intimate relationships with man on earth. Noah and Abraham are two men with whom God had intimate relationships, but what we must never forget, was that these men lived under Grace. How can I say that? The law had not been given yet. Even though man was removed from the garden after he fell, it was not in condemnation and man was not cursed. The earth was cursed – Genesis 3:17. Man was banished from the garden because of God’s love for us. Genesis 3:22. If man was allowed to eat of the tree of life, that would mean eternal separation from God.
So let us go to John 3:16 and take a fresh look at it. “For God so loved the world.” Stop there for a moment and allow the Holy Spirit to just give you a fresh revelation of that. God loved us so much, that He was willing to make the sacrifice Himself to buy us back. In the past, when I read the law, and read about the requirements for sacrifices, I would often think that God was being a bit harsh. He “demanded” a sacrifice without spot or blemish. We all get to that place of judging God at times, but it is because we do not understand the why. The sacrificial animal had to pay for the sins of the person bringing the sacrifice.
Go back to the Garden of Eden and see that God was the first one to make the sacrifice on the behalf of man who sinned. The reason why the sacrificial animal had to be perfect, was because the perfection of the animal, would determine the measure of forgiveness. In other words, an exchange took place. The sins of the man would be transferred to the animal and the perfection of the animal would be transferred to the man. Therefore, perfect forgiveness could only be obtained by a spotless and perfect animal. This however had to be repeated over and over.
Now go back to John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that HE gave.” Stop and pause again. God knew that nothing man could give, would ever be perfect enough or good enough to satisfy His judgment of sins. “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON, SO THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” (NLT) But please don’t stop there. Read verse 17 which says; “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
I pray that each of us will have a fresh revelation of our value and worth. God values us so much and we are worth so much to Him, that He Himself, was willing to pay the price for us. I can say that He asked Jesus to sacrifice Himself for us. He loved us so much and value us so much, that He asked Jesus to make that sacrifice, because He was the only sinless, spotless Lamb who could give the ultimate sacrifice to satisfy God’s judgment of sin.
God is just and sin has to be punished, but it is no longer punished in us today. It was punished in the body of Christ at the Cross and fully satisfied God’s judgment of sin. How can I say He asked Jesus to do it? Because so many times Jesus said that He is laying down His life. It was a choice for Him. Now here is what we should really begin to see. If, then, God values us that much that He would ask Jesus to make that one perfect sacrifice for us so that no other sacrifice is ever needed again and we know that the cross happened, that would mean that the value that Jesus places on us and how much we are worth is more than we can begin to understand. For which of us would do that for another?
We look to others to find our value and worth. How they treat us, what they say about us, but if you truly want to get to that place of being able to let go and forgive, then you need a fresh revelation of your true value and worth and the only measure you can use to ascertain your true value and worth, is the cross. We do things to make us feel better about ourselves and that is good, but it is not lasting. It fades almost as quickly as we did them. We buy stuff, we surround ourselves with people and things. Go all out to improve our internal dialog and self image and worth, but it will not last. It does not satisfy. It often takes one derogatory comment or condemning word, to bring us crashing down and having to fight that same old battle over and over again.
I have come to a place in my journey with God and in the Grace of His revelations into my own heart, where I now feel sad when people would judge and condemn me. Not because I am sad for me. I feel sad for them. I know that they have not had as deep a revelation of the gift of Grace, righteousness and the GIFT of NO condemnation as I have had. People who condemn others, do so because they themselves are living under the burden of condemnation and that means they have not had the same blessing of this revelation yet. It makes it easier for me to pray for them right there. It makes it easier for me to forgive, because they honestly do not know. I am so blessed to have had this revelation in my heart. It is one thing for it to be head knowledge. It is quite another, when it sinks deep into your very being.
Our prayer should not only be, “Lord, help us to forgive and let go.” No, our prayer should be: “Holy Spirit, give me a deeper revelation of my value and worth to Daddy God and of my value and worth to Jesus Christ who died for me. Let this sink deeper and deeper into my very being, so that I can pray for those who would condemn me and be so grateful that I am blessed to have this deeper revelation and understanding that my true value and worth can only be measured by the cross of Christ and the finished work of the cross. Amen.”
Know this, when God asked Christ if He would make the sacrifice for us, He said yes because of what God gave Him as a reward. The reward was not the eternal glory, although that is part of it. The reward was that He (Christ) would receive us (man) as His inheritance. Does this shock you? Look at Joel 3:2. I was in awe when God began to reveal this to me one day. He talks about the valley of judgment and about passing judgment for harming his people, and scattering His inheritance. The inheritance very clearly refers to the people. Then as this began to break open, I recalled the Sermon on the Mount and how many times Jesus said, “those that the Father had given me” ( John 17). It hit me. He did what He did, because we are the reward. You hear these things so often, but when it hits your heart, where you are hurting, it tends to knock you into a sitting position.
Begin to live with this knowledge. When Satan comes in any shape or form to condemn, know the measure of your value and worth. God measures you by the cross and the finished work of the cross. His grace is sufficient for us and nothing can be added to the sacrifice made and nothing can be taken away. He is fully satisfied with the sacrifice made and Christ brought us into His rest at the right hand of our Father, our Daddy God. Let no man, including yourself ever convince you of anything else. Your real and true value and worth is measured by the perfection of Christ, because we are with Him (Christ) hidden in God. You are accepted in the beloved. Rejoice today and know that when others come to condemn, they need a fresh revelation of what happened at the cross. Of Grace that is given and can only be obtained by receiving it. Of righteousness that is imputed, apart from our works and can only be obtained by receiving it. We cannot earn it. If we cannot receive it freely, by faith as it is given, we cannot have it at all. Galatians 5:4. Look at Hebrews 10: 14-18 as well as Romans 9:30-33 and 10:1-4. There are so many. Too many to list. I pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to each of us the truth that sets us free.
The ability to forgive others and let go of past hurts and even of self condemnation, is locked up in this revelation in your heart of the full measure of your value and worth to God and to Christ. Once you begin to understand this, stand still and be amazed at how God will help you and how little what others say about you matters. Use the measure that God uses and when you know how far you fall short in and of yourself, sigh with relief and gratitude to know that God knew and loved you so much, that He made a way, where there was no way. It places the words spoken in Romans 4:17 about God calling things into being that are not, as though they already are, into a whole new light for me. I don’t know about you, but I am grateful to know that my God loves me so much, that He can look at me as the finished product if redemption and salvation and not as the mess I really am. Makes me love Him more and more. Because of how He loves me.
Thank you Father, for the value and worth you place on me. For giving me your absolute best, so I could be a vessel into which you can pour out of yourself (into me) until I overflow. For creating me as a means to express Who you are. Thank you Lord Jesus, for being fully satisfied with the value of what you were rewarded with for the sacrifice you made and that I was that reward. May you be glorified and honored and praised all over the earth as people begin to get a fresh revelation of what value you place on us. Amen