Summary: Want to disarm the devil. Cultivate a Spirit of forgiveness
Disarming the Devil (Cultivating a Spirit of forgiveness)
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. [NKJV]
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. [NLT]
Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. [NIV]
ƒæ There are many ways a person can backslide and lose out with God. It may be over the love of money, popularity with the world, adultery, smoking, drinking, etc. But the most subtle and deadly way that Satan has to trip up a saint of God is to inject bitterness into his heart. Bitterness is a violent inward displeasure against others. It is usually caused by a feeling that someone has taken advantage of you. One of the easiest things in the world to do is to become bitter. You can become bitter against your wife, your husband, your pastor, your country, the Church, your employers, your parents, etc.
ƒæ Bitterness is like carbon monoxide, a highly poisonous, odorless and colorless gas. Bitterness is seldom, or not easily, detected by others or the backslider until the life of the victim has been snuffed out. There are many outward sins easy to be seen in the life of a backslider, but the bitter heart is often not detected until the soul of the victim has been eternally poisoned.
ƒæ Bitterness is like a root. You see the branches and the fruit. The root goes undetected under the soil. No one suspects a problem with the root system until it is too late. Likewise, bitterness is hidden under the soil of the heart. Like an ugly root, it grows undetected to the natural eye until its fruit is developed.
ƒæ Bitterness is like a cancer. It is sure to spread. One bad apple in a barrel will surely spoil the others. Likewise, listen to the tongue of the bitter soul. It will almost certainly continue to wag until others, both in and out of the church, are contaminated.
ƒæ Bitterness is universal. Talk to almost any backslider, or someone on the verge of losing out with God, and you are sure to find bitterness lurking in the shadows of his heart.
Beware of bitterness
ƒæ Anger is an emotional that all people, even great saints of God, contend with in their lives. When we become born again let us be reminded that we still have our emotions. But the warning is this do not let the anger persists into bitterness. Anger is Satan’s strategy to create bitterness, stress, illness and broken relationships among people.
ƒæ God’s Word is very clear to state that the Christian response to anger must be forgiveness. That God feels so strongly about forgiveness by the fact it is a conditional principle of the Bible. If there is bitterness in your life you have given Satan power over your life. All Satan wants to do is to get you bitter and once you are bitter you have allowed him to have a hold of you in your life.
Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [NKJV]
2 Cor. 2:10-11 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. [NKJV]
ƒæ When you don’t forgive, you are ignoring its impact on your destiny. Hate is a prolonged form of suicide of your dreams. How much more grievous are the consequences of unforgiveness than the cause of it!
ƒæ It destroys your desire for God.
ƒæ If you want to be miserable, hate somebody. Unforgiveness does a great deal more damage to the vessel in which it is stored than the object on which it is poured.
ƒæ "Life is an adventure in forgiveness" Every person should have a special cemetery lot in which to bury the faults and loved ones. To forgive is to set the prisoners free and discover the prisoner was you."
ƒæ If we nurture feelings of bitterness we are little better than inmates of an internal concentration camp. We lock ourselves in a lonely isolation chamber walled in by our own refusal to forgive.
ƒæ You see we have a choice in our everyday life. If someone offend us you can either choose to forgive or not to and hold the grudge against that person.
ƒæ And once you hold that grudge against that person Satan got you!