Summary: One of the many ways we Edge God Out of our lives is by our inability to forgive.
We are studying the different ways in which we Edge God out of our lives. The ways in which we separate ourselves from God. Till now we have examined the issue of Ego, Pride and Fear.
Today we will take a look at the biggie, Unforgiveness.
All of us have gone through situations where we have been hurt by others. All of us have hurt others in some way or the other. Some knowingly, some unknowingly.
There are two ways unforgiveness manifests. One is when we do not forgive ourselves. We are unable to get past our own past mistakes and our own sins and we cling on to them and do not forgive ourselves. The second is when we do not forgive others for the things they have done to us.
First let us examine the aspect of unforgiveness for our own past. How does that affect our relationships with God? How we do we Edge God out when we do not forgive ourselves? Why don’t we forgive ourselves? We don’t forgive ourselves, because we believe we are incapable of undoing the wrong that we have done. We think we cannot undo the past, we cannot rectify the mistake, we cannot repair the damage that we have caused. And that is all true. All those statements are true. We by ourselves cannot repair the damages that we have caused. We by ourselves cannot heal the wounds that we have caused to ourselves or to others. So what we end up putting ourselves into different prisons. Prisons of Guilt, prisons of the past, prisons of perfection, prisons of obligation, prisons of Gurus etc etc. And we are unable to release ourselves from those prisons. But go through the statement again, where is the focus? The focus is on ourselves isn’t it? Where is God in this? When we attempt to repair the past damages ourselves, are we not depending on our own strengths? Are we not trying to solve the issue of sin by ourselves? Where is God in the equation? When we try to (and most certainly fail) to repair the damages that we have caused, when we try to release ourselves from the prisons by our own strength, we are Edging God Out. But what did Jesus do on the cross. He took all our sins and past mistakes and nailed it to the cross. So if we change the focus from ourselves for a moment and focus on the cross, on the salvation that comes to us through the cross, the whole scenario can change and change drastically.
Take this example. When we come back from work, or playing and sweating, we take off our dirty clothes. We throw them on the ground. Imagine after we have done that we pick them up again, and wear them again. Would we do that? Have you done that? Wouldn’t we consider ourselves as looney is we do that? Not giving up on our past mistakes is just like that. All of us sitting here are baptized isn’t it? What does Baptism mean to us? Romans 6:3-6 (MSG) 3 Or didn't you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. 4 When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. 5 Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country. 6 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the Cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this:. So if we believe in Baptism, once we accepted Jesus through baptism, this is what should happen. We should be able to leave our sins, all our dead works back and never ever pick them up. If we pick them up again, it as if we removed our dirty clothes to change and forgot about it and put on the same dirty cloths again to come to church. Are we in that situation?
So we may ask, we take baptism only once. But there are times when we do mistakes after Baptism. So does it mean that we are not cleansed after the baptism? NO, there is an ongoing cleansing required for all of us. 2 Timothy 2:20-21 (MSG) 20 In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. 21 Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing. It is our responsibility to be cleansed , daily, so that we are used as the vessels of honour that our Lord will be proud to use to serve to others. This cannot happen if we hold on to our past. This cleansing cannot happen, if we do let go of our past. This cleansing cannot happen if we Edge God Out through unforgiveness. We cannot be used as vessels of honour if we do not allow ourselves to be cleansed.