Matthew 18:35 – My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.
Forgiveness keeps one out of prison. In the spiritual realm, the tormentors are demonic entities that bind up lives from living freely, as God intended. Unforgiveness is one of the strongest “control mechanisms” the enemy has in his arsenal. The seeds of unforgiveness will produce roots that begin to go deep into one’s heart. These become known as roots of bitterness.
Acts 8:19-24 tells the story of a man, Simon, who had bitterness in his heart, yet he wanted the power of God, but with a wrong motive He offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you.For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity.” But Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”
Before Peter and John had arrived, Simon had repented; he had been baptized and continued in the faith because of the miracles he saw Philip performing. Like Simon, we can desire the authority, but fail to deal with our heart condition. God’s power and a troubled heart are a dangerous combination.
There are times in my life when I have had to ask others, including my wife and my children, to forgive me for a word or a wrong action. This was necessary for their heart and mine. Conversely, there have been times when I have been deeply hurt by another. I had to choose to forgive them from my heart so I would not be brought into bondage to their action or words toward me.
Forgiveness is the releasing of another person from the debt they owe. This means not holding any remnants of the past in your heart. This is what the Father has done for us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is able to freely deal with the nations and their peoples because “He so loved the world” (John 3:16).
Father, I pray for Your heart of forgiveness to be given to me. Help me to forgive others in the same manner that You have forgiven me. I choose to walk in the glorious liberty and freedom that Jesus has made possible for all believers. Keep my heart free from any unforgiveness and open for Your great love to fill me.