This is one of the greatest revelations that anyone can ever learn to apply in their daily walk. As Christians, we should learn how to leave the past behind us and move forward in the things that God has called us to do.
One of Satan’s greatest devices is the attempt to hinder people in their walk with God by reminding them of past mistakes and hurts in life. This is why Ephesians 4:27 says, “Neither give place to the devil.” Give Satan no place (opportunity) in anything; this includes your actions, your words, and especially your thoughts.
The most important step in moving forward in the things of God in 2012 is to understand forgiveness. Someone made the following statement to me when I was counseling him about forgiving others: “Well, you just don’t know what that person did to me!” My response was, “You obviously have no idea what Jesus did for you!”
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who hold unforgiveness in their heart toward someone that hurt them in the past. Unforgiveness will not only steal God’s joy in a person’s life, but it can also open the door for Satan to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Forgiveness is a choice; so is un-forgiveness. One empowers you and the other disables you.
Another important aspect about forgiveness is learning how to forgive yourself. Jesus said in Mark 11:25, “When you stand praying, forgive, if you have aught against any: that your Heavenly Father may forgive you your trespasses.” The word “any” includes you!
It is impossible for you to live in the promises of today if you are always living in the mistakes of yesterday. Some people even take their past mistakes and project them in their future by always speaking of them; then they wonder why they never seem to be happy in life. The reason they are unhappy is because they are moving backwards instead of forward.
Here is something to ponder: God sent Jesus, His only son, to bridge the gap that separated us from His presence; He forgives us of all our sins and He accepts us because He loves us. The amazing thing about this is the only thing we are required to do is receive what He has given!
How does one receive God’s love and forgiveness? By simply believing in his heart and confessing it with his mouth (Romans 10:9-10). This is what faith is all about, and your faith applies to more than just the forgiveness of sins.
It applies to the forgiveness of yourself and of others as well. When a person operates in God’s forgiveness, the true nature of God is manifest, and Satan will lose his power in that person’s life.
If you have any un-forgiveness or hurts in your life, pray this simple prayer out loud: “Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I thank you for sending your son to die for me on the cross, and I thank you for forgiving me of all my sins. Right now, I forgive everyone that has wronged me or hurt me in the past.
“I also forgive myself of past mistakes or shortcomings and I receive your complete forgiveness in my life. Through your grace, I choose to move forward and I make the quality decision to forget those things that are behind me.
“Thank you for setting me completely free. I pray this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!”
Now that you are walking in total forgiveness, great things will be able to come your way. This is exactly what God wants for all of His children. He loves you so much, and He wants His very best for you – all the time.
Knowing this truth empowers you to stand against any attack from Satan, and it gives you the ability to boldly say, “I am moving forward!”
— Shawn Machen, Pastor, World Victory Church