A tree was dying in my parent's yard, and upon investigation....it's very own root was wrapped around itself. All twisted and tight and blocking goodness. As the tentacle was loosened - the tree thrived and produced and lives, still.
And I think about this tree - how it's own apendage of sorts reaked havoc on it's life. How on the surface - the viscious entanglement went unseen. But under the dirt, deep down, compressed and silent - the tree's very own ways caused it to just about cease.
In that tree - I see this woman.
Hello, friends :) I told you I would scribble out a blog post containing some of my notes from Friday's forgiveness event - and I'm here to deliver. I'll post half of my notes today and half on my next post -for lengths sake :) And perhaps some anticipation? :) The story above was my intro. May the Lord stir all of us into a deeper, more real, more meaningful, more steadfast walk with Him.
(Forgive the random messyness of these notes, please? It was meant to be spoken, not typed :) Grace!)
*I too have a root that threatens to strangle me....it's called unforgiveness.
*None of us would have to go far for material on this topic. We all know pain. We all have wounds. And we all need healing.
*Unforgiveness has a harvest. It's a diseased and a corrupted one...but it has a harvest. The good news? Forgiveness has a harvest, too - a good, fruitful one.
*Hosea 10:12 - Sow for yourselves rightousness. Reep steadfast love. Break up your fallow ground. For it is time to seek the Lord - that He may come and rain rightousness upon you.
- 'Break up your fallow ground' - that's what we began doing Friday night
- 'Fallow' in the Hebrew is 'niyr' - it means hard, untilled ground, yes - but it is tillable!
- Notice how the Lord provides. He tells us in the first lines 'sow rightousness, reap love' and then He says, 'seek Me....and I will provide the ability to do that for you, child.'
- His power alone is the only way we forgive....from the heart. The Forgiver Himself, alone.
*I began prepping this talk by asking, "God, what do you want to teach me about forgiveness?" And I instantly got a very clear picture in my mind:
- It was the front of my body....with my torso opened up to expose my heart and belly. And I understood that the heart and belly I saw were healthy. And the Lord whispered, "Katie, I want you to know forgiveness HERE. In your depths. In those places only I can see and only you can feel, child. Through and through. And by the way, the only way you can have this is by ME."
- Forgiveness is a heart issue.
*Luke 6:37-38: Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
- Notice the word 'lap'. That's the ESV version. The NKJV uses the word, 'bosom'. Both words are translated from the Greek word, 'kolpos'. (Now keep in mind the vision the Lord gave me before I ever cracked open the scriptures on this topic.) The word 'kolpos' means: the front of the body between the arms. Is the Lord not confirming that He yearns for us to know forgiveness in.our.hearts? In our inner most places? Indeed, He is.
*Luke 6:45: The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
- Notice the 'of the heart' in this verse....the Lord speaking it yet again.
- Before we can mean forgiveness in our faces, before we can speak it with our mouths, we have to mean it in our hearts.
- God's calling everyone to forgiveness - from the heart. He's made it clear.
*At this point you may be thinking, "Okay, I get it. The Lord wants us to know forgiveness in the deep...in the heart. But what does this look like? How do we go about doing this?"
Won't you check back real soon for part two? To find out what God has revealed about this whole forgivness challenge? Oh, please do. Because He has done some revealing, friends! Until then, seek His face and you'll find it.
Love to you all :)