So often we Christians forget that we are bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. It all sounds good in a song or as a line in a sermon, but in actuality, believing with your whole heart is another story. Have you ever caught yourself praying multiple times to the Lord about a sin or failure you feel bad about and asking God to forgive you every time you are reminded of it? This is a cycle of the enemy. His goal is to keep you “unforgiven” when Jesus said that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9), and he really meant that.
To continue acting on a feeling of "unforgiven" is the same thing as accusing God of not doing what he said he does when we confess and ask forgiveness. In effect, to do this is to harbor unforgivingness towards God. This was a hard revelation for me to comprehend, but in actuality it is exactly what we are doing when we fail to accept the kind of forgiveness God gives when we repent. He says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12) God is faithful as we see in Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”
Believing God is one of the first steps to entering into real, deep worship. Why you ask? The reason may seem too obvious. Of course it is impossible to truly worship God if you don't know him as your Savior, but as a Christian it's possible to miss out on being of a mind and heart to really get to the place of worship, and here is a remarkable revelation right in the gospels.
Mark 11:21-26 gives us insight, “And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
First we see faith mentioned here. “Have faith in God” as we see in verse 22 of Mark 11. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”(Hebrews 11:6) Then we see “faith without works is dead” being revealed as he tells his disciples “That whosoever shall say unto this mountain...”(verse 23). It is something God expects “us”, the believers in him, to actively “do”. We are to “take the bull by the horns” as they say and speak to the mountain which could be a problem, a demonic enemy whether by a person doing the bidding of the enemy, an invisible attack that shows up as a problem in your life or it could be a sin in your life.
Then there is the instruction to pray and believe first so you can receive it. Faith in God is not a “see it to believe it faith”. Even the world can accomplish that. Only by totally relying on God can a person have “God faith”. So, you have sinned and your conscience is bothering you and you want God to forgive you. You feel like a total heel and can't conceive how God can ever forgive you, and then the enemy comes yelling in your ear. You begin feeling so, so low and depression begins to set in. Unknown to you, once you accepted the idea that God couldn't possibly ever forgive you, you opened the door to the enemy. Now you are stuck in a perpetual negative depression (which also is a demonic attack), and the sadness over what you have done never seems to lift completely. Even if you forget it by getting your mind off of things, you find yourself praying yet again for God to forgive you even though you prayed a bunch of times already.
When you ponder the “why do I keep feeling unforgiven” thought that the devil puts in your mind (we know it is the enemy because God said he is faithful to forgive), the devil is so happy to answer the question for you. He will say things like, “you just can't forgive yourself” or “God is done with you now”. Yes, the enemy has no truth in him whatsoever, and his goal is to derail you to the point that you cannot have communion with God. To understand who you are and to live forgiven opens the door to real worship, and that scares the enemy to death.
So, if we fail to see that our own inability to accept forgiveness from God is actually accusing him of failing to do what he said, we put ourselves in a place of unforgivingness towards God, or better said, we are saying he didn't really forgive us or that he lied. It is very important to stop the “stinkin' thinkin'” thought patterns that come straight from sin and the author of sin, and begin believing God. Believe he is who he says he is. Once you come to this change of thought patterns and refuse to participate in living “unforgiven” you will find true worship starts to flow out of you from a place of believing.
Oh, how the enemy would hate for you to dive deep into praise from a place of knowing exactly what God has done for you for fear that you might just get healed. Yes, God wants you to be healed in mind, soul and spirit. “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13) After all, Jesus died for all of you, including healing. “Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4 ) and “...by his stripes ye were healed”(1 Peter2:24b)
God wants you healed in every way, and believing God is who he says he is is the first step to true worship. It's time for the people of God to stop living “unforgiven” and accept the life God has died to give, and that is life and life more abundantly.
This song by Kari Jobe (You Are For Me) is a wonderful worship song that addresses many of these issues, and by worshiping with this music you will find your “stinkin' thinkin'” begins to fall away into a "God-faith" that truly believes God is who he says he is and does what he says he does. Be blessed as you listen to this song.
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