"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." —Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
WHENEVER WE START a new year, I like to look at it as a blank page. We have a clean slate on which to write new pages of history. As we face each day, it's important to do so with a positive attitude. Often we're held back from accomplishing the things God desires because we're continually looking backwards. We're focusing on past failures or letting our minds dwell on people who've hurt us. I'm amazed when I hear someone say, "I remember what so-and-so did to me 30 years ago. I will never forget it, nor will I ever forgive them for how they treated me."
When we adopt attitudes like this, not only are we going against established principles in Scripture, but we're also blocking blessings that God desires to bestow upon us. I admit, some people have an easier time forgiving others. My husband is one of them. He grew up in a home where forgiveness was always practiced.
I can still hear Brother Hagin's words ringing in my ears: "If you don't practice forgiveness, your faith won't work for you." I decided quickly that I'd better learn how to forgive others, although I really didn't know how. Just saying "I forgive you" never erased the memory of the incident. I asked my father-in-law the secret and he simply said, "You just do it." His answer didn't help me. So I asked my husband and he said the same thing.
I'm so thankful that when we go to our Heavenly Father with questions, He knows our personalities. He knows how to communicate to us in ways we'll understand.
The Lord directed me to Matthew 5:44. I like to call my Bible the "Instruction Book." It's where all of the answers to our questions are found. This verse says, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
The Lord then gave me these instructions: "Read Matthew 5:44 every day and then pray for the one who hurt or offended you. Do this until you can read this verse without thinking about the person or the offense."
You might wonder how long it took. Truthfully, some offenses were so deep that I read that scripture and prayed for that person for 10 years. But today, because I have the revelation of forgiveness so strongly on the inside of me, I am able to release hurts and forgive instantly.
As I was writing "Seed Thoughts," I felt impressed that some of you reading this article needed to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply. In fact, unforgiveness has even caused health issues in your body. I encourage you to let go of the hurt and forgive that person. When you do, you will open the door to the bright future God has prepared for you. Your year will go so much better when you learn the secret of forgiveness.
I can still hear Brother Hagin's words ringing in my ears: "If you don't practice forgiveness, your faith won't work for you."Lynette Hagin
Your Spirit Becomes New
When you are born again, your spirit becomes new, not your mind or body (2 Cor. 5:17). The old life disappeared and a new life began. Where? In your inward man, the hidden person of the heart (1 Peter 3:4 NKJV).
Our soulish thoughts and emotions don't change overnight. If our souls became brand-new, Paul wouldn't have told us as believers to renew our minds with the Word of God (Rom. 12:2 NIV).
As you receive the Word into your heart and mind, your mind is renewed and undergoes "extensive changes." You are transformed into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29). Your soul is restored and you begin to think and operate in line with the Word. This helps you keep your spirit in control of your body and emotions. It enables you to live right before God continually.
If you're not renewing your mind, you'll probably respond to situations the way you did before salvation. It will be much harder to resist the temptation to sin.
You cannot follow God's plan for your life without renewing your mind with the Word. A renewed mind makes you more sensitive to the things of God. You'll be less likely to respond to circumstances from your emotions or reasoning.
Just stay faithful to fill your heart and mind with God's Word. By doing this, your soul will continually be restored, or saved (James 1:21; Ps. 23:3). It will become easier for you to follow the Holy Spirit's leading.
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