The Master's Commandment and
the Call For Forgiveness
by Deborah Peterson
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12-13)
I sit here to write to you today as Yah has been working and speaking so much to my heart in the weeks past. And I write these words share with you what Yah called me to share…
I wonder as I write this where you are in your walk with Elohim...
Perhaps you’re at a place where you have been soaring in the Ruach, elevated to heights you’ve never known before...
Or perhaps, you have been through trails that have stretched your soul further then you would ever have imagined possible... like me.
As I write to you today, I write as someone who has tasted a lot of things, much of which have been bitter, in the last few years... who has tasted betrayal and rejection , animosity and even hate from loved ones...
I share this, not to look for sympathy , but that when you read the words that follow here that you may know that what I write I don’t write them lightly. I have known and walked painful paths, yet by Yah’s grace know how great and important what I need to share with you today is...
Dear friend, the heart of what Yah called me to write to you today is this small word:
I know even as I write this that there is someone who has just read this, and felt bitterness and anger fill their hearts...Perhaps the thoughts that flashed through your heart and mind is:
“How dare you? You don’t have any idea what I’ve been through... and you tell me that I should forgive them after they have done?”
This Word isn't mine... but its the Word of the One who gave His life for you.
And its the Word He gave to me.
He called me to share with you what He has been showed my own heart about forgiveness... not only how it is essential you and I forgive if we want to be freed and healed, but also Truth and the consequences of our choice if we choose to not to.
As Yah has been freeing and healing me in the last couple of weeks, the topic of forgiveness has been brought up more than once. Though the Ruach has been gentle in my hurt in speaking to me about forgiveness, She also given with even in Her gentleness a deep knowing how important it is that we listen, and forgive… and what will come of if we choose not to.
Part of what Yah has been ministering to me in the last while has been about loving someone in my life that has hurt and angered me so much in the past… especially in the last few years. There has been so much manipulation, ungodly control and emotionally abuse …...
And I have been called to love this person.
You see, my Master said to me, to us:
As I tried to do this, too often I found myself getting frustrated or angry as they continued with their abuse…
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
I was hurt and angry, and had this question in my heart ~ why is it so difficult to love them?
And the words the Ruach whispered into my heart was this:
And in that moment He showed me that it was impossible for me to truly love this person until I had truly forgiven them... both for what they had done as well as the way they are continueing to act.
And until I truly loved... not just doing outer actions while having resentment in my heart, but truly loved… I would sin against Yahweh, and them.
Yah opened my eyes to see that I needed to forgive... to be able to love them, but also to be free from the hurt and pain of what had been done. He showed me that while I choose to hold on to the offenses (some that have truly hurt me very deeply), I was also holding on to and trapped by the pain that came with them.
He reminded me of the image of a monkey that has it hand in a calabash, his hand in a fist as he holds on to what lies inside... though that monkey may want to be free from his calabash prison, until he lets go of what he’s holding on to, his hand can’t be free.
And we can’t be free from the pain and the fear of our past hurts, abuse and betrayal until we choose to forgive those who did those things to us.
I tried to forgive, but I struggled with the hurt and in the places in my heart where I still had anger and resentment… And a question that came as I came to a place of wanting to forgive, but feeling helpless to do so was why? Why this struggle to forgive?
Yah’shua showed me something one day that was so simple, yet so very important:
In order for there to be forgiveness, something has to die.
As I was looking up the verses He’d laid on my heart to give you, Yah’shua spoke again clearly through Scripture and His Ruach with these words:
Its because Yah’shua died for us on the cross that He could forgive us...
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar [of the cross] to make atonement for your souls [that you may be forgiven]; for it is the blood [shed in death] that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
And when we are the ones who need to forgive, the one who needs to die is us… we must die to our Self on the cross He called us to take up and follow Him with.
He reminded me how after He had died that His side was pierced, and that it was from a man’s side a rib or Bride was taken. By dying and allowing His side to be pierced was saying:
It was because He died to Himself that we could be reconciled... that we could be forgiven.
“Look and behold my Bride ~ I died that the Way may be opened for you… that you can be forgiven and come home. Come, abide in Me, and you will know my heart... and the Father who is within Me.”
What He showed me so clearly is that the reason I was unable to forgive was because part of my flesh, my Self, was still alive... and that until it died, I would never be able to forgive this person, or the others who had hurt me so deeply.
It was part of my flesh that was still alive that was angry and bitter, that wanted these people to hurt rather than sincerely wanting their be salvation. It was part my flesh that was still alive that was being ugly and defiant, end that continued to replay what happened to me, what they had done to me, the hurt and sorrow they had caused me...
You see, He showed me the center of my unforgiveness was my Self.
And He showed me that only when He is in the center could I ever be able to forgive... could I ever be able to keep His commandment:
He died to forgive us ~ you and me, before we ever asked for forgiveness. He died for us when we didn’t and could never deserve it. It in the same way that He has called us die to Self before those who have wronged us ask for forgiveness... even though they don’t and could never deserve it.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).
“[And] Elohim demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, [unworthy and lost because of our own horrible sin] Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)
This is part of why Yah’shua told us that if any of us would come after Him, that we would have to take up our cross, and follow Him...
Friend, He showed me that its impossible to love without forgiving… and its impossible to forgive without dying to our Selves.
You may have noticed dear friend, that we can’t nail ourselves to a cross. Someone else has to do it.
What Yah showed me was that in our own strength it is impossible for us to forgive.
We are told in Romans 8:7-8 that “the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim, for it is not subject to the law of Elohim [His Way, will or commandments], nor indeed can it be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please Elohim."
To be able to forgive the huge offences in our lives, Yahweh Elohim must do a work of forgiveness in … and we must actively seek Him for this, truly believing that He can and would do this.
It is only when we truly begin placing our trust in Him ~ both to execute justice on our behalf and to work forgiveness in us, that we will be able to receive the grace we need to be able to forgive. Even as we are told in Hebrews 11:6 that “... without faith it is impossible to please Him [or to do what He asks of us]”, but that if we would seek Him, we must believe “... that He is [faithful and true], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.
Yah’shua will work forgiveness in and also heal us, if we will believe and seek Him for it.
As Yah spoke to me about forgiveness, He also began speaking about what happens if we choose to hold on to unforgiveness. The choice whether we will forgive or not remains our own, but we must know what will happen if we choose not too...
What if we choose not to forgive? What if we decide to hold on to the offense?
Yah’shua spoke this word to us:
That is a strong word … strong because our carnal natures so want to insist on holding on to the offenses against us.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26).
I know I haven’t fully grasped yet just how great the debt of sin was Yah has forgiven me off, and this is something the Ruach has been speaking to me about... She reminded me of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:
When we read this parable, we can see that the difference in the size of debt the servant owed and the debt that was owed to the servant was huge…
“Then Peter came to Him and said, “Master, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Yah’shua said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was unable to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denari; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done, So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done, Then his master, after he had called him said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all the debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturer until he should pay all that was due to him.” “So My Heavenly Father will also do to each of you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother”” (Matthew 18:21-34).
Yet to show me just how huge the debt the servant owed was, Yah brought me back to Romans 8:7-8 again:
As I read this, He showed me a simple Truth I’m not sure I ever fully grasped before ~ That before Yah’shua saved us, we did nothing but sin.
“... the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim, for it is not subject to the law of Elohim [His Way, His will and His commandments], nor indeed can it be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please Elohim.”
Before He saved us, all we had to operate out of was our flesh. Its only by His grace that we were saved and that He began to work a New Creation in us… that we could be enabled not to sin, but to truly walk in righteousness.
Before we were saved, we are told in Isaiah 64:6 that all our ‘righteousness’ and our ‘greatest works’ “are like filthy rags”… because every single ‘good’ work was done with the center or the idol of… Self.
That’s why we can’t be saved by our own works ~ its like trying to take a bath with dirty rags.
That’s how big our debt was. We had done nothing but sinned against Yah. There had not been one moment of our lives where we had lived for Him instead of the idol of our Selves…
That is the size of the debt He forgave us…
And its because of that grace He showed that we are also called to forgive.
“[Yet] Elohim demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)
It was recently while speaking to a loved one about forgiveness and where I felt Yahweh was calling us to seek Him to work forgiveness in us that Yah showed me with great clarity the Truth about the choice of unforgiveness ~
That while we know that Yahweh has commanded us to forgive, and choose not to, we are in wilful rebellion against Him. The Ruach cannot remain in the places where we are wilfully sinning, but must leave them until we will repent. The result ~ A heart partially or fully blinded by bitterness. Hindered prayers . Broken fellowship with Elohim and the people around us.
Please don’t let your bitterness blind you… Because bitterness is one of the “planks in our eye” described in Luke 6:41-42 that will hinder our vision… not only of the people you feel have specks in theirs, but also everyone else around us.
You see friends, your unforgiveness might be against that loved one or friend that betrayed and hurt you long ago, yet be blinded by the fear, doubt or cynicism that grew from that unforgiveness, keeping you from seeing that another loved one or person who has come into your life isn’t the same.
It may be that, like one loved I know, you had an abusive spouse… but because of your unforgiveness, can’t see that not everyone of the opposite sex is the same.
Or perhaps, just perhaps, your unforgiveness has blinded you from truly seeing where a person is trying to love you… because you would not forgive them for what they did in the past.
We can’t nail ourselves to a cross, and we can’t raise ourselves from the grave…
But we have a Saviour who can do the impossible, even to work forgiveness in our hearts to forgive what is impossible for us in our own strength to forgive. We have a Saviour who can and wants to create a whole new person in the place of our carnal nature… a person who could and would sincerely want the salvation of the people who hurt them most… a person who could and would sincerely love their enemies because of the Living Elohim abiding in them.
We have a Saviour who promised that if we would die with Him, we would also be raised with Him…
We have a Saviour… and He is waiting to help us, if we will just call.
May Yah help and bless you, friend and me, to forgive… Amen.
This page was created on 21 April 2009
Last updated on 21 April 2009
Copyright © 2009 NCCG