The Thief of Unforgiveness
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 [TPT] If you freely forgive anyone for anything, then I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I did so for you before the face of Christ, so that we would not be exploited [overtake us] by the adversary, Satan, for we know his clever schemes.
The thief has only one thing in mind-he wants to steal, kill, and destroy. How does the enemy achieve this, he comes with demonic thoughts of blame, accusations, self-condemnation, and hate that give him the legal right to dwell in our lives. Our demonic adversary wants to destroy our lives. He wants us to self-destruct with our own bitterness. However, the only way he can operate is to be given a right to operate. This defeated foe has lost all authority because Jesus destroyed his works by way of the Cross-where the kingdom of darkness was defeated, put to shame on the cross, and stripped of all their authority. Therefore, the only authority the devil has in our life is the authority we give him. He only has power when we empower him.
Since Satan was completely and thoroughly stripped, he has to resort to deception to fool us into giving him our authority. We grant such permission and give him an “opportunity” or “foothold” whenever we believe the lies and refuse to forgive. These become inroads into our lives that, if left unresolved, will eventually bring us to a place of enslavement. At the point of enslavement, or a “stronghold,” the thoughts of bitterness are so entrenched in our hearts and mind that we essentially become ruled by them.
Here is the truth. Since we have received God’s grace of forgiveness, by forgiving others we can shut the door to the opportunities where the devil would want to occupy. If we allow these opportunities to stay, then we are allowing the kingdom of darkness to build a whole structure of thoughts that will, literally, suck the life out of us. If we refuse to forgive, then we open the door for the “tormentors” to occupy and torment us. Thank goodness that we now have the power in Christ to choose to forgive!
Pastor Greg Volich