Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Imprisonment Due To Defense

I am on week 4 of the 4 week series Pastor Chris Lockemy is preaching on forgiveness. If you'd like to watch the message it's been loaded on their YouTube channel.

Before you keep reading check out
Week 1 Blog Imprisonment Due To Hurt
Week 2 Blog Imprisonment Due To Judgement
Week 3 Blog Imprisonment Due To Revenge
Then come back and continue!

The scripture PC (Pastor Chris) keep referring back to is Matthew 18:21-35

So this is the last week on the series Amnesty: The Anatomy of Forgiveness lead by lead Pastor Chris Lockemy at Epic Church of Baltimore. I want to give a brief summary of what I have learned in the series so far. Unforgiveness is a prison, not for the person we aren't forgiven but for ourselves. The prison of unforgiveness has 4 doors that we can either open and forgive, or hold them shut and live in unforgiveness. Week one was the door of hurt; the pain that comes because of the gap between or unmet expectation and reality. Week two was the door of judgement; when we start to judge the motives and condition of someone else's heart. You may sometimes find yourself dismissing that person as a human. Week  3 was the door of revenge; which is the practice of taking unauthorized justice into our own hands. We rehearse these past experiences of hurt, judgement, revenge, and the next door defense. We hold those doors shut which prevent us for forgiving and be set free to do what God is calling us to do.

Door #4 was revealed as the door of Defense

The door of defense is described as when you defending yourself. When you're constantly defending your actions. It may have come across and hurt another person, but your intentions don't align with the pain that was caused. You have to be whiling to admit and confess. I like to call this "owning it". Forgiveness is possible when you can own the part you played and truly acknowledge with acceptance that we are in desperate need of Gods forgiveness.

Minimizing Ourselves

We often try to minimizing ourselves and what Pastor Chris meant by that is were not going to get the level of forgiveness we need if we keep trying to defend ourselves. He said it's when you judge other people by their motives, but you want to be judge only by your intentions. How can you expect people to judge your intentions when most of the time your unwilling to consider the other persons intentions.

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard frin gun and declare to you: God is light, in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess out sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

God is light, and apart from him we have darkness. In him we have fellowship, apart from him we have disconnection. In him we have forgiveness, outside of him we have unforgiveness. In him we are purified, outside of him we are unpurified.


The effects of having a defensive heart.

#1 Disconnection from God - If you are unable to own your part in situations, you are disconnecting from God. If your not able to admit that you are wrong, or recognize where you wen wrong, you are disconnecting from God. You don't need to defend your actions.

#2 Disconnection of others - If your in the light you will find yourself having fellowship with others. When you aren't in the light you may find yourself in isolation. You may find that you have separated from others. Defensiveness kills vulnerability. When theirs no vulnerability their is no life in relationships.

#3 Leaves us unforgiven & impure -In God your forgiven, without him your without forgiveness. You need to be able to own it. You have to be able to admit, & confess, your own part. You have to be open and allow God to do what only God can do, heal your heart.


Good defense is often bad offense.

You may give it your very best. You may have very pure intentions. You may think you have a very good way of defending your heart, but this message challenges you to evaluate yourself  and consider that it may be that you have a poor offense strategy. When you have an offended heart you will find yourself visiting these 4 doors. You can rehearse the judgement. You can rehearse the revenge. Even when you defend yourself.

Jesus tells us it is impossible to not be offended in our lifetime. Again, YOU WILL BE OFFENDED. You will be baited to be imprisoned by your unforgiveness. You wont be able to miss this bait. You cannot prevent the enemy from presenting the bait. We will look up and find ourselves trapped in unforgiveness. The enemy will tell us to defend ourselves. But the good news is we don't have to stay there. The doors to forgiveness don't lock. The enemy wants you to believe you'll be there forever, but the truth is YOU can get out. You just have to choose not to take the bait anymore, and allow your faith to be bigger than your fears.

Why Should We Forgive?

Galatians 6:1-5

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else. For each one should carry their own load.

From those verse here are 3 reasons why Pastor Chris says we should forgive. Keep in mind he is coming from the place of day to day hurts. The deep wounds people face need to be addressed more carefully.

#1 Forgive because you are guilty of something too- We have all fallen short of the glory of God. It may not be the exact same. But we too are guilty of something.

#2 Forgive because you might be next- You may have kept your nose clean now, but you may be needing forgiveness before the day is out.

#3 Forgive for Freedom- You should live in forgiveness for our own freedom. Don't enslave yourself in unforgiveness. There's more to be done. God's not done with you yet.

If we were to put these 4 doors together it is actually a picture of what an unforgiving person looks like. When you stay in our prisoned because of unforgiveness you're a wounded, judgmental, vengeful, victim. Those are not words I want to be used when describing me, and I am sure you don't either. When you live in forgiveness, when own it, allow your faith to be bigger than your fears, it will begin to heal you. Words used to describe you would be gracious, healed, & completed. A son or daughter to the great I AM. Share in others sufferings. Have compassion on them. Those who've been forgiven for much, should forgive others much.

"You can only forgive others to the degree you have received Gods forgiveness for yourself."


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