019: Finding Freedom in Forgiveness

One of the most difficult things we have to deal with in this life is unforgiveness.  But, it has to be dealt with, because otherwise, it imprisons us.  It immobilizes us spiritually and mentally.  As long as we harbor unforgiveness, we are not living in the fullness of God.  Today, our host discusses the two kinds of forgiveness that need to take place if we are to live free.

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Jake Enriquez: 00:02 Press and Reach episode number 19 finding freedom in forgiveness.

Jake Enriquez: 00:13 Welcome back. Jake enríquez you’re host. I sure hope and pray that you guys have an awesome wonderful weekend getting get started here today. You know we’re going to talk about how we are finding freedom.

Jake Enriquez: 00:26 In forgiveness today and I got to tell you I think this topic this issue is such a great issue to discuss because I find a lot of people going through it today. I know I’ve experienced it myself and that’s the reason why I just kind of want to discuss it this morning. You know it just so happens to be one of the most difficult things is that we ever deal with or have to deal with is this unforgiveness in our hearts you know unforgiveness by the way. And if we’re not free in this forgiveness I should say it will absolutely hold us at bay it’ll keep us imprisoned. You know it will keep us immobilized actually spiritually and mentally. And if we’re not living with forgiveness in our heart then I have to tell you something I don’t really care what anybody else says.

Jake Enriquez: 01:11 We are absolutely not living in the fullness of God because that’s not what this life is meant to be. We can’t run around out here being living with unforgiveness on our hearts. We have to be those who live a life of forgiveness. So and the reason why we talk about I got to tell you the truth man I’ve got a couple of friends of mine right now that are going through. I know them love them they’re great friends of mine and I’m hoping and praying today that they’ll find it in their hearts to forgive one another. But you know this morning we’re going to talk about two kinds of forgiveness the forgiveness of ourselves and the forgiveness of others. And I believe it’s very important to discuss it that way. First cell first and then others because if we’re dealing with self first and you know I know a lot of people say well I don’t have anything to forgive myself but that may in fact not be true.

Jake Enriquez: 02:06 So we want to just check ourselves before we you know kind of move through it because I remember it we were just recently talking about we can only give away that which we have received and if we have not received forgiveness and understanding of the forgiveness of sins in our lives it makes it that much more difficult to forgive anybody else so we’re going to talk about those two types of forgiveness which is self and then others and we’re going to of course start with self and how we would go about doing that. So I’ll just use myself for an example. You know when I first became a Christian when I first actually surrendered my life to the Lord and I said man I really want to live my life for God.

Jake Enriquez: 02:52 I ran into quite a difficult time. And here’s the reason why I know all the things that I’ve done in the past. OK. And you know you might have a similar situation going on for you right now. I pray that you don’t and if you do pray that you just really listen on this thing because I believe this could really help you. Me and my family when we were at church we used to live we live. We used to stay at the balcony. Me or my wife would get our kids and we go straight up into the balcony and here and the reason why we did that is I really would rather not talk to people just to be an honest man. I didn’t really want to talk to anybody because I know the deal. If I start talking to people I start conversing with them we’re probably going to get into different conversations and sooner or later you already know it.

Jake Enriquez: 03:43 Somebody is going to ask me about my conversion. They’re

Jake Enriquez: 03:49 going to ask me different questions and I already knew that you know and I didn’t really want to discuss all that. So really I found myself having a difficult time with understanding forgiveness and understanding these different things about the Gospel and understanding how how does God truly forgive us. You know like I was always in awe. I mean here I am understand that I’m forgiven. OK. Lord Jesus Christ paid for my sins on that cross. Understand that. But at the same time I don’t want to talk about those things in the past right. So that’s where I was at at the time didn’t really want to discuss it or talk to anyone about it because there are so many things in my past as my fact a couple of friends of mine. We had lunch today and we were kind of talking about how those things can kind of come up.

Jake Enriquez: 04:39 And I just don’t like even today when they come up me and I really don’t. But anyhow one day I was really dealing with it you know in the morning as I was sitting there studying scripture you know and I was praying you know as God. I mean I want to live my life for you. I want to give everything I want to give my all to you. But you know I had that feeling of being unworthy and you know we should always actually have a feeling of being unworthy. To some extent but God says that we’re not. He says we are worthy to go do his work. But here’s my thing. I just didn’t want to get caught up in it because I really thought that there’s nothing I could ever do.

Jake Enriquez: 05:19 And actually God was showing me in his scripture that he uses his his chosen people those broken vessels to do a mighty work in his name. Now I know that it’s not us that actually do it but that Christ does it through us right. But I still had quite a difficult time understanding how he would go about doing that. So one morning when I was in the Scripture I was studying I was looking at the word and I came across this verse. You know it was like God was trying to really truly show me something. He said you know he showed me that nothing that I’ve ever done right.

Jake Enriquez: 05:56 In my past has remained Unforgiven. In other words he has forgiven me for everything.

Jake Enriquez: 06:04 So when I was looking at this scripture passage it was in first Corinthians 15 9 and 10 it was the apostle Paul. And it was reading for I am the least of the Apostles unworthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace towards me was not in vain. He said yet I outwork them all. Yet not I but the grace of God which was with me and I have to tell you man I stood on that verse I looked at that passage for ever and then I surely started you know just kind of study and more and more and looking more and more through that word and only to find that God used all these broken people to fulfill his work to go do his work.

Jake Enriquez: 06:55 I mean every By that you ever look at it in that word because of broken guys and gals I mean just broken folks doing God’s work. Nobody was ever you know perfect or anything like that. You know the Apostle Paul is a man I persecuted the church of God. I mean you have anything that tops that. You know what. Actually in all actuality we all have at some point in time or another. So anyhow that’s how I begin to really deal with forgiveness of self because God was showing me I’ve already forgiven you of all of your sins and all of that stuff I’ve cleansed you from it. Remember as far as the east is from the west I’ve gotten rid of all of that stuff for you. So in seeing that and understanding that a little bit more clear I was able to start moving gently in this thing in this work cry that God had for me and I got to tell you you know it’s still a long journey we all have a long journey.

Jake Enriquez: 07:49 Always feel unworthy. Like man I’m not going to be able to do that but you know what I find out. You know I like it when it gets like that because that means God is about to do it you know not me. So I can trust and rely on him to do it. Remember the scripture that says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. It doesn’t say our selves it says through Christ who strengthens us. That’s a big relief for me because if I really know and understand that now and I can just simply stand on that promise then I know and understand that I’m not going to have to do it that way.

Jake Enriquez: 08:23 But it is no longer I but Christ live within me that is actually doing that work. So understanding that is what really really got me started. So what are some of those things that helped me to get started in that forgiveness of self and understanding that I was forgiven. Well number one is study. You know I was I was studying that word. Surely study in that word opening up that Bible sitting down like me and God and a cup of coffee. You know I love that and just simply sitting in there discovering more and more of God’s truths the truth that he has in there for us is incredible and we can really dive in and we can have such a great life in it but not not just the studying but the prayer life that I was experience and really calling out to God and praying and relying upon him asking God to show me asking God to lead me asking God to help me with an understanding of His Word.

Jake Enriquez: 09:22 How is this thing how am I supposed to deal with this thing of forgiveness so in that I just I’m sharing this with you so you understand that that forgiveness of self is like the base of everything if we can’t forgive ourselves and we surely will not go far. And God was sure showing me that I was forgiven. Amen. OK so that is the first one which is the forgiveness of self. But you know then we look at the forgiveness of others and I’m going to try to make this as brief as possible I know I don’t want to stay so long.

Jake Enriquez: 09:55 I we could really take this forgiveness and just spend days on it to be honest with you. But we’re not going to do that. So just sit tight. What we’re talking about is now is the forgiveness of others. How do we go about forgiving others because this right here can have us truly paralyzed out here if we’re not able to forgive others. Number one the scripture says a very if you do not forgive others of their trespasses then upon our Father in heaven will not forgive us. That’s Matthew 6 15 right. And we certainly don’t want to be on the back side of that being unforgiving forgive him based on the way that we live. So let’s look at the forgiveness of others. Why is it so difficult to forgive somebody else well if you really recognize this and you’re and you’re really aware of this.

Jake Enriquez: 10:43 It’ll help us I think have a better understanding of that forgiveness. Number one is who the other person is. Have you ever noticed that if it’s somebody that you don’t really know you don’t really have a relationship where you don’t really know too much. You know if you have any kind of feelings this way or that about them and they’ve wronged you yeah you might get upset. But after a while you just forget all about it and it’s no big deal. But those you have a relationship with those you care about those you love those you trust. And when we wrong one another are hurt one another. Those are the ones that it’s harder to forgive because we feel as if they should have known or understood this or that about us.

Jake Enriquez: 11:30 So we’re going to we’re going to park right here for just a second. And just as before when we were talking about forgiving ourselves now we’ve got to take all of that that we were talking about and use it towards somebody else. And here’s what I’m talking about. I want you to think about the person that you may have unforgiveness on your heart about or for. And when you really think about that person and think about the relationship you may or may not have any more but still you had at one time you think about that’s really the reason why it hurt so bad and you can’t get over this or that. But the truth be told if you were able to just sit and meditate and pray for that person in the fullness of the Lord you’ll have a better understanding of what took place.

Jake Enriquez: 12:20 You have to remember this whatever happened involve two people that would be us and the other person right so it involved two people and we ended up in this predicament of unforgiveness maybe a fallen out bitterness on our heart whatever it might be. Not moving so good in the grace of God speak. OK. And if we’re thinking about that other person we think about the relationship that we once had. So we have to really really dig deep in that and start to have a better understanding of that that hey you know what we actually love one another and let that really sit in and sink in for us for a minute and start to pray on that but you can’t do this thing. Watch this. You can’t do this thing without God. You just can’t do it without the Lord.

Jake Enriquez: 13:12 That’s why the scripture says in Jesus spirit that we said we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. OK so we’re really cast in our cares upon the Lord because He cares about us. He’s the one that strengthens us and sees us through. So we really have to start thinking about it that way. Consider it that way and thinking about that other person first think about the other person think about their life think about the relationship you had with them. Think about why you ever loved them think about why you ever had that relationship with them and don’t let the enemy steal that away from you. But number two really think about why why did we have the falling out. OK. This is this is where it kind of gets embarrassing. You mean we haven’t spoke to one another in all these years because you you name it you fill in the blank. You mean to tell me we still don’t speak. Because

Jake Enriquez: 14:07 whatever it might be when you really think about that. Think about the impact that that little thing had on your relationship. It

Jake Enriquez: 14:17 really starts to get a little bit embarrassing or Seems like meaningless and you could probably try to move away from it. Are through it a little bit better I should say again first in prayer and in meditation. But just as we were forgiven self earlier we have to simply ask that of God. And once we ask it of God I’m sure. I mean I’m telling you right now it’s a whole new perspective. We asked God to show it to us through our spiritual eyes and be able to see that because we don’t want we don’t want to live him up or imprisoned. You know one of my favorite scripture verses is Proverbs 4:23 which says God your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life. So in order for me to move in my life the field with the springs of joy I have got to let this stuff go.

Jake Enriquez: 15:16 So number three is you know why do you want to do that. Well in essence it’s to be free. You want to live a free life out here and if you can’t let those things go I don’t care if you’re successful in business you may have a great home life you might have a great marriage but if you’re harboring unforgiveness in your heart I can assure you of this I’ll say it again. You are not live in your life in the fullness of God. And I know it hurts because I’ve been there. So. So those are the reasons why and we’re just simply touching base on it. And I really hope and pray in the day if any of you guys are living with unforgiveness in your heart for any one man let us hear from you.

Jake Enriquez: 16:03 You can do it by message whatever you want to do. I mean you don’t have to be you know to put your business out on the street. I really want to hear from you send me a message. Go to Preston reached out. I’d love to pray with you if you have a prayer request just send it over there to us as well. You can also reach us on press and reach on the Facebook page and you can hit us up on the messenger there. But make sure you go by Preston reached dot com and also sign up for the newsletter because we always drop something off on a Saturday some Saturday morning. We just sent out a newsletter it’s got something in there inspirational encouraging to each and every one of us out here as we build community with one another.

Jake Enriquez: 16:41 I want to hear from you. I always thank God for you. But here’s the thing. As we’re moving in this thing this weekend I’m praying and hoping that we’re able to find that freedom and forgiveness today. I really am. And for my brothers back home the guys that I’m thinking about today I will make sure you get this. And I want to let you know some right now brothers I sure do love you. I thank God for you for all that you’ve ever done for me. Man really. I’m serious. And if I could be there with you right now I would be holding you guys in and hugging you up and letting you know man. Life is too short. Step out there and faith because it’s going to take faith by the way brothers to live with forgiveness just fully going all the time you know finding freedom in forgiveness is a God thing you have to know that and understand that you’re always going to deal with opposition out here.

Jake Enriquez: 17:36 But if I could just give you a life verse I would easily suggest the same one that I use it’s Proverbs 4:23 I repeat it again. It’s got your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life for the show notes on this episode simply go to press and reach dot com forward slash PR 19. I pray and I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and even better week. God bless you.

Jake Enriquez: 18:00 Once again it’s been a joy hanging out with you. So please keep pressing and reach and remember that you are not walking out your faith alone. Here. For he has promised that he will never leave you nor forsake you. Have a Blessed. And wonderful day.

Forgiveness of Self

Once we understand that we can’t give away that which we’ve not yet received, we realize that forgiveness begins with us.  I think back to when I first became a Christian.  I really wanted to live my life for God, but ran into a difficult time.  When my family and I started attending church together, we always sat in the balcony.  I didn’t really want to talk to anyone, so I was safe up there in the balcony.  I already knew that once I started talking to people, questions would eventually come up, and I was trying to avoid getting into it.  I didn’t want to discuss my past.  Even today, I don’t like when the past comes up, and I have to think about things I’d rather forget.

The thing is, I was having a difficult time understanding the forgiveness I’d received.  I understood that I was forgiven, and that Jesus Christ paid for my sins on the cross.  I wanted to give God my everything, but felt unworthy to do so.  I had to get into His Word to really begin to accept that forgiveness.  In prayer, I asked God to show me, lead me, and help me gain better understanding of His Word.  He began to show me over and over again how He used broken people to fulfill His work.  The Apostle Paul really stood out to me, and his words in 1 Corinthians about his unworthiness (“because I persecuted the Church of God”) paired with God’s grace.  So I dug deeper into His Word and found that He’s forgiven me for ALL of it, cleansed me from it, and removed it “as far as the east is from the west”.  And my unworthiness?  It means God has to do it, because I can’t.  We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (in other words, not my strength in the first place).  I can stand on that and know that He’s got it, not me.

Forgiveness of Others

To begin to forgive others, we have to know what the Scripture says about this, and it’s found in Matthew 6 – “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  It’s right there in God’s Word, in red letters even, and we still have a hard time with this! Why?  A few factors to consider:

  1. Who the other person is – we aren’t so quick to let go of hurt when the ones we care about and love and trust are the ones who wrong us
  2. Why did we have the falling out? – pray to see it through spiritual eyes, that we may gain a new perspective on the situation
  3. Why do I want to do that? – to be free! The Bible says that we are to guard our hearts “with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life”.  Whatever I’m holding onto – bitterness, resentment, anger – I have to let go of if I am to move forward in what God has planned for me.

We cannot live our lives in the fullness of God and harbor unforgiveness.  Guard your hearts.

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