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Power of Forgiveness

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I’m reading a book called Needless Casualties of War by John Paul Jackson. The whole premise of this book talks about one working within the confines of our God given authority. This book is amazing for anyone who wants to get into spiritual warfare because much of what Christians call spiritual warfare is actually an ill-gotten attempt to control God and manipulate his will. If we can overcome this influence than God will… True warfare…Rather true Christianity is both repentance and loss of control.
True repentance is the greatest weapon we have in warfare. It allows God to war on our behalf.
I’m going to give you a 3/4 cow statement. Those who are used to biblical meat will need to chew on this one for a while, but I am also going to prove it biblically so give me time before you walk out.

Your sin or desire for control could be the very thing stopping the movement of God in your home, your sphere of influence, and your church.

But Pastor you don’t believe that do you? God is way bigger than my sins. My desire to keep control of where I live, how a raise or promotion will occur, or unchecked anger in my life cannot stop the movement of God in my life.
I can buy if you were to say that it would stop the movement of God in my life. That I understand, but others lives and the church that’s too far.
Before we can go into scripture to show this to you we must understand the OT. The only thing Jesus changed about the OT is circumcision and the Levitical law—meaning sacrifices. Christians today need to understand we still serve the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob.
We set the scene with
Joshua 6:17–19 NKJV
Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”
Joshua
Israel is about to March around this Massive city of Jericho. The walls are known to impenetrable. Jericho heard of the Israelites and their God, caught wind of them coming and shut themselves into this fortress. Israel marches around the walls, shouts praises to God, and the walls come tumbling down. Everything in Jericho was dedicated to the Lord’s treasury.
They battle, they win, they move on. We get to
Joshua 7:1 ESV
But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.
Israel didn’t take devoted things—1 man took devoted things. But yet it reads that the people of Israel, the whole camp, broke faith in regard to devoted things. AND the anger of the Lord burned against ISRAEL.
Dare I say that the greatest enemy of the church today isn’t Satan, but rather unrepentant sin within it’s own walls. I watch as people state that abortion is why the this nation is falling, homosexuals are the downfall, the kryptonite, of the Christian faith. It’s true that all of those are sinful, but the biggest enemy, the Achilles heal of the Christian faith is that Christians embrace the world more than they embrace God.
We have been apologizing for the offense of the Gospel more than we apologize for our own wrong doing.
Contrary to modern culture it is ok to offend people with the truth as long as your motive is repentance and your vehicle of delivery is love.
The next city to be targeted was Ai. It was Nicholson to Philadelphia in comparison to Jericho. In fact
Joshua 7:3 ESV
And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.”
Joshua 7:3–4 ESV
And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai,
Joshua
about 3,000 men went up to battle. This was a cake walk. There were over 600,000 Israeli warriors fighting the battle of Jericho. 3,000 is all that is needed and assuming they took the safe side this was probably overkill.
Joshua 7:4–5 ESV
So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
Joshua 5:4–5 ESV
And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
Not one Israeli died in Jericho, but yet the Steelers take on the Browns and 36 men had to be taken off the roster. So as you can imagine they fall down and lament, tear their clothes, pound their fists and scream why God why… 36 fathers, brothers, sons, and husbands died and no one knows why.
Joshua 7:7 ESV
And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan!
And God’s response blows my minds Ready:
Joshua 7:10–11 ESV
The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.
Joshua
Israel has sinned, they have transgressed, they have taken devoted things, they have stolen and lied. All of Israel didn’t sin, but yet as an entire body of believers they suffered the consequences.
The bible states that Achor confessed, Israel punished him for his sin, and the Lord turned from his anger.
Joshua 7:26 ESV
And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.
When we started our Month of Prayer and fasting in September we took an entire service and prayed for the forgiveness of our personal sins, the sins of the church, and the sins of the County.
Listen, God has grace for accidental sins. The sin of Achor was purposeful in nature. I have accidently ran over flowers with my lawnmower. IT took a season but they grew back. However, my entire front yard was a flower mating ground two years ago when I moved here. Now I purposefully run over the flowers with the lawn mower. You know what I noticed with time. Although some come back the majority of them gave up growing. I haven’t planted grass in my front yard, but yet grass began to grow. Natural order was brought back and chaos removed, but it took continual weekly mowings. The same is true for the life of a Christian and the church.
I often get asked, if the gifts of the spirit are for today, why don’t we see more of them. I truly believe it’s because the American church looks more like the world than like Christ. Understand Achon paid dearly for his sin. There are personal consequences to sin, but there are also corporate consequences to purposeful sin.
BUT THERE IS HOPE. I know I have repeated this verse more times than I want to count, however, I believe that it is probably the most important verse for us as a church body and as individuals in the times we live in.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God directly connected healing your land with repentance.
I tell my kids all the time that I am tired of hearing the phrase I’m sorry. My kids got to the point where they believed that phrase was a get out of jail free card. They would do something, say I’m sorry. They would be forgiven and then turn around and do the same things again. This time they say I’m sorry and I punish them. Then they look at me like Who are you I said I was sorry. Nothing aggravates me more than the statement, “But I said I was sorry.” I believe God is is getting tired of hearing sorry and is waiting for a change in our behavioral patterns instead.
Look:
2 Chronicles 7:13 ESV
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people,
2 Chronciles 7:13
Israel sins, God inflicts punishments. Israel doesn’t just say sorry, but turns from their ways and then
2 Chronicles 7:15 ESV
Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.
Bam the promise of God to those who are faithful not only in their words, but in their actions. I believe God can save those loved family members in your household. I believe God can bring to salvation your coworkers. I believe God can bring to salvation the people who mistreat and accuse you, BUT it takes a church body who embraces the word of God, the ways of God, and the Love of God.
The only way to unleash the power of God in your life is through a repentant heart.
Repentance takes any legal right that Satan may have to torture, direct, or otherwise control your life. Sin doesn’t shut the mouth of God, but rather it closes the ears and hearts of the sinner.
We must be Christ-like to filled with the power of Christ. I believe the reason the church isn’t as powerful as the day it was in the book of Acts is because we have become all to ready to accept people’s sin in the name of not being offensive, close minded, or not politically correct.
A repentant church is a powerful church filled with Christ and the Works of the Holy Spirit.
When you repent we will see people healed, restored, and redeemed.
1 Corinthians 3:16 ESV
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
1 Corinthians
Before going into the inner temple where the presence of God dwelt the Priest would have to go through a purification ceremony and seek forgiveness for their sins.
Exodus 40:12–15 ESV
Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water and put on Aaron the holy garments. And you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”
Exodus
The Levitical Priests had to go through a purification ceremony every time they entered the Holy of Holies just to walk int he presence of God. Yet we take this act for granted, sin, and then come to God asking for his presence to fall. The church and Christians today have become powerless because they lack the fear and reverence of God.
In order to usher in the power of God we must be willing to usher in the reverence and Godly fear of God.
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