Our lives should overflow with the Holy Spirit so much that we are infectious—spreading God’s presence wherever we go. Yet why is the Spirit’s flow hindered sometimes? One obvious blockage is sin. The good news is that we simply need to repent and turn to Jesus, and He will cleanse and restore us. Another major hindrance is unforgiveness. We may feel justified in holding a grudge because someone hurt us, stole from us, mocked or betrayed us.
Yet Jesus says, “If you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you” (Mark 11:25).
I have learned that the secret to staying in the flow of the Spirit is to continue to forgive.
While I was living in the Philippines, a man betrayed me in a big way. It was tempting to daydream about getting even. Fortunately, I had to leave for India, where I was supposed to minister with evangelist D.G.S. Dhinakaran. When he looked at my countenance, however, he said, “You are not ready to minister to anybody right now.”
When you hold onto an offense, bitterness gets deep in your spirit. It affects what you say and do, and you can’t minister to anyone.
He gave me the verse, I pour out my complaint before Him (Psalm 142:2). He explained that this doesn’t mean you complain to God; rather, you pour out your complaint before Him—and as you do, forgive.
Then he looked at me and said gently, “When Jesus was betrayed, He said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do’” (Luke 23:34). He added, “Jesus poured out His forgiveness for them, and at that point He entered into His greatest ministry.”
Those words changed my life. I have learned that the secret to staying in the flow of the Spirit is to continue to forgive. Something amazing happens when you say, “I’m not going to hold that against them anymore,” and you release forgiveness toward those who hurt you.
Once you get in the habit, you can quickly sense dislocation in your relationships and take steps to make things right. Pour unforgiveness out of your spirit and out of your heart—and if it ever comes back into your memory, pour it out again.
Offenses will come into your life; yet Ephesians 4:26-27 says, Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Ask the Lord to look into the secret places of your heart and reveal anything hidden or forgotten that is not pleasing to Him. Let nothing come between you and God. That’s when the refreshing oil of the Holy Spirit can be poured into you and overflow to others.
God bless you.