My imagination was running wild. I couldn’t comprehend how someone who claimed to be a Christian could leave town on Christmas Eve without finishing the construction work in my home he was paid to complete a month earlier. I was literally shocked that this man, who I’d known for years, would essentially leave me living in a construction zone without any way to take a shower or cook a meal. Forgiveness was not even on my radar.
I was seething mad. But I was also violating Scripture. The Bible tells us to cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled (see 2 Cor. 10:5-6).
When we meditate on the thoughts the enemy puts in our minds, we are setting ourselves up for destruction. In this case, the enemy was playing on the injustice to set me up for bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. Thankfully, I caught on to the enemy’s plan and brought those thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ, being quick to forgive and trusting God to be my Vindicator.
If the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, then forgiveness may be among your stealthiest weapons. The enemy never sees it coming. Think about it for a minute. God used forgiveness to deliver us from the enemy’s camp. All we have to do is repent and receive that forgiveness to remain free from oppression and condemnation the enemy heaps on our souls when we sin.
But there’s another side to that truth: When we walk in forgiveness toward others, the enemy cannot put us into bondage to resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. When you look at forgiveness through this lens, it becomes a powerful weapon that keeps your heart free and clean.
Forgiveness is a double-edged sword. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you (see Matt. 6:15). Unforgiveness hinders your fellowship with God and affects your anointing. You may still command devils in the name of Jesus, but authentic spiritual authority is diluted when you fail to obey God’s command to love people. Love and unforgiveness do not flow from the same spring.
If you do not forgive, it will hinder your prayer life. Jesus said, “Whenever you stand praying if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25) Spiritual warfare falls under the umbrella of prayer. Unforgiveness puts you at a clear disadvantage on the spiritual battlefield.
Spiritual warfare is more than binding devils in Jesus’ name. Spiritual warfare is forgiving those who oppose you, hurt you, or persecute you. And not only forgiving but blessing them. And not only blessing them but trusting God to avenge you.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus offered revelation on how to deal with people who mistreat you: “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:44) How can you apply that revelation if you aren’t willing to forgive?
You may not feel like forgiving. And you may feel like giving that someone a piece of your mind. You may not feel like blessing your enemy. And you may feel like telling the whole town what they did. You may not feel like showing kindness. And you may feel like putting your wrath on display. But when you do you give the enemy a toehold, which can lead to a foothold, which can lead to a stronghold.
The weapon of forgiveness is mighty not only to pull down strongholds but to prevent the enemy from establishing a stronghold in the first place. Indeed, forgiveness is a powerful weapon—one that is too often neglected in our binding and loosing exercises. So, before you head to the battlefield, consider that the Lord is long-suffering and slow to anger, and abundant in mercy and loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression.
The Lord is a warrior—and He never loses a battle. When you follow His lead and forgive—when you set your heart to overcome evil with good and allow God to take vengeance—you can’t lose. Amen.