After watching the video, The Bait of Satan by John Bevere three times now, it suddenly dawned on me what one of my biggest blind spots is in my heart. I have even specialized in teaching about the subject of forgiveness for several years but it has never come this clear to my own mind that I am clueless about the significance and size of the debt that I owed and that God has forgiven me.
I am keenly aware that many people would claim that this is because of my unusual views about God and His laws and all the related issues around how God relates to sinners. I realize that most religious people have used familiar dark pictures of God as the means to induce terror in the hearts of millions in order to supposedly bring them to repentance in a reaction to what God is supposedly waiting to inflict on them. I cannot and will not subscribe to these terrible lies about God as a way of scaring me into thinking what constitutes my debt. God has been too clear and emphatic in sweeping away hundreds of these lies about His character and His ways for me to go back into that miasma of darkness about Him devoid of any real love. Those ideas about God are the main cause for many atheists in the world and actually lie at the root of the presence of this satanically inspired theory of evolution that keeps so many people in darkness about the truth of God.
But having firmly renounced these lies which are the foundation of most people's assumptions about what constitutes our debt to God, I am now seeking to understand the real truth about what my debt really does look like and what it really involves in the light of the truth He has already so graciously shown me. Just because the true nature of my debt is not presently clear to me does not validate the gross lies that others purport about God as a counterfeit for the real truth about our debt as sinners.
I am starting to pray earnestly for God to reveal to me the truth as He sees it about what really is involved in my debt to Him and to have some appreciation of the enormity of that debt. I now realize that this lack of appreciation on my part is the key reason that I struggle so much with my own inability to get truly excited about the grace of God in my life. I now see much more clearly that I am far too much like the ungrateful debtor in Matthew 18. That explains why I struggle to have the proper perspective and motivation when it comes to forgiving others, even when their debt is not insignificant relative to my own life circumstances.
In this parable the first debtor had a debt that amounted to 150,000 years of full wages for a man which is mind-staggering and almost incomprehensible and obviously impossible to pay back, especially for a servant. Yet that servant seemed clueless and totally insensitive to appreciate what the king had done in forgiving him of such an obscenely large debt. That was because he evidently didn't really believe he owed it or for some other blinding reasons. As a result he felt no motivation to do anything similar to another servant who owed him a vastly smaller though still significant amount of debt – one third of a year's wages. Because of his lack of real appreciation of what had happened for him, he could not feel motivated to act in a similar manner in response to how he had been treated.
Symptoms betray causes. If I see the symptoms of ingratitude in my own heart, an inability to let go of offenses that come into my own life, then according to the teachings of Jesus I do not yet grasp the real relationship that God seeks to have with me in forgiving a debt I am not even aware that I owed. Like this servant, I might be arraigned before the King as a serious delinquent because of a huge debt that is impossible for me to pay; I may even hear words coming from the King that He has forgiven that unfathomably large debt for me, but if I don't somehow feel ownership of the debt at some point in my life it will all seem like a charade to me. It will just be a lot of words and claims and counterclaims but will never really change my heart in any significant way.
I am just beginning to grasp that reality now, at least the reality that I am still in the dark about true reality. I now have to confess before God that I really don't know or appreciate the true nature of my debt and I don't even have the capacity yet to do so. I suspect that maybe I have lived in the presence of grace and forgiveness for so long that I never really felt the truth about what sin really has done to me and how it has affected my whole existence. God knows all of this and has been very kind to reveal many truths to me that have been very obscure for all of my life. I realize that He is moving me to the next step now, to produce within me yet another awakening that will allow me to move deeper into an appreciative relationship with Him. I cannot force myself into appreciation because the heart does not respond well to force. I have to simply cooperate with the conviction of His Spirit and appropriate all the things that He has been teaching me the last few years to allow all of His truth to come together in ways I do not yet perceive currently.
So if you are impressed to pray for me at some time, please do not pray that I will become terrified of an angry God that threatens to torture me in hell for not appreciating that Jesus appeased an angry Father on my behalf on the cross. In that case, know that I am praying for you that you will come to know the real truth about God as it is in Jesus. It is not terror that God uses to draw us to His heart but it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Jesus and God are not in opposite corners in this issue, they are in perfect unison seeking to draw us to them by exposing and removing the many lies about God from our hearts.
What I am seeking is to know the real truth about my debt in the new context of the real truth about God that He has been carefully instructing me in over the past few years. I strongly suspect that this revelation to me is going to be staggering, mind-boggling and totally transformative for my whole life and all of my relationships and my testimony for God. He did not bring this to my attention accidentally and I trust that He is ready and eager to answer my prayers to show me my true condition and my relationship to Him. I just am not there yet.
So, here I am God – clueless about the real nature and size of my own debt that I owe. I have been learning many very important things about forgiveness over the past few years as You have been tutoring me along this line, but obviously I have not grasped some of the most important aspects of my debt in my own heart yet. I know that You have led me to this point in my growth and have the answer waiting for the precise time that it will help me the most. This is all about Your reputation, not mine; so I come to You right now and implore You to speak to my own heart. Please show me both the reality and the substance of what is really involved in my debt to You and the true nature of how the cross of Jesus fits into that picture and all that You have been revealing to me over the past few years.
You have brought me to this point to ask for this very revelation for my heart. You are faithful, gracious, merciful, just and kind. You have warmed my heart many times with fresh revelations of Your kindness and love but You know how blind and dull I still am to the real truth about my condition as viewed from heaven's perspective. I want to see things as You see them, not through the eyes of an ungrateful debtor who goes around holding offenses against others and landing up in prison myself because of my ingratitude. I plead for a new heart, for new eyes, for new perspective, for a much fuller revelation of just what and how much I have been forgiven so that my forgiveness for others may be spontaneous and immediate.
I don't know what else to say about this, God. You are drawing me into this and You know just what I need far more than I can know. Answer the prayers of Jesus for me and flood me with the real truth about both the true nature and size of my debt and the true nature and greatness of Your love for me. Do all of this for Your name's sake, for Your reputation, for Your glory.