It’s almost impossible to treat someone well who has wronged us. Without a strong curb on our hearts and tongues, we retaliate and say mean things. At the very least, we think thoughts that are not very Godlike.
After all we did for them… how could they treat us like this? Angry thoughts always replay in our minds. Offenses from years ago can arouse our emotions like the event just happened. Thoughts of a particular person who wronged us come back again and again to taunt us. They keep us awake at night as we chew them over and over.
God Word tells us this is wrong.
In Ephesians 4:23, Paul says – “Now your attitudes and thoughts must be constantly changing for the better. Yes you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature.”
And Ephesians 4:31 says, “Stop being bad tempered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others have no place in our lives. Instead be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.”
Easier Said than Done
Forgiveness is not easy. We can’t just say I forgive you and lose all those damaging thoughts. They keep coming back again and again.
No matter how right you were and how wrong the other person was, these thoughts are not from God. They hurt us and upset us and take away our peace. God doesn’t do that… the devil does.
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT Paul says, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
These thoughts are exalting themselves against God. They show us that we haven’t forgiven. They are strongholds in our minds and they must be pulled down or we will never experience God’s peace. Jesus says to forgive, not 7 times, but 70 times 7. (Matthew 18:21-22)
Pulling Down Strongholds
God has shown us how to truly forgive.
In Matthew: 16: 19 NIV (Jesus says to Peter), I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
When we bind our thoughts or our words (on earth), they are bound also in the spiritual world (in heaven). When we loose things like God’s Holy Spirit and release God’s Holy angels, they are also loosed/released in the spirit world or heaven.
Jesus did more than bind spirits, he cast them out of people. In fact, when Jesus cast the devils out of the man in Luke 8:31, the devils said ‘Don’t cast us into the deep (or abyss). So that is just where I cast them.
I have been praying like this for myself and for others for a number of years. When thoughts or traits that I see in myself or in others are not Godly, I bind them and cast them into the abyss in the name of Jesus. Then I loose God’s Holy Spirit and God’s warring angels into the situation.
In my prayer time, I get quiet and write things down, then I cast them out and ask God what to pray for that person or myself. After doing that, I have seen many miracles and changes in people and situations.
Just recently God has asked me to share this information, so I wrote up a paper describing it. When I showed it to my pastors, one of them said, you should get up in church and share this with people. I reacted with a wow… where to I start, how do I describe all this in a few minutes.
God Gives Us Confirmation
When God wants you to do something, he can make a way for you despite your reluctance, fears and worries. One evening right after my pastor encouraged me to share, my brother called and we got into a fight. Although I work hard on spiritual matters, there had been an underlying problem in our relationship. He had done something (or not done something, rather) that really bothered me and I hadn’t confronted him with it and exposed it to the light as Jesus would have me do. If I had, we wouldn’t have fought, but then again I wouldn’t have this wonderful example.
I got so mad that I was spitting bullets. I couldn’t believe that he felt that way. I was sputtering and fuming. In the midst of this heated argument, my husband asked for the phone and said exactly what God would have had him say. He made peace in the situation. He must have talked to my brother for 1/2 hour. He calmed him down – told him that he didn’t have to agree to what I said. Then of course, he did agree.
All the time he was talking, I recognized that he was doing and saying things that were of God to reconcile the matter and bring peace to the situation. I could see that, but I was still fuming. I was making comments that I hoped my brother couldn’t hear. The venom was still boiling in me. I knew it was wrong, but I still did it. I couldn’t seem to help myself.
That evening, taking my own good advice, I wrote down some of these thoughts and cast them out. I always pray better in the morning, so I prayed hard to get these thoughts out of my head and get a good night’s sleep. In the old days, a situation like this would have kept me awake most of the night.
Write Down the Thoughts
I did sleep well, thanks to God’s grace, and when I awoke I went to my prayer time and the thoughts started bubbling out. So I just wrote them down. I wrote down what he said, what I said, what I thought but thank goodness I didn’t say. I wrote what he must be thinking if he said those things. Altogether I filled some 7-8 notebook pages. Toward the end, I said God, please calm me down, so even then I was still mad.
Something also came out in the fight that showed an underlying problem in our relationship from years back that motivated his reasoning. I wrote that down and cast it out.
I no sooner cast out all these thoughts and angry words, than I had perfect peace. And it was perfect! The calm was unbelievable… truly peace that passes all understanding.
I went on to pray for several other people. Then as I went to prepare breakfast, I started singing and it was from the heart. A few minutes later I decided to call my brother. I had determined the night before that I was going to let him call me even if it took days. After all, he was the one who was wrong.
I called and I said the Lord says not to let our anger go overnight, but I pray better in the morning. I felt he was ready to respond in anger, but he said, you caught me on a bad day, everything went wrong and I guess I took it out on you.
We talked with a new freedom that our relationship had never had. The hostility was gone. I had peace all day. Not one of those ugly thoughts came back to me. In fact, only one thought did come back. It was something that he said that I forgotten to cast out. I cast that out and now it too is gone!
Did Jesus say we would have victory? Did he make it possible for us by what He did on the cross? Why then do we allow these circumstances to exalt themselves above God’s Word? We need to cast down these imaginations and break Satan’s power over our minds. Let’s start right now.
Let’s pray together. Let God bring to mind a person or persons that you need to forgive. These persons may be dead or alive. Even if they are dead, you need to forgive so you can have peace in your heart.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I have thoughts that are not from You regarding ________.
I believe that he/she wronged me.
I remember what they did and every word they said.
Right now I bind my thoughts, words and actions and
their words and actions and I cast them into the abyss.
In their place, I loose God’s Holy Spirit and God’s angels.
I ask for Your peace that passes all understanding.
I forgive _________ and ask Your blessing
on them and on our relationship.
(You don’t have to reunite with them if you are in an abusive situation.)
I ask these things in Jesus’ name.
If more thoughts arise, bind them and cast them out. The devil knows your weaknesses; he will plague you in a certain area until you confess that area and turn it over to God.
Pull down those strongholds and you will achieve a new freedom, a new dimension in your relationship to God and to others.
DLH – February 12, 1992