Breaking Bitterness

Hebrews 12:15 (TPT);

“Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s Grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

While preparing to write this blog, I heard the following statement from The Holy Spirit:

“YOU MUST BREAK BITTERNESS BEFORE IT BREAKS YOU!”

Stunned, I realized then that this is an urgent warning to all of us from The Heart of God!

What Is Bitterness?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, Someone bitter is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget bad things that happened in the past.

How Does Bitterness Break Us?

First and foremost, bitterness will cause us to miss the revelation of God’s Grace, as stated in Hebrews 12:15. Without a revelation of God’s Grace, His Love will not be a tangible reality to us, and we will never be able to comprehend or receive true forgiveness for our sins. We will also be unable to extend Christ-Like Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness toward another individual who has sinned against us. Living in this perpetual state of un-forgiveness creates an atmosphere of torment in our souls and will manifest in our lives. This heavy load of bitterness then becomes a beast of burden that we carry around within us, and it will eventually break us.

Matthew 11:28-30 (TPT);

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me, I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.” “Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” “For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”

This Word is Good News, my friend! Though the weight of bitterness will continually try to break us, God has an answer for us as we learn His Ways.

How Do We Break Bitterness?

Through Forgiveness!

The Oxford Languages Dictionary offers a simple and concise definition of the word forgive.

FORGIVE = Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake).

Matthew 6:14-15 (TPT);

“And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in Heaven will also forgive you.” “But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.”

This scripture is astounding! You and I can cause GOD TO WITHHOLD HIS FORGIVENESS FROM US, WHILE OUR PRAYERS GO UN-HEARD! When we choose to withhold forgiveness from someone who has hurt us or that we perceived has hurt us, we are planting a root of bitterness within our hearts. Unforgiveness keeps our prayers from effectively being heard by God! By not breaking bitterness, we forge a, “Barrier of Bitterness” over our hearts that repel the Love of God and His Blessings from flowing freely in our lives. Ultimately, if we refuse to identify and repent of bitterness, we will reject God and His Plan for our life!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MEV);

“For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” “Then you shall call upon Me, and you shall come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” “You shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.”

Bitterness is spiritual cancer that can spread quickly by stealing our future and killing our hope. Thus, causing trouble and poisoning the hearts of many, starting with ours! A poisoned heart is a divided heart. It is imperative that you and I consciously recognize and BREAK BITTERNESS BEFORE IT BREAKS US! The survival rate of the God Given relationships in our lives depends on our willingness to forgive decisively and quickly.

Recently I heard a teaching from a well-respected, trusted minister of The Gospel who shares some valuable eye-opening insight regarding the root of bitterness. He described bitterness as undeveloped murder. Another way that he put it is, bitterness is murder in diapers. This minister then went on to relay a story that impacted me. During his ministry, he had counseled two different people on two different occasions, who were believers. They came to him for help to break free from the root of bitterness. However, these individuals were so consumed with the “Spirit of Bitterness,” that they both ended up killing people and are now in jail after rejecting his help! My friend, These brutal acts of murder are a sobering account of “The Root of Bitterness” in action.

1st John 3:15 (TPT) describes the minister’s tragic story for us;

“Everyone who keeps hating a fellow Believer is a murderer,” and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

The message from The Lord is loud and clear, my friend. We must ”Break Bitterness Before It Breaks Us!”

1st John 4:20-21 (MEV);

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” “We have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

What Barriers of Bitterness are weighing you down?

Is there anyone, or perhaps even yourself that you need to forgive?

Are you, “Breaking Bitterness or is it Breaking You?”

If Breaking Free From Bitterness has been a battle for you, please join me in the following prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I recognize today that I have been carrying the heavy burden of the sin of bitterness and un-forgiveness. I come to You and lay it down at Your feet. Please forgive me for walking in bitterness and un-forgiveness toward_________________(name the person or persons).

By an act of my will, I release them now and choose to forgive them for hurting me. Father God, If I have unknowingly hurt someone, I ask that you bring their name to me now, and I ask that you forgive me for hurting them in Jesus’ Name! Direct may path to restitution for the pain and hurt that I have caused them in this situation.

Lord, I now receive the total cleansing, healing, strength, and refreshing that comes from Your Presence as I walk with an upright heart before You, in Jesus’ Name! Amen! I Love You, Lord!

II Chronicles 7:14 (AMPC);

“If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

Be Strong and Live Free as you Break Bitterness………….. Boldly For Him!

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Niel Taelman

Surrogate Christianity

He’s an old man desperate for an heir. Weary from the wait of a long-promised legacy, Abram finds himself questioning God.  “Could it really be that this Eliezer of Damascus, a servant born in his own household would now be his heir…..?”  The reply of The Lord takes him by surprise!

Genesis 15:4-5 (AMP);

“And behold, the Word of The Lord came to him, saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.”  “And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to number them.  Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be.”

As these words echoed through his thoughts, the memory of The Lord’s recent visit still fresh in his mind, he stares at the beautiful face of the frustrated woman in front of him. Abram wished he had the courage to overcome the fear that kept him from telling his wife about the Blood Covenant that The Lord had just made with him.  Yet he knew that Sarai had been pushed beyond her ability to trust him, after all, it was his idea to have her lie to Pharaoh and the rest of the Egyptians in order to spare his life.  A decision that almost cost their marriage!  With that integrity now violated, Sarai’s heart could no longer hold the pressure of unresolved hurts, anger and a lifeless womb.  The bitterness that drove the following irrational suggestion from her heart through her lips, would forever change the course of history and the lives of those closest to her!

Genesis 16:1-2 (AMP);

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.  She had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar.”  “And Sarai said to Abram, See here, The Lord has restrained me from bearing (children).  I am asking you to have intercourse with my maid; it may be that I can obtain children by her.  And Abram listened to and heeded what Sarai said.”

Completely distracted from the Covenant that The Lord just made with him, Abram embraces the alternative of Sarai’s suggestion and agrees to have intercourse with Hagar for an heir.  The result….?… Surrogate Nation!”  The Substitution of God’s Covenant plan through Abram in exchange for the works of his hands.  In modern New Testament terms, “A Substitute for Jesus Christ” has just been conceived!

In order to clearly understand the meaning of what God is wanting us to learn through this passage of scripture, I am going to share with you the definition of each word in the term, “Surrogate Christianity.”

Surrogate =
: to appoint a successor, deputy, or substitute for oneself
: SUBSTITUTE

Christianity =
a): the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred
scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant
bodies
b): conformity to the Christian Religion
c): the practice of Christianity

* Above references are from Merriam-Webster.com

The enemy of our soul has a goal and that is to get us to, “mourn for what we haven’t lost.”  He does this by having us view long-awaited, yet to be fulfilled, promises of God for our life through, “The Eyes of Grief.”  If he is successful, he knows that we will do exactly what Abram and Sarai did.  Take matters into our own hands through “Substitution” and birth an “Ishmael.”

It is the “Ishmael” the “Substitutions” for God’s Promises that we birth that often causes us the most grief and sorrow in our lives.  Now is a good moment my friend to see where we are in the birthing process of our Covenant Promises from God.  Let’s ask ourselves the following questions:

What specific Covenant Promise of God have I been waiting for the longest?
Have I begun to view that Covenant Promise through, “The Eyes of Grief?”
Am I taking matters into my own hands?

No matter how we answer the above questions, we can be encouraged with this truth, that though we may have birthed an “Ishmael”, there is undoubtedly an “Isaac”,  the fulfillment of God’s Covenant Promise in our future!  How do I know that this is true? The Bible tells me so!  Let’s read Genesis 17:19 (AMP) together;

“But God said, Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son indeed, and you shall call his name Isaac [laughter]; and I will establish My covenant or solemn pledge with him for an Everlasting Covenant and with his posterity after him.”

This same Covenant is now Our Covenant through Jesus Christ!  No matter how many “Ishmaels” we have birthed in our life, God has our, “Isaacs” waiting for us!  His Covenant with us can never be revoked because the Blood of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, has ratified that Covenant at Calvary Forever!

This is our time my friend to Go Forth and Birth our “Isaacs” Boldly For Him!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

 

  • Photo by Cristian Newman

Fresh Oil

The car engine blew up and everything went into slow motion.  With angry flames shooting from under the car’s hood reaching for the sky, I glanced over at my friend riding with me, the look of surprise, shock, and horror on her face told the whole story.  Suddenly a white pick-up truck appeared on my left and the driver started motioning for me to pull over to the side of the road.

We were in the middle of a miracle and didn’t even know it!

Psalm 91:11 (TPT) says it this way: “God sends Angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm”.

To this day I can’t tell you how the flames stopped, the name of the guy, the (Angel), who I really believe helped us, or how I was able to calmly park my car on the side of the road.  What I do remember is a young guy around my age walking over to the car, he asked us where we were going and I told him, he then said that he was going to that exact same area which was a good four hours drive from where we were at that moment!  He then asked us if we wanted to get in the truck and that he would take us to wherever we needed to be, and that my car would be okay where we left it.

In a daze, my friend and I followed his instructions and got in the pick-up truck, the rest of the ride was a blur.  However, I do remember him offering some insight and feedback on the car.  He said that the car engine probably blew up from a lack of proper oil changes….I don’t remember EVER taking that car in for an oil change!  I SHOULD have known better!

The moral of this true story?  My car needed to have had regular, “oil changes” in order for the engine not to blow up and put me and my friend’s life in danger.  So it is with our walk with The Lord, without “His Anointing”, “His Fresh Oil”, The “Holy Spirit” CONTINUALLY empowering us, our lives can explode into an angry blaze of, “self-effort” and “self-preservation”.  Only to end in the smoldering ruins of “dead works” and “lifeless idols”.

How do we avoid this spiritual crash and burn?  The answer can be found in,

Psalm 92:10 (TPT): “Your Anointing has made me strong and mighty. You’ve empowered my life for triumph by pouring fresh oil over me.”

There are several important points that God provides for us in this scripture that will keep our lives well oiled and running smoothly here on earth.

First of all, it is the recognition that it is “His Anointing” not our own human efforts that provide us with the strength and might that we need in order to run our race well.

Secondly, our lives are empowered for triumph by a continuous flow of “Fresh Oil”, a conscious continual yielding of our live’s to The Holy Spirit’s guidance on a daily basis. This permits Him to cleanse us, heal us, correct us, strengthen us and as I learned the hard way, protect us in our life’s journey as we abide in His Presence.

Thirdly notice that the Psalmist says that “fresh oil” is poured OVER us.  My friend we are not just sprinkled with His Anointing we are Drenched and Saturated with Him as we yield to the ongoing leadership of The Holy Spirit in our lives!  King David gives us a beautiful illustration of this truth in,

Psalm 23:5-6 (AMP), “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.” “Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days The House of The Lord [and His Presence} shall be my dwelling place.”

This Mighty Child of The Most-High God is how we can, “Be Strong and Live Free….Boldly For Him”!

Is It Time For “FRESH OIL”?  Let’s do a systems check and find out.

1. Do you have the motivation and strength to carry on?
2. Are you easily provoked to anger and impatient with those around you, even total strangers?
3. When was the last time that you really enjoyed “The Presence of The Lord”, and sensed “His Pleasure” in you as His beloved son or daughter?
4. Are you allowing, “The Joy of The Lord to be your Strength and Stronghold”?  Ref. Nehemiah 8:10.

 

© 2018 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

HighSight

I can remember so many times growing up my mom telling me to have “foresight,” to think about my actions and what the repercussions of those actions would be.

As a Born Again child of God, we can now, “exercise foresight” as the Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:15 (AMP):

“Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual Blessing) in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it.”

I now have the privilege along with you, if you have made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, to exercise “HIGHSIGHT,” a term that the Lord revealed to me several years ago as I was sitting in a business meeting and listening to the conversation taking place around me.  As I prayed and asked the Lord about the term “HIGHSIGHT,” He immediately led me to Ephesians 2:6 (AMP):

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together {giving us joint seating with Him] in the Heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, The Anointed One.)”

What the Lord revealed to me is that the term, “HIGHSIGHT” refers to our ability to see clearly from the vantage point of our joint seating with Him in the Heavenly Sphere!  Glory to God!

When we as Believers in Christ Jesus rest in this seated position with Him, we will be able to clearly see with laser accuracy the landscape of our live’s from Heaven’s perspective.  Think about what it is like to look out of an airplane window.  From your seat on the plane you can look down upon the geography of the landscape below and see everything within that terrain from cities, houses, pools, cars, parking lots etc. and even people depending on the altitude of the plane.

From your Heavenly Seat with God, (and there is no Higher Altitude than this), His perspective for your life comes into full view and you will be able to clearly see with your “Spiritual Eyes”…. your ”Kingdom Eyes,” the path that God has already “Planned Beforehand” for your life here on Earth.  Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) illuminates this truth for us:

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His Workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, {Born Anew} that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He pre-arranged and made ready for us to live.]”

By exercising “HIGHSIGHT” from our seated position with God in the Heavenly Sphere, we develop through the intimacy of the Holy Spirit our, “Kingdom Eyes”.  As all of our senses both spiritually and naturally are awakened to His Presence, we become consciously aware that He is actively leading and guiding us throughout our days, weeks, months and years on earth.

Romans 8:14 (AMP) is a beautiful description of this truth: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

As children of The Most High God, let us daily take our seated position with Him in the Heavenly Sphere utilizing the, “HIGHSIGHT” those “Kingdom Eyes” that perfect vision of Heaven that God has given us access to:

“Press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and Heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.”  Philippians 3:14 (AMP)!

 

Key Questions for Kingdom Seers:

1.)  What do you see when God speaks to your heart?

2.)  Are you experiencing clear vision, double vision, blurry vision or no vision in your walk with The Lord?

3.)  If your Spiritual sight is impaired, what could be the “spiritual cataracts” that are keeping you from seeing properly?

 

© 2018 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Guard The Gates

Having lived on military bases, I know firsthand the vital importance of “Guarding The Gates.” Approaching a military base can be rather intimidating, especially when a base has been placed on: “High Alert” because of some impending threat. Military Police are stationed at the entrance of the base operating out of a Guard Gate with a mandate to make sure that only military personnel, their family members and guests and those on, “official government business” have access to the base. The presence of this type of scrutiny was both comforting and unnerving at the same time.

It didn’t matter how many times I drove through those Guard Gates, The MP’s as they were known, would look to the windshield searching for the identifying symbol of rank and authorization in order to let me pass through.

A well trained MP would slow the car down, locate the military decal, recognize the Full Eagle symbol denoting my stepfather’s rank as a full Colonel, then come to full attention with a salute as I was cleared to pass through the Guard Gates. The MP would not rely on the familiarity of my face alone, in order to give me access to the base, even though I lived there.

When we accept Jesus Christ into our heart as Lord and Savior, we receive the promise of the “Full Salute of Our Salvation.” At that point, we are given the responsibility through the help of The Holy Spirit to become MP’s of our own heart as we, “Guard the Gate of Our Lives.” The Bible says it this way in Proverbs 4:23 (AMP), “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”

What you salute at the “Gates of Your Heart” you authorize to have access to your life. Never allow what is familiar to you to become the snare that could potentially kill you, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, financially or even physically. The enemy, (devil) will use what is familiar to you to set up his agents of deception in order to gain access to your heart.

Beware of any person, place or thing whether it be in the thought life or tangibly that is trying to gain access to your heart without the identifying Presence of The Holy Spirit’s Approval, which is Peace based on The Truth of God’s Word. The MP’s knew that I looked familiar to them but they would not let me drive through the gates and access the military base, which housed the heart of military activity until they were able to fully identify me and the car that I was driving and mark me as safe. Then and only then did they come to full attention and salute as I was authorized to pass through the gates.

I have three questions for you as we secure the “Gates of our Heart”.

1. What are you saluting and coming to full attention to at the Gate of Your Heart?
2. Will you choose, “The Gate of Life” and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
3. If you already know Him as Lord and Savior, will you, “Guard the Gates of Your Heart” in order to be all that God has called you to be? God’s gift of free will is yours, choose well.

Jesus Christ tells us Himself in John 10:10 (NKJV) “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”

If you are accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior for the first time, then the following prayer has been written with you in mind. Please join me as we pray together:

“Jesus, I really want to know You, show me Who You Are as My Lord and Savior, come into my heart and teach me how to Guard the Gates of my life. I love You and I want to serve You forever, Amen”!

Congratulations! Your name has officially been written in “The Book of Life”!

Let’s “Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving” as we celebrate the Best Day of your life as a New Believer in Jesus Christ! Reference Psalm 100:4 (NKJV).

 

© 2017 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Be Strong and Live Free

Inside every one of us is the innate desire to, “Be Strong and Live Free”! Why is this true? The answer may surprise you, especially if you haven’t made Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior…It’s true because God Himself created every one of us to, “Be Strong and Live Free”!

You see long before I decided to have a personal relationship with The Lord, ALL I wanted to do was to have a relationship with, “A father”. Frequently locking myself up in a bathroom crying out with tears streaming down my face as a teenager for a “father” that was not present, was all-consuming to me. Amidst the atmosphere of abusive home life, there was little room for freedom, let alone peace or individuality of any kind. I grew distant from my mother, I also developed an intense aversion to, “going to church” on Sunday’s; primarily because of the everyday hypocrisy that I lived in. Therefore, the only type of strength and freedom that I developed growing up was not based on Who God is, because I did not know God, I only knew religion. What was constantly modeled to me was that strength equals control and freedom equals running, as in running away from being controlled and anyone or anything that I could not control.

To this day, that is why, as a Christian and an ordained Minister of The Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have such an intense desire and passion to see people, “Be Strong and Live Free” “Boldly For Him”! The One True God! The God of Genuine Everlasting Relationship. The God of True Strength and True Freedom! Sadly, there are many people full of misconceptions and ideas about the Strength and Freedom we enjoy as a Friend of God. I personally came to realize that by serving in His Kingdom, I found the True Strength and Freedom that I was so desperately crying out for years ago. I know God as my personal Savior through His son Jesus Christ, I also know Him as a “Loving Father” and a “True Loyal Friend”. The Friend that the Bible says in Proverbs 18:24 (b), “Sticks closer than a brother.”

So it is with Great Excitement, Anticipation, Joy, and Expectancy that I offer to you Dear Reader, the opportunity and “The Invitation” to join me on this journey as we together learn how to,
“BE STRONG…..AND LIVE FREE”
“BOLDLY FOR HIM”!

 

© 2017 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”