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

Pillars of Salt

One last look that’s all she wanted, after all, she had some fond memories of this place.   Secretly deep down inside she really didn’t believe that this city or any of the other cities in the region deserved to be destroyed.  “After all didn’t her husband Lot choose to settle their family in the city of Sodom because of all the vast resources before them?  Yes, there were some bad things that happened here, but didn’t bad things happen everywhere?”  With these thoughts racing through her mind, her steps slowed down to a resistant pace.  “Lot was Abraham’s nephew, surely God would take all of this into consideration and change His Mind…Wouldn’t He?”  Now weighed down with these heavy thoughts, …..she glanced up squinting, barely able to see Lot and her daughters, they were so far ahead of her.

The Angel had strictly warned them all not to stop or look back, however, the reasoning that started in her mind had now become an act of the heart.  With one assumptive act of fatal rebellion, Lot’s wife turned, looked back and became a “Pillar of Salt!”  A standing memorial of unbelief, rebellion, and death to this day.  One that our Lord Jesus Christ asked us to remember with these direct words in Luke 17:32 (TPT);

“Don’t forget the example of Lot’s wife and what happened to her when she turned back.”

Genesis 19:26 (AMP) records this sad lesson for us,

“But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Why did Jesus ask us to “remember what happened to Lot’s wife?”….because “She died in the day of her deliverance!”  You see my friend the enemy will try to get you and me to turn back to the things that God is trying to deliver us from, so that we like Lot’s wife, “Die in the day of our deliverance, and become like a “Pillar of Salt.”

Now is a good time to take a few moments of reflection and ask ourselves these questions:

1. What is God trying to deliver me from?
2. Is there something tempting me to turn back to my past?

The truth is, God never intended for anyone to become a “Pillar of Salt.”  You and I have been created to be “Free Flowing Agents of The Holy Spirit.”  Agents of Freedom and Deliverance for others, as we ourselves walk in freedom and deliverance.

Matthew 5:13-16 (AMP) gives us some encouraging insight from the Heart of God regarding this truth;

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, it’s quality), how can its saltness be restored?  It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”  “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”  “Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.”  “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven.”

There is an interesting footnote in the Passion Translation regarding this scripture, it states that,

“Rabbinical literature equates salt with wisdom.  After speaking of salt, Jesus speaks of lighting a lamp.  It was a common practice in the time of Jesus to put salt on the wick of a lamp to increase its brightness.  The “salt” of wisdom will make our lights shine even brighter.”

The Passion Translation pg. 17 footnotes for Matthew 5:13 a.

So how do we not lose our “saltiness”?  That’s a great question!  Here’s a couple of steps that will help us,

1. We do exactly what The Lord Jesus asked us to do in Luke 17:32 (AMP) we,
“Remember Lot’s wife!”
2. We do exactly the opposite of what Lot’s wife did when it came time for her to participate with her deliverance.  We obey without delay!

In essence, because Lot’s wife had a heart fixed on the darkness that was behind her, she could not recognize the “wisdom” or see the “light’ of deliverance that was before her. My friends, we have the mandate to be the “salt and light” of this world, “A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.”

No matter how tight or dark our situation may seem right now my friend, we must resist the temptation to turn back and become galvanized like, “Pillars of Salt.”  We must remember that our obedience to God’s Wisdom for our deliverance, illuminates the path of deliverance for someone else as well.  This is how our, “Moral excellence and our praiseworthy, noble and good deeds are recognized while, “ALL of the Honor, Praise and Glory are given to our Father God Who is in Heaven!”

Dear Friends, this is our day to “Be Strong and Live Free”……..Boldly For Him!

 

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

Inner-Action

Recently I was driving in my car when I heard The Voice of The Holy Spirit say to my heart, “I want to talk to you about prosperity.”  I said, “Okay Lord please speak to me, I want to hear what you have to say.  He then started sharing with me some things about “The Soul” of prosperity.  That prosperity is definitely much deeper than “financial gain” or “material possessions”.  As He started to share these truths with me, the scripture 3rd John 2 (TPT) came to my thoughts:

“Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your Soul Is Prospering.”

The last part of that scripture really jumped out at me and I knew that The Lord was un-locking some deep truths for me to grasp, study and share!

Several nights later I had a dream where I was having a conversation with a young girl when she replied, “For me it’s all about the inner-action”.  Upon waking up I had an, “Aha Moment” where I knew by The Holy Spirit that I needed to prepare to share This Word. He then gave me the definition of the word “Inner-Action”.

Inner-Action = The relationship between the mind, the will and the emotions and how they are displayed in an individual’s life through their interaction with God and others.

The soul is the seat and activity center for our, “Inner-Action”.  This is where the relationship between our mind, our will and emotions is played out on a daily basis.  In other words we will continually display what our soul relays to our heart, the activity center for our mind, will and emotions.  God knowing the importance of this inner- relationship, has been talking to mankind about it for a long time.  Let’s read in Proverbs 4:23 (TPT) what He has to say to us about this subject;

“So above all guard the affections of your heart,” “for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.”

The most common Hebrew word for heart is used in this scripture it is the word, “levav” “It includes our thoughts, our will, our discernment and our affections.”  (TPT) Notes, pg. 960 (TPT).

Housed within Proverbs 4:23 (TPT) is the revelation of the, “Heart and Soul” connection.  The Inner-Action of our mind, our will and our emotions and how “they affect all that we are.”  Recognizing and understanding this vital truth is paramount, “to the welfare of our innermost being.”  You see my friend, WE MUST LEARN to harness our mind, our will and our emotions to The Leadership of The Holy Spirit by, “guarding the affections of our heart”.  Then and only then can we Safely and Effectively represent The Kingdom of Heaven to this lost and dying world.  A world that is hurting so badly and in need of the Pure Healing Love of The Gospel of Jesus Christ poured into them, by Pure Vessels of The Most High God.

The word Harness is defined in Macmillan’s Dictionary this way,

Harness = “To get control of something in order to use it for a particular purpose.”

This brings us to a very important question, “How do we harness our mind, our will and our emotions, (our soul) to The Leadership of The Holy Spirit so that we can fulfill our God given purpose?  The insight that we need in order to answer this question is found in
2nd Corinthians 10: 3-5 (TPT);

“For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims.”  “Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with Divine Power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide.”  “We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God.  We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to The Anointed One.”

The Power of these scriptures when read, apprehended, studied and applied will enable us to overthrow and destroy those, demonic strongholds or as the Aramaic also translates, “rebellious castles”; centers of opposition to the light of The Gospel, “the defenses behind which people hide.” Ref. (TPT) Notes, pg. 502 (TPT).

The Atomic Bomb that obliterates these demonic strongholds, “rebellious castles,” hiding places of the enemy in our lives if we allow him, is clearly revealed to us in
Hebrews 4: 12-13 (AMP);

“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His Sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the Eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.”

When we Boldly speak what God Speaks which is His Word, The Bible, we are then wielding a Mighty Two Edged Sword.  This Two Edged Sword is Alive and Full of Power and gives us the assurance that when wielded with confident authority in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, we can uproot and demolish every “rebellious castle”, potential hiding place of the enemy in our lives.

This overcoming “Inner-Action” my friend is “The Soul” of true prosperity, which gives us the Grace To Be Strong and Live Free…..Boldly For Him!

 

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

The Expected End

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith The Lord, thoughts of Peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

Several weeks ago, I heard the phrase, “The Expected End” come clearly to my thoughts from The Lord.  As I began to think about what He was speaking to my heart, I was led to  the above scripture. The more I began to study this scripture, the more I realized how important it is to God that you and I understand that He has an, “Expected End” for each and every one of us.  An “Expected End” that He has thought about long before we took our first breathe!  Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP) explains this truth even further;

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating  you [and] I appointed you as a Prophet to the nations.”

My friend this Word is not just for the Prophet Jeremiah, this Word is for you and me too!   God is Encouraging us that He Has ALREADY Approved of us and that HE Has ALREADY Chosen us for a very specific purpose!  For Jeremiah his “Expected End” was as a “Prophet to the nations”, for you and I that “Expected End” will be whatever specific calling God has placed upon our life.  As the scripture above reveals, that Calling is a literal Appointment by God Himself!  Just as the President of the United States or of any nation has been elected and appointed to his or her office, you and I have been chosen and appointed to our office, our calling by God.

The Apostle Peter gives us some sound advice regarding this in 2nd Peter 1:10 (AMP);

“Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.”

We have a God given responsibility my friend to move in the direction of that “calling and election”. To make decisions that promote and live in harmony with God’s will for our specific purpose, and not to make decisions that will cause us to “stumble or fall”.

In order to successfully walk this out, we must never forget that Housed Within The Thoughts of God are Blue Prints that strategically lead us in the way that we should go.  As we hear and heed The Thoughts Of God for our life we will mature, develop and implement with accuracy that “Divine Appointment” that has been placed upon us.

So how do we hear, heed and rightly discern The Thoughts of God for our life?  So glad you asked!  It is vital as Born Again Believer’s in Christ Jesus, that we recognize that we have The Mind of Christ!  1st Corinthians 2:16 (AMP) gives us an exciting description of this reality;

“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge?  But we have the Mind of Christ (The Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His Heart.”

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our spirit man, (which is who we really are) is made NEW (Born Again).  We are then instantly infused with The Mind of Christ by virtue of Him Living Within Us!  Time for a PRAISE BREAK right now!!!! Glory….Hallelujah!!!

Recognizing that we, ”hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His Heart”, comes as we cultivate a genuine intimacy with The Lover of our soul, Jesus Christ.  Our hearing in His Presence is heightened as we develop the habit of listening for His Voice in our heart (our spirit) through prayer and through the discipline of reading His Word, The Holy Bible.  We are then equipped to fully obey what He shares with us.  Jeremiah 33:3 (AMP) is a beautiful illustration of this fact;

“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).”

Beloved of The Most High God, He is beckoning to you and I right now, desiring for us to go deeper into His Presence, deeper into His Word so that He can share some, “Great and Mighty things, fenced in and hidden which we do not know.”  Will we answer His Call and choose to go deeper in Him?  That is a question that we must answer daily, sometimes minute by minute and moment by moment.

The priceless reward?  The Apostle Paul says it the best in Philippians 3:10-11(AMP);

“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquitted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His Resurrection [which it exerts over Believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]” “That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].”

This my Fellow Sojourner of The Most High God is our True, “Expected End”!

Happy New Year Mighty Expectant One, as you go forth in 2019 equipped through His Presence and His Word to live out your, “Expected End… from The Beginning”, my prayer is that you will,
“Be Strong and Live Free Boldly For Him”!

 

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