The Path to Jesus
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing” Mark 11:25.
Several years ago the Lord revealed to me the pathway to forgiveness. I was experiencing a time when I felt continuously hurt by someone. As time past, the hurt turned to bitterness and occasionally expressed itself as anger. I detected no resolution to the matter and probably did not possess a heart for it. As I am sure you can relate, I also needed to receive forgiveness for my actions but because I was busy defending my own cause I could not see the effect of my deeds. Isn’t that what usually happens?
Jesus longs for us to know and walk in Truth (John 18:37-38, John 16:13). He began presenting a truth to me by illustrating two paths. The first path was initially revealed as a beautiful park. I was walking along that path and I appeared to be doing quite fine! As I watched, however, the path began to darken and close in from every direction. Immediately I knew I did not desire to stay. The next path I was shown was lined with large, thick thorns. Both paths were then displayed together in front of me. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, “If you remain on this path (the beautiful one that closed into darkness) you will not find Me. If you choose this path (the one with the huge thorns), I will be with you.” At the end of the thorny path, I saw Him waiting for me. He was so far away he looked 2″ tall! Gazing down the path I noticed how large the thorns were. I told the Lord, “I can’t walk that path of thorns!” I starred down at my feet and noticed I did not even have on shoes. In effect what I was staying is what you are asking me to do is too hard! He said, “I have ointment and bandages for your feet. I have everything you will need. Now forgive.” I said, “You are asking me to forgive? Didn’t you hear what was said?” His reply was, “Yes. I heard and I saw and it will be for me to handle. Your job is to forgive.” Now I had to choose which path to put my feet. I determined to endure the thorny path. Who can resist the Lord?
I did not have to wait long for the opportunity to practice forgiveness! Before I had a chance to react to the hurtful words spoken, I immediately recalled the invitation from the Lord. I said nothing with verbal words but in my mind I said, “I forgive you.” OUCH! Then it hit me. The thorns represented pride! Each step I took down the path to meet my Jesus I had to feel the sting of pride. It was not the sting of forgiving someone you think owes you. It was the sting of having to lay down pride in order to walk with Jesus. Pride is our enemy. Pride thinks it has to defend your heart against others. Jesus is your defender (Lamentations 3:58, Psalm 74:22, Romans 12:19). I could have meditated on numerous words, plotted numerous deeds, and put up several bricks around the wall of my heart and felt justified in doing so! This time, I chose not to and it was VERY hard. Would you do it to get a step closer to Jesus?
Not much time past and I had another opportunity to forgive. This time it was a little easier. Then the third time came….it was simple! The Lord visited me again a short time later. The beautiful path that channelled into darkness was gone. The path of thorns remained but it was beginning to reveal a beautiful spacious place. Remember I mentioned I could tell He was standing at the end of the path but was so far away he looked miniature? No more. The One standing at the end of the path zoomed up to my face with such speed I can’t even describe. Glory! What do you think? Are you willing to offer someone forgiveness and take a step closer to Jesus? You can do it!
For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. Matthew 6:14
…accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive. Colossians 3:13