As God continues to align our understanding with His Word, our standard of what’s normal will begin to change. The Holy Spirit hovers over the chaos of our lives, ready to transform us into the image of Jesus by implementing His eternal standard of holiness. When we allow God’s Spirit full access into the innermost parts of our being, He will begin His work of dividing light from darkness—allowing us to fully abide in the goodness, favor and power of God’s grace.
What was acceptable to us in days past will no longer feel right in our spirits. The Mind of Christ replaces our old nature (1 Corinthians 2.16), and we begin to transform from glory to glory into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3.18). We now have peace in the midst of the storm. We claim authority over our enemies. We find abundance when the world sees lack. We walk in the path of blessings instead of curses. Every promise in God’s Word is potentially ours as the Holy Spirit leads.
Forgiveness is essential in this process of sanctification (being set apart as holy). As we embrace and achieve this new standard of holiness, we will have to reconcile with people, experiences, behaviors and environments of our past. Our worldview and thought processes were shaped by the influences in our lives, and many of them were not aligned with God’s Word and His standard of holiness. When our understanding is rooted in Christ, we will discover fresh hurt, disappoint, shame and guilt from that past that must be immediately released, so the Enemy can’t stake his claim there.
We will have to forgive people who didn’t know better, circumstances that were out of our control and environments from our upbringing that were not godly. Most of all, however, we will have to seek forgiveness and grace for ourselves and receive healing, peace and comfort from the Holy Spirit. Our actions, behaviors and thoughts may have been committed in ignorance; but now that we have become aware of the discrepancies between our conduct and God’s standard of right and wrong, we are accountable to confess, release and learn from those mistakes.
The Enemy can only dwell in the darkness of our lives to which we give him access. God’s light and mercy are more than enough to displace every ugly thing in our past, present and future. We have been made righteous (right-standing with God) through the covenant that Christ fulfilled on our behalf by taking our sins on the cross and pouring out His blood (life-giving essence) onto those who would receive salvation (2 Corinthians 5.21) (Ephesians 1.7). Because of Jesus we can stand blameless before a perfect God in bodies that have become beautiful temples for His Spirit (Colossians 1.21-22) (1 Corinthians 3.16-17).
So as we delve into a deeper relationship with Christ, we can eagerly embrace our new nature (2 Corinthians 5.17). But we must be ready to forgive! Forgiveness frees us from defeat and fortifies our faith.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1.9 NIV).