Recently I read a blog, from someone I deeply respect, wherein he shared a story of a redeemed sinner who was counseled by his pastor to seek the forgiveness of a prostitute. Upon receiving the initial counsel from the pastor this man made it clear that he could not and would not ask forgiveness and “that seemed to be his final word.”
The article goes on to say, “His final word lasted only about an hour.”
This brother in Christ began to see that the way to live in the kingdom of Christ was different, much different than his own.
One of the things that struck me was the statement: “He began to see that this was the way to live in the kingdom of Christ.”
I had to sit back for a moment as those words landed in my brain and I asked myself, “what does it look like in my every day doing to live in such a way that I demonstrate that I am from another realm, another kingdom, the Kingdom of Christ? How would you answer that for yourself, dear sisters?
What I know for sure is it really isn’t that complicated and yet, in our flesh, the serious truth is it’s extremely hard; difficult challenging to subdue the flesh as day after day, we are confronted with all sorts of obstacles that would seek to block our Kingdom focus.
In the case of the man from the blog mentioned above, who was daily repenting of sexual sin and had post-conversion relapsed into a former way of living, it meant seeking forgiveness from the one with whom he had been physically intimate. There was nothing complicated about “what” was required of him.
However, the details regarding how, when, etc., were anything but easy to accomplish. Any one of those things could prove to be an obstacle and yet, praise the Lord, this dear brother did all that was up to him to do for the glory of God. He set his mind and heart to live in the Kingdom of Christ which meant he had to go and do something above and beyond his natural way.
“In other words, he was willing to go more public with what he did. Though his shame was screaming to stay hidden…”
The writer, Ed Welch, continues:
“When he greeted her, he offered a very simple explanation of why he was there and gave her the letter. In it, he had written that the Spirit of God had convicted him, Jesus had forgiven him, but his actions had hurt her too so he wanted to ask her forgiveness.
She read the letter carefully. By the time she was done, a tear was already falling from her face.
She looked up and said, “I forgive you.”
He thanked her.
And she responded, “No, thank you.”
Dear sisters, again I ask you, what does it look like TODAY to live as and be a daughter of the Most High, the One who is King of kings and Lord of lords, the One who alone is God?
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.
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