Spend Time With Your Father — and be Refreshed

By Nancy Flory Published on January 31, 2024

“Spend some time with me.” I heard the words clearly. My eyes blurred a bit as I read the clock. It was just after 4:00 a.m.

My flesh desperately wanted to sleep some more. “Maybe I can fall asleep for just a little bit…”

“Spend some time with me.” I heard it again. I knew it was the Lord. Honestly, my flesh groaned a bit. But I swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up. I grabbed my glasses from the nightstand and headed to the living room, where I would have some quiet before the rest of the family woke up for the day. 

Even though I was tired, I was looking forward to seeing what my Father would say to me. I quickly checked my email as I sat down on the couch. The first email was from a ministry. I’ve received emails from them for years, but I usually just skim through them in the mornings. Most of the time, they don’t really apply to me, or so I think. 

But this day it was spot on. 

Mental Anger Gymnastics

Forgiveness. Ugh. Do I really have unforgiveness in my heart? As I searched my heart and read the article, I knew I did. Just the night before, as I tossed and turned in bed, trying to sleep, I mentally fought with my husband. Yes. I did. Maybe you do this sometimes: You think about an argument and what you could have said, what you should have said, and you relive the moment in your head, saying all the right things at the right moment. But it never makes us feel better, does it? We always end up angrier. I laid on my side of the bed, so close to the edge I was in danger of falling off. Such was the anger I felt that I had to have that much space between us. 

My Conviction

I was instantly convicted as I read the email:

Jesus taught us, ‘Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ We will be forgiven in the same measure that we forgive others. We have all made far too many mistakes ourselves not to forgive others for any mistakes they have made, large or small.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:15 —  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 

We must forgive ourselves and others to be obedient and have peace.

If you are holding onto or hiding any unforgiveness, I encourage you to dedicate today to healing and spend some serious time with God and this prayer and find peace.

Not an Easy Step

Wow. Could it have been any clearer? God was speaking directly to me in this moment. Oh God! I do have unforgiveness in my heart! I asked the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart, and He reminded me of everyone against whom I held resentment. Then I made the choice to forgive each one and asked God to forgive me for that resentment. Let me tell you, this is not an easy step, but it is an important one; especially if we want a right relationship with God and if we want to be forgiven of our own sins. (Matthew 18:21-35; Luke 6:37)

After I prayed that prayer, I felt like a weight had been lifted. Like I was refreshed! God’s mercies are truly new every morning!

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I went on to spend more precious time with my Father, reading many of the scriptures that I have highlighted over the years, all of my notes I’ve written in the Bible next to them and praised God for His work in my life through those scriptures.

Praise God for His Wonderful Gift

Lastly, I went to one of my favorite verses of all time: John 17:20. Did you know that Jesus specifically prayed for you? For YOU. And me. All of us who have believed based on the testimony of those who spread the Gospel in the early church. “My prayer is not for them alone [the disciples]. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” I teared up as I read that this morning. I’ve read it many times, but this morning my heart broke — in a good way. Thank you, Jesus, for praying for me! I’m so grateful! 

Jesus’ prayer for unity is made possible in part as we forgive others for slights, real or perceived. Forgive, as we’ve been forgiven. Forgive, so that we will be forgiven! Praise God for His wonderful gift of forgiveness! Let’s give that gift to others and be united in spirit as the body of Christ. 

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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