As Jack waited upon the Lord to receive instructions to pray for the churches, he was led to read Jeremiah 1-3. The words were picturesque, depicting the deplorable scenes of the churches in the land. God rebuked Israel for two evils: having forsaken God, the true fountain of living water, and hewn themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which could hold no water. Dry religion without the Holy Spirit, no light, cannot see, cannot hear, deafened by their own noises, blinded by worldly vanity in numbers. God had left and the priests did not know. The prophets (preachers) prophesied by false gods and walked after ‘things’ that did not profit. Those who handled the law (of God) did not know the law. God said of these churches: “and you have not obeyed My voice”. A most frightening sin！
It is possible for churches who seek after God to hear God! He also read that God wants repentance with whole heart. God is willing to forgive their backsliding.
As recorded in the following vision, he saw the Lord as the King in all His glory!
On the other hand, Jack was still not able to reconcile what he saw with his concern for his daily living, as evidenced in his following journal on the same day on debt issues.
Hearing from God- seeing the crowned King
Today I had nothing to ask for but I decided to prostrate on the floor after I completed my Friday morning intercession for the city churches. Then I saw the following pictures:
A little toddler crawled towards the left foot of Jesus and there was a little whit butterfly hovering near by.
Then I saw Jesus wearing a crown (that of a king). I recalled the verses declaring Him as the King.
I do not know what these mean. I must not interpret when I have no guidance from the Lord (His Word). I merely record this for future reference as led by the Spirit. Time will tell if there is anything of significance. However, as written before, these pictures are my way of interacting with the Lord for my personal living and are not prophecies or any words of importance to others.
I find myself hindered by being too preoccupied with the mind and the knowledge accumulated therein. In spiritual matters I am an infant. So this visualization training is my daily “spiritual” exercise. Why do I do this (seemingly unnecessary pastime)? For the one reason that God is Spirit and I need to worship Him in truth and in Spirit. Being spiritual is essential. There is no option for me.
Day 16-17: and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
I have now reached the application of the Lord’s Prayer. I am trying to follow this verse, Matthew 6:12 “and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
It is obvious how relevant this verse has become in the current financial dilemma. People are being overloaded with the mountain of debt. Every one, every nation cries out for deliverance from the debt bondage! I have not come across any one who does not wish his or her debt to be cancelled or fully paid by someone.
When Jesus said this to His disciples, what did He mean? Was He imposing a condition on them that they must perform before God gives His pardon? Who can pay for our debt of sins? Not us. The good news is Jesus has paid in full on the cross when He died for us.
Reading the cross reference to this verse, in Mathew 18:21-35, the meaning became clearer. The disciple Peter came and asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother (other followers of Jesus). Jesus stipulated an impossible number of times (70×7 times) which meant infinitely! Then Jesus told them a parable of the king settling account with his servants and forgave the colossal amount of debt of one servant who begged for mercy. But that servant went out and persecuted another servant (who owed him a small sum of money) regardless of him begging for mercy. The king heard about this and put the unforgiving servant in jail. The king said to him,
“You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”
Then Jesus summed this up with a serious statement, “So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18:35)
Jesus was referring to the way our heart bear grudges on those who owe us money (or a rightful return of favor etc.) and have not repaid! Jesus wants us to forgive debts mean let go, leave, remit the debts. Not only that we are asked to give up resentment against our debtors!
From this parable it is clear that God has taken the initiative first to have forgiven us and given us a clean slate, a clean bill of health, a fresh start in life etc. His intention for us is good. He does not want us to continue bearing the burden of anger and resentment and hurt over the losses others had inflicted upon us.
Indeed we have a legitimate right over our property. But Jesus is not talking about legitimate right here. Who has more legitimate right than Jesus did? Yet He went up the cross without declaring His right to be acquitted.
It is not that God will retract His forgiveness; it is that we cannot enjoy the abundant and free life He has promised to us through the forgiveness if we continue to carry the hurt of our past. So Jesus advised us to give it all up. The past is past.
My application: I still cannot cancel the larger monetary debts that others owe to me although I have relinquished all the favor debt. I ponder on whether it is appropriate to bargain with God that if He wants me to cancel the colossal sum others owe me; I must see a similar large sum of income coming from another source. So in this application I fail. As for the resentment I bear against my debtors, I guess I am still bearing grudges toward one godless person who went into hiding and his relatives claimed that he had become a devout Buddhist (so he needs not repay all his creditors). I have forgotten the person for years but once in a while when others mention that religion I tend to associate it with that debtor. So I am not doing well in that corner of the heart. On the other hand, that person does not share the same faith as I, so he cannot qualify as a brother (in Christ)!
(I have forgiven all Christian brothers of all monetary debts, in my heart, I believe. In daily living, however, I still expect that one day the bigger debts can be repaid. Sigh.)
March 13, 2009