Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. – Ps 51:4 KJV
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How can the topic of forgiveness be discussed without mentioning King David and his famous psalm 51, verse four of which forms the basis of our devotion today. This is someone who before and after his ascension to the post of a king, never stopped committing one act or the other that bothered on transgression, yet the Almighty God kept referencing him proudly and attributing his everlasting Grace on the Israelites to how he conducted his relationship with Him. David broke many rules which if human beings of then and now were to pronounce judgement, he will not be alive to be considered for the position of a king but God still loved him more than any other king – 2Sam. 7:15
Ranging from eating food meant for only priests to raiding (1Sam. 21:1-9; Matt. 12:4) and killing several people in order to cover evidence of his disloyalty to his hosts – 1Sam. 27:8-12. From being crafty in the case of his supposed forgiveness of Shimei (2Sam. 19:23; 1Kg. 2:8-9) to committing adultery with the wife of a loyal servant (2Sam. 11:2-5)and eventually murdering him (2Sam. 11:14-21). These and several more were attributed to King David but there must have been a secret tool that he used to enable him retain access to God in prayer.
David himself knew the amount of Grace he was enjoying when in psalm 32:1-2, he acknowledged that the fact that he was blessed was because his sins were covered and not being used against him. The major key seems to be the way he was able to secure forgiveness after all these acts and this was probably by doing the following:
1. Accepting and submitting to the supremacy of the Almighty God in all things – Ps. 135:5.
2. Genuinely and honestly confessing his sins – 51:3a.
3. Always remembering his transgressions and not trying to cover them and forget they ever happened – 51:3b.
4. Acknowledging that it is only God he owes explanations for all his transgressions – 51:4.
I really cannot know how bad your case is when compared with that of King David but whatever it may be that you have done, God is willing to forgive as long as it is not against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31) for a reason best known to God. Aside from that, the weight of your sin can only help to showcase how far God can go in forgiving the sinner – Lk.7:36-50.
To forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw, or mistake and be willing to drop all plans to draw a compensation or revenge which is a consequence of the act, flaw or error committed by the individual. Whatever God did for David, he can also do for you and even more if you start by fearing God. To fear God is to respect his wish as expressed by the Holy Spirit in all situations – 1Sam. 12:14. Forgiveness starts from total submission to God about all his instructions. An individual who does not recognise or accept the supremacy of God over all things cannot accept that he has sinned against God. Christians by rejecting instructions of the Holy Spirit are claiming equality with God either knowingly or unknowingly. Whichever is the case, ignorance is not an acceptable excuse with God. There will be no forgiveness if there is no conscious effort to acknowledge the sovereign nature of God (Ex. 20: 2-3) and accord him all the respect and honour that such a personality deserves.
In accepting that fact, this must be followed by a honest presentation of your error and your acknowledgement of your being responsible from the beginning to the end – Ps. 32:5. Confession is not done properly when there are people that we can blame for our errors – Gen. 3:12. Acceptance that we are totally responsible for the transgression moves us closer to being forgiven.
That you have confessed your sins and God has plans to forgive and forget it does not mean that you should forget – Matt. 18:21-35. Forgetting your sins makes you misbehave when other people hurt you and you quickly lose the Grace that follows forgiveness. You must always place your sins before you even when you have been saved from the repercussions of them. The fastest way to lose forgiveness is to forget the sins that you committed because you will not feel the need to forgive others. Forgiveness means you begin to live the life of perfection which is true but forgetting means you begin to see yourself as perfect which is false – 1Jn. 1:7; Heb. 10:17; 2Cor. 5:17. Your sins must always be before you.
However, you must never allow any other person to reference your sin. It is completely out of place for any one to reference your sin because it was not their law that you infringed upon in the first place – Rom. 14:4. No one has the right to play God by holding you down to your sin. Before God you need to be sober for your sin but before men, you are better off asserting your state of forgiveness else you will never be allowed to live the life of a forgiven person.
God does not want you to die in your sins (Ez. 18:23) but the devil using people around you want to destroy your life because of a single case of transgression – Jn. 10:10. If David followed that path, he would never have become king or even developed the level of confidence he had in his relationship with God and men.
God indeed detests sin but still loves the sinner one of whom you are. Follow the path that David followed and you will be declared free from all the weights of sin – Jn. 8:36.
May God grant you the ability to acknowledge him as the Almighty God, grant you the honesty to confess your sins to him, the memory to always remember that you sinned but the awareness to know that the sin was against God and no one else so that you can begin to move confidently towards the throne of mercy to receive Grace (Heb. 4:16) required for your destiny fulfilment in Jesus name. Amen.