Last week, we shared a powerful blog post from survivor, Robin. Don’t miss out on part 2 of this blog on what life beyond Roe looks like not only for children, but mothers, fathers, our culture. And how we’re all called to make a difference.
If you haven’t listened in to this weeks’ podcast of Life Empowers with Melissa Ohden, go to iTunes and listen in. You don’t want to miss Melissa’s interview with Robin!
“Free From Torment”
Originally posted on Robin’s website on November 1, 2020. Link below.
When I share that I’m an abortion survivor, many respond by saying they believe that abortion is “the unpardonable sin”. Yes, it’s bad, but I don’t believe it’s “unpardonable”. The enemy traps people into believing that, which prevents them from providing a Kingdom solution. How do I know? Abortion is murder. Paul, who wrote most of what we now call the New Testament, was up front about the fact that he’d murdered – or at least participated in the murder of – people before his conversion experience, “I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cili’cia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gama’li-el, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day. I persecuted this Way [Christianity] to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished. (Acts 22:3-5 RSV). In the Kingdom, there is always a redemptive solution.
Moses was guilty of murder, as we read in Exodus 2:11-12 ESV, “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.” Moses was later entrusted with leading all of Israel, and God says several times that He was with Moses. Again, in the Kingdom, there is always a redemptive solution.
David was directly responsible for killing many in battle, and “arranged murder” of Uriah the Hittite, after he caused an unplanned pregnancy by committing adultery with a Bathsheba. In short, he wanted to get rid of Uriah after he heard that he’d gotten Bathsheba pregnant. You can read the story in 2 Samuel 11, – here are v. 14-15 in the RSV, “ In the morning David wrote a letter to Jo′ab, and sent it by the hand of Uri′ah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uri′ah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” Later, the Lord describes David as “a man after God’s own heart” in Acts 13:22 (see also 1 Sam. 13:14, where Samuel is quoted similarly.). God not only entrusted Israel to David, He promised to keep the throne in David’s lineage. Once more, Kingdom solutions are redemptive solutions.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV tells us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
So, what are His higher ways? What is the Kingdom solution that redeems?
First, we must not wrestle with and accuse humans – they’re not our enemies. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Eph. 6:12 NIV. Many, MANY Christians have fallen into the subtle trap of utilizing a shame-based blamethrower. Dear Christian, put your blamethrower away, it’s not glorifying God, or furthering the Kingdom. “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” – Matt. 5:44 NLT. Here’s a simple litmus test – when’s the last time you prayed for the Presidential candidate you’re not voting for? Ouch! I know, I know – it’s so easy to become offended, and angry at the “other side”. Their “platform” isn’t “godly”. Dear Christian, you don’t need to stoop to their level. Don’t let the subtle tactic of the enemy suck you down into the quagmire of guile. Have you been there? Please repent! Ask the Lord to pull you out of the quicksand of the put-downs, coarse joking and blamethrowing, and never return!
Your anger reveals your boundary. Instead of allowing the enemy to coerce you into agreeing with him by making an enemy of the humans you’re offended by, realize the anger you feel is righteous indignation, a revealer of the line you draw in your conscious between right and wrong. You’re feeling that the folks you don’t want to vote for have crossed a line, otherwise known as a trespass. Think of it as having someone trespass on your property; maybe a careless person has trespassed on your yard. They’ve walked across your grass – maybe they’ve even littered, or trampled fresh, young grass you’ve just planted. God provides His Kingdom solution to those who cross that line in Matthew 18:21-35.
Matthew 18:21–35 (NKJV): 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Some important things you’ll need to understand from this text include:
· V. 22 – 23 Jesus addresses the ability to provide forgiveness in abundance. We live in a culture permeated with greed and poverty, which tends to color our view of Scripture. There’s never a lack on His part, so there’s no lack in our ability to forgive. The perception of lack of the ability to forgive comes to the surface in our remarks, such as, “I can’t forgive, you don’t know what they’ve done to me.” You see, forgiveness isn’t based on the other person’s behavior or actions; it’s based on the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and conception of the New Covenant at the cross. We have the ability to forgive all sin, because He gave us all authority to do so. We’re just beginning to apply this authority to one area, such as physical healing, but we see that “all means all” – such as in Matthew 9: 1-8 NKJV, “So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. 2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” 3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 7 And he arose and departed to his house. 8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled[ and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
- V. 23 – Sin “Hamartano” – to miss the mark (archer’s term), offend, trespass (cross a boundary). This is a clear picture of what’s going on in your conscious when you feel that anger/righteous indignation rise up. For example, I have a boundary that says, “It’s wrong to murder innocent babies.” When I see pro-abortion propaganda pushed in the media, I feel that righteous indignation rise up within me. It might come across as a feeling of anger, contempt, disgust or incredulousness, such as, “I can’t believe someone would agree with that!”, or “how dare they!”, or, “what is WRONG with these people?!?” What I feel determines my boundaries…obviously, their boundaries are different than mine. We base our boundaries on our values.
- Remember that we have the authority given to us via the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as we see in John 20:21-24 ESV, “21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” – don’t withhold any good gift!
- V. 23 – The Kingdom is about settling accounts/debts. The sin/trespass creates a debt. God is all about settling debts. He tells demonstrates this in the Old Covenant by the Jubilee, and in several verses where we find debt to be a form of slavery, such as Prov. 22:7 NIV, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Forgiving is the repayment of a debt. Only the party who owns the loan may cancel it. Perhaps you’ve had to tangle with a debt collector in the past. The one who loaned the funds has the authority to say, “forget this debt” – the person who owes the money does not. “ Loan forgiveness” is a term many bankers, debt collectors and politicians use frequently. While we may have a loan, or debt, forgiven, that doesn’t mean we automatically get to take out another loan.
- V.27 – Another word, also about debt, is “daneion”, which can be translated “loan”. Think of your bank; they’ll require an application process before extending a loan to you. If you pay a loan back, they may be willing to extend another loan to you in the future (perhaps a mortgage for a home). If someone doesn’t repay the first loan, the bank has a boundary – they’re not going to approve you for the next loan you apply for. Dear Christian, you, too, should have an “application process”, otherwise known as building trust, whereby you decide how much you expose yourself to someone. Many Christians believe they’re powerless right here, and that’s simply a lie from the pit of hell. If someone has hurt you, they’ve crossed that boundary. There’s a debt. You, like that bank, need to require a “good repayment history” in your relationships before extending another loan opportunity!
- In verse 34, the word translated, “torturers” is “basanistes” – torturer, comes from a root word, “basis”, which implies “the foot”. When we refuse to forgive, we are opening the door for the enemy. He can hinder our walk! Our good, good, Father allows us to have free will, but He gives us “supernatural consequences”. Here we see that He allows the enemy to torture us until we come back into agreement with Him. Many Christians see the devil as the source of their torment, yet they themselves are the ones responsible for it!
- Forgiving is the repayment of a debt. Only the party who owns the loan may cancel it. The one who loaned the funds has the authority to say, “I will erase this debt” – the person who owes the money does not. It does not condone behavior; rather, it says that the only payment possible must come from your Kingdom account, which is a joint account with Jesus. You have the ability to agree or disagree with the behavior, as well as, to participate with the party involved or not. That’s a boundary decision. Then, because of what Jesus accomplished on the Cross, you have the Kingdom resource to forgive – to cancel the debt.
- Who are “the torturers”? Demons, of course! The word is sometimes rendered “tormentors”. These Satanic henchmen are given legal right to torment, or torture us, until we come back into agreement with Him and forgive the debt incurred by those who have trespassed, or sinned.
In summary, when one “crosses the line” in your conscience, they have incurred a debt. God’s will is that there be no debt. He likes all accounts settled. While He allows us free will, He also, as a good parent, allows consequences. The consequence of not forgiving is found in V. 35, where God is very clear that He will allow us to be tortured, or tormented, until we release the debt. Debt forgiveness doesn’t condone the actions or behaviors of others; rather, the anger, or righteous indignation that rises up within us reveals our internal rules, sometimes referred to as boundaries.
What we are seeing in our government and media is a clear indication that we, as a nation, are being tormented. This torment, or torture, is evident in the deception, greed, manipulation and flat-out lies that are being uncovered rapidly. Tormented by an internal “being”, many public figures have cast off all restraint and begun blamethrowing, ridiculing others, pointing fingers, and generally displaying ungodly, disrespectful attitudes and behaviors. Our job as Christians is spelled out in Mark 16:17NKJV, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…” – we are not to point out demons, but to cast out demons! Let’s start by releasing the debt, or forgiving, to remove the legal right the enemy has gained. Then, let’s go back to praying for the folks we perceive as our enemies, in accordance with Matt. 5:44. Pray for them to be delivered, and to have life-changing encounters with Jesus. Pray for Holy Spirit and His angels to guide and protect them, and for His will to be done in their lives. Pray for Him to bless them. Trust that the One who created us all is still on the throne, and is still in charge of us all.
Finally, a word from the position of an abortion survivor. I believe we need to much more than reverse Roe. If the law was changed tomorrow, the hearts of people would still be the greater issue. Folks, we can’t just vote and expect that the Supreme Court or the President will be the answer. They’re both huge parts, no doubt, but that’s not the end of the story. No government decision can eradicate the effects of trauma, abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, and all the myriad issues that contribute to abortion issue. It’s a delicate, multi-faceted problem. We still have incredibly fractured families – mothers and fathers who need to learn to value their children for who they are. Don’t believe me? Look around the internet; since COVID-19 began and schools sent their students back home to their families, countless new memes and products proclaim the need for parents to have vast amounts of alcohol to homeschool their children. Why? Could it be that they don’t have the relationship with the Lord, or with one another, to undergird the time they’re now spending together? This causes tremendous damage to the kids – not feeling wanted and valued. Knowing that Mom and Dad “can’t wait to get rid of me, and send me back to school/daycare/the babysitter, etc.” Pray with me for the Lord to intervene, and for Him to turn the hearts of the parents to the children, in accordance with Mal. 4:6 and Luke 1:17. Abortion says, “I need to get rid of my child”. It’s the same sentiment. It’s a heart problem. When we don’t value someone, no matter the age, we see them as an inconvenience. That’s directly contradictory to the way God sees us! According to Ps. 127:3, children are a blessing; a gift, and we’re blessed to have them!
James 5:16 NIV tells us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Please join me in praying powerful prayers of forgiveness, blessing, His leading and guidance. Pray with clean hand and a pure heart. Pray with His Holy Spirit leading, and with fervor!
Finally, I want to release a Kingdom solution as an abortion survivor. I believe it’s important to note what we read in Gen. 4:10 NIV, “The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” What is it crying? Have you ever thought about that? The cry of the unborn is the same cry as every sin or debt, “you owe me! You stole my life!” Under the Old Covenant, we’d have to repay the equavelant of what was taken, “a life for a life”- yet we have a better covenant! Heb. 12:24 NIV tells us, “…to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
The blood of these unborn children cries out to the Lord. We are not responsible for the abortions, but as believers, we are responsible to bring Kingdom solutions. There is no lack in the Kingdom. I stand in the gap, in proxy, as a voice for the voiceless, and say to our country, our government, our moms and dads, our media, the abortion clinics and all related industry, and our culture, “You are forgiven. I release you from the debt of abortion, and I release our society from the torment that debt has incurred. Go and sin no more.”