Thought for the Week - 15th MayPastor Gareth Watkins
Matthew 18: 21-35
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 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. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“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!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 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. Then his master, after he had called him, 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?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
Last week I reflected on things that we don’t understand in the natural world, but we accept, compared to things we don’t understand in the spiritual world, and don’t necessarily accept. I’d like to extend that thought to this week also.
Earlier this week I was reading about GPS (Global Positioning System). It was invented by a scientist who was fed up of indiscriminate bombing in Vietnam. He therefore designed a system that could define exactly where a bomb was going to go. Over the years GPS has improved, and is now precise within millimetres. I personally don’t understand how it all works, but nevertheless I accept it… after all, the Sat Nav in my car is able to guide me to places I’ve never been before.
Contrast that something that we don’t understand but accept in the world, with something of God. We don’t always understand the things of the demonic world, nor accept them. However, we should… because that world exists as a real world. Both Christ and the New Testament talks of it, and it goes on around us whether we accept it or not.
Different Christians have different viewpoints on these things. For example, is it possible for a Christian have a demon at work in them? Or a child? For many Christians, demons are for the “bad” people. However, the Bible teaches something different. What is a demon? Is it a being, with a personality and without a body? If a voice speaks to you, then behind that is a personality. Do you have a voice that speaks to you at times that’s not of God?
This is something we need to consider. We need to break up the fallow ground. Why? That we might reap the fruit of unfailing love! The fruit of God that’s meant to come to us happens when we break that hard surface.
In Matthew above, we read a very well-known parable. In verse 34, the angry master delivers the servant to his torturers. Who are the torturers? The torturers would be demonic forces, mental forces, and physical forces that torment. These are the things that torment when we hold onto things when we have unforgiveness and sin. There is potential for each one of us where we come into a place where we are tortured. These things exist! We need to see these things as a reality that affects you and me.
Each one of our fallow ground needs to be broken up so that we can reap unfailing love. But opposing it are these tormentors and opposition. This is a heavenly story with an earthly meaning. Jesus tells us the truth about these things, so that we can walk in this world and learn how to deal with them. Christ walked through this world constantly dealing with things that were demonic. The supernatural realm is very real, even though we might not understand it fully.
Derek Prince said that demons are disembodied persons. They want to go into a body. We see evidence of this in the Bible, for example with the story involving the herd of swine. Or in the story of the man who requested forgiveness of his sin before he was healed. Why did he want forgiveness first? Because he was being tortured.
If a Godly person is doing everything they can to walk right with God, but still has a torment, why would that be? Because they potentially have an attack or an attachment from a demonic force. Demons compel you, enslave you, and deceive you. That is the root of what happens. We need to understand that these forces exist and deal with them. What if we have deceit in us? It would tell us to hide, that it doesn’t matter.
In Proverbs 25: 28 we read “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” This passage compares an inner nature of a man to a city without walls. When walls are broken down, there’s no defences. In can come invasions and attacks of many types. Where the things of God are concerned, where our walls are down because we’ve allowed them down, these things can come straight in. Our security is found only in Christ! If our spiritual walls are down, then our city is up for assault and attack. In a spiritual city – like a physical city – there are different areas. In your city you might have different areas where these things can enter – e.g. a spirit of anger, fear, jealous, loneliness, rejection etc. – all because defences have been removed.
We need to know that if we do X,Y,Z our walls will come down. And if our walls come down then A, B, C will happen. Ask yourself, do you have that voice? That person shouldn’t be speaking into your life. Have your walls come down? Are you pretending they haven’t? We can deny these things we don’t understand and we don’t accept. We need to come to God and ask to see the realities for ourselves. See where those walls are falling down!
It’s okay to feel uncomfortable. Our defences are in Christ. Without Him there is no security. Build up your defences – repair those walls! Nothing is bigger than Christ. He has overcome all these things. He’s given us a way to repair those walls. He’s given us a way to stand and carry the work He’s given us!