Too often we want God to fix the problem around us when He wants to fix the problem within us. It is not enough to deal with the surface. We must get to the root of the problem – the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (NKJ)
Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. 10 But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be. (MSG)
Jeremiah 17:5-10 Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? 10 I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (NKJ)
Galatians 6:1-10 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass (sin or fault), you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJ)
One of the biggest indicators of where our heart is is our own mouth.
Luke 6:43-45 Jesus said, “For there is no good tree producing bad fruit, nor again a bad tree producing good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and the evil out of the evil brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks. (Berean)
Don’t be a prophet for the devil. Don’t speak for the enemy. Don’t declare negative words over yourself or anyone else. Don’t be ignorant of the devil’s devices. He is a bully.
2 Corinthians 2:9-11 Paul said, “For this indeed also did I write, so that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient to everything. 10 Now to whomever you forgive anything, I also do; and indeed to whom I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, it is for the sake of you, in the person of Christ, 11 so that we should not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (Berean)
The Passion Paul said, “You see, I wrote previously in order to see if your hearts would pass the test and if you were willing to follow my counsel in everything. 10 If you freely forgive anyone for anything, then I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I did so for you before the face of Christ, 11 so that we would not be exploited by the adversary, Satan, for we know his clever schemes.”
It is obvious from this Scripture unforgiveness is a scheme or device the devil uses against us in order to divide us.
Luke 11:17 Since Jesus knew what they were thinking, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is ruined. A house divided against itself falls. (GWT)
The devil knows about the love of God because he hates everything God loves. The devil knows about the wrath of God because he is experiencing it already. But the devil knows nothing about the mercy and grace of God. That is why he works so hard to keep us in unforgiveness.
Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Berean)