Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgive us our debts? How can we owe God anything? Does He not give us all things freely? So then, what is this debt that we are asking God to forgive?
What the Father wants from us, what He has always wanted, is wholehearted love (Mark 12:28-34, Romans 13:8) which overflows into “affection-based obedience” (Mike Bickle). And this is precisely the one thing that we are incapable of giving Him. We can do many good things, but our darkened, broken, sin-marred hearts are not able to love God as He deserves. This, and this alone, is our sin. If this were remedied, all other sin would disappear. And so we cry to God to forgive our debts and heal our hearts.
This cry can only be answered when we come to the Father emptied of pride, broken and humbled, ready to release from judgment all who have wronged us. The Father’s eternal answer to this cry is the shedding of His Son’s blood for pardon and cleansing, and the pouring out of His Spirit for transformation and empowerment. And so, what we cannot do – love God as He deserves – the Holy Spirit does in us. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”(Romans 5:5 NKJV).