‘First go and be reconciled to them.’ Matthew 5:24 NIV
The fifth obstacle to answered prayer is an unforgiving spirit. Your anger may feel justified, but it can produce long-term results that hurt you. Regardless of ‘who did what to whom’, resentment is hazardous to your health and spiritual well-being. Jesus said, ‘If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.’ (Matthew 5:23–24 NIV) Satan will keep hurting you every day of your life—until you decide to forgive.
God says, ‘I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.’ (Isaiah 43:25 NIV) Forget it, for His sake; when you keep bringing it up you bother Him! Is God really serious about this? Yes. He ‘struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the Ark of the Lord.’ (1 Samuel 6:19 NIV) What was in the Ark? The Ten Commandments which we’ve all broken; the record of our guilt and failure.
Think twice before you decide to ‘lift the lid’ on someone else’s sins; you’re in a dangerous place with God! You say, ‘But they don’t deserve to be forgiven.’ None of us do, but God keeps forgiving us anyway. And His Word says, ‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.’ (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV) So if you want God to answer your prayers—forgive, and let it go!
SoulFood: Ex 19–21, Matt 5:38–48, Ps 46, Pr 1:32–33
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023