February 07, 2021 · Bob Gass
“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” (vv. 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 that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). Forget it, for God’s 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, “Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). So if you want God to answer your prayers—forgive and let it go!