Friday, June 3, 2022

When God Won’t Listen

“Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (Isaiah 59:1-2 NLT).

There are things that can hinder our prayers, things we do that can stop God from intervening in our lives.

One obstacle to prayer is unconfessed sin. Isaiah 59 tells us, “The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (verses 1–2 NLT).

If there is a sin in your life that you have not confessed to God, then confess it. The psalmist wrote, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18 NLT).

To confess our sin means to agree with God about it, seeing it for what it is. That means we stop rationalizing it, stop justifying it, and stop saying that everyone else is doing it. It also means that we need to ask God’s forgiveness.

We also need to forgive others because unforgiveness in our hearts can hinder our prayers. Jesus said, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too” (Mark 11:25 NLT).

Notice that Jesus didn’t say anything about forgiving someone only if they deserve it. Rather, He simply tells us to forgive. We’ve all been hurt in life. But the Bible teaches us to “be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven [us]” (Ephesians 4:32 NLT).

If we do not forgive others, then bitterness will creep in, eating us up inside. Someone has wisely said that bitterness is an acid that destroys its own container. Forgive so that you can be free. Forgiven people should be forgiving people.

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