Friday 14 August 2020
Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
I have dabbled with golf a few times over the years. Being tall I found I could drive the ball off the tee a long way often hitting 200 yards or more. There are generally three directions that a ball will go when you hit it, you either turn the club in and that’s called a hook shot, for a right handed player like me the ball veers strongly to the left and into trouble, another way is the club face turns out and the ball moves strongly to the right, this is called a slice shot. I have played many of these shots, lost many golf balls in fields, and also had some near misses with people and occasionally wanted to throw my clubs in the lake. There is another direction that can happen and that is the ball is hit straight and well. I call that the sweet spot when everything works well and then ball flies with ease. I can still relive and see the best shot I ever played It was on hole 5 at the course in Woodhouse, and I drove the ball straight and it landed near the hole! Over 200 yards! It did still take me another 3 shots to putt the ball into the hole, but what a shot!
In this part of the Lord’s prayer Jesus shows us the way to live in in close relationship with God and ensure there are no hindrances to Him answering our prayer. Jesus tells us to ask God to forgive our sins and forgive others as he forgives us. When we do these 2 things, we live in the sweet spot of life with God. We are told in 1 John 1 v 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we walk in in that Light, our conscience is clear ad we can boldly approach the throne of God in prayer expectant of answers.
If we don’t live in the Light, or the sweet spot of faith we will take one or both of the other directions like my golf shots. Firstly, if we don’t ask God to forgive our sins, we live in guilt and often will not even come to God in prayer as our natural instinct is to hide from His presence. Secondly, if we don’t forgive others, we veer away from God again and become bitter, hard and cold towards others, often self-righteous and deceived that God still will answer our prayer. In both these cases scripture is clear God may not answer our prayers even if we pray. God wants us to live in the sweet spot of relationship with him where we can freely bring our prayer to Him and He can answer. Which may a “yes”, it could be a “no” or even just a “wait.” As God has our best interests in His heart.
Matthew 18 v 21-35
Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.