I John 2 9-11
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
The word is very clear and very convicting today.
If you don't love your brother, even if you say that you are walking in the light, you are truly walking in darkness.
I was reading an article of a very good friend the other day and she commented on how her unconfessed sin hinders her prayer life. She began to also suggest that if her prayer life is hindered then her prayers for the lost, the sick, the hurting, her family, etc. are not being answered. She wondered if she was hindering others' salvation, health, healing, etc. by keeping unconfessed sin.
Even as a child, I had learned that God hears me when I pray. But what about when I cherish sin in my heart? What about when I lock the rear door and close out the Father from the deepest recesses of my heart? Will He listen to a heart that is already too full of sinful secrets to sincerely cry out to Him? What was this doing to my relationship with Him?
And how would this affect my intercession? Would my family, church, friends, the lost, missionaries -- and all the others I was praying for actually be hindered in their ministry and possible salvation because of MY SIN?This sounded serious.
Loving our brother is, I believe, pivotal in our continued relationship with the Lord.
It isn't an option.
I can't just decide that I love these people in the body and not those.
If I do, then I have certainly been blinded by the Enemy and I have lost my effectiveness in my daily witness and in my prayer life.