How to Be Free of Bitterness and Unforgiveness
Do you long to be free of the anxieties and fears that hinder your life and keep you bound up?
Nothing holds us back like anxiety and fear and the lies we believe that perpetuate these negative emotions. And nothing nurtures fear and anxiety like strongholds that root themselves deep down inside our hearts and souls and chain us to their harmful lies.
One of the goals of prayer and fasting is to release the strongholds in our lives.
When a pastor says something like that—it’s time to release strongholds—people often start taking inventory of the faults in their lives, listing the dos and don’ts and their many perceived failures, coming up pretty short of abundant life. That can be defeating and discouraging.
I believe the biggest strongholds in our lives are rooted, not in our actions, but in unforgiveness and bitterness.
When we are bound up by a lack of forgiveness and the bitterness that follows, we are burdened by all kinds of mental, emotional, and physical stress. Freedom and joy are trampled upon, shoved into a hopeful, someday closet of our lives that we are afraid to open. Our destructive emotions and actions are usually rooted in deep wounds and painful memories that become what the Bible calls a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15).
Asking God to reveal areas of pain and bitterness is not always about confronting people. That typically just doesn’t work. Even if we have to do it without facing the person who caused the pain, we need to release forgiveness and allow the bitterness to be rooted out (sometimes you need a counselor or prayer partners to help you with this).
Jesus set the example when He forgave those who hurt Him while He was being crucified! No one was repenting as He cried out, ”Father forgive them!”
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, one of the most powerful statements He made was, “Deliver us from evil” (Luke 11:4).
A Current that Flows Through Us
I looked up “deliver” in Strong’s Concordance Hebrew and Greek dictionary and found the original word for deliver is roumai (Strong’s 4506), defined as, “through the idea of a current.” The root word, rew, means, “to flow” (ref. 4482).
Evil is like a current flowing through our lives, strangling us with bitterness. It’s like being tasered — jolted by a lie, burned by a lie, then wounded too much to let it go.
Being delivered from evil is to break the current of evil in our lives to allow the Holy Spirit to flow. You can begin to stop the evil current by recognizing it for the lie that it is and then rejecting it.
Prayer and fasting activate our longing to be free and help us let go of unforgiveness and bitterness. Then the Holy Spirit will flow into our lives like currents of living water, freeing us to love, to forgive, to hear God’s voice, to see His visions, to know His voice with clarity.
We can experience what Jesus described when He stood up on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
I pray that as we continue our 40-Day Fast, you will experience healing and freedom and see God’s glory manifested!