Sunday, August 30, 2009
Have you ever felt like you are not even sure that your prayers are heard, much less answered by the Lord? I know I have had more of those times than I care to count!
I think one of the things that can squelch our ability to commune with the Lord more than anything else is knowing we have sin in our lives and not doing anything about it! Scripture says it does...
Psalm 66:18 (MsgB)
If I had been cozy with evil,
the Lord would never have listened.
Another version talks about cherishing sin in our heart. When I cherish something, I spend a lot of time focusing on it, nurturing it, feeding it, etc. Think about what it is you cherish.
For me, I cherish my family...Tim and my children. I cherish the home we have been given and certain things that have sentimental value in it! I cherish my friendships and, of course, above all else I cherish my relationship with the Lord. Scripture is clear, though, that if we are not careful sin can become an object of our affection.
Our friend, Joel, was praying a few weeks ago and he said in his prayer that we need to quit "cuddling" with sin! I loved it because that is a great portrait of what it looks like when we allow ourselves to cherish sin. Today he was sharing during worship about how we can often times treat sin as a relationship, an unhealthy one at best, and that we need to get to the point where we "break up with sin"! I got so excited I almost had to shout!
We should each do some personal inventory in our hearts and ask Papa if there are any areas of sin that we need to hand a "Dear John" letter to! I think it would read something like this...
Dear (insert sin of choice),
I am sorry to have to tell you this, because I know what a close and special relationship we have shared, but...I have met Someone else. His name is Jesus and He seems to be a very jealous Person in my life. He said it's either you or Him because He cannot keep wooing me as long as I have you on the side. I really think what he has to offer long-term far exceeds the momentary fun we have been experiencing. For this reason, I am going to have to ask you to pack your bags and hit the road. I am sure I'll miss you in the beginning, but am confident this is the right thing to do!
Free at Last
Of course, this is obviously a somewhat tongue-in-cheek attempt to get us to view how unhealthy our relationship with sin can be, but I don't think it is too far off from how it really looks in our lives! I know I do not want to have any areas of my heart in which there is anything I cherish more than Him!
Psalm 139:23-24 (MsgB)
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I'm about;
 See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.