April 25, 2020 (Post #37)
(From Journal #3: November 1, 2005)
This morning as I read the Word, Psalm 66:16-20 spoke so powerfully to me:
“Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”
The phrase “cherished sin” really jumped out at me. What does it mean to cherish sin? One definition describes cherish as to harbor, entertain, possess, hold on to, cling to, keep in one’s mind, foster, or nurture. Wow, Lord! This hit me between the eyes.
So often we pray about people and situations, but we “cherish” sin while we’re praying. We pray to You but we’re not really willing to lay down some things. If we’re honest, we’re holding on to unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bad habits, addictions, unhealthy relationships, lack of self-discipline, greed, reckless spending and bad stewardship, and even downright laziness.
Lord, help me to be honest with myself about any sin I may be cherishing in my heart when I come to You in prayer, that my prayers are not hindered!
Psalm 26:2: Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
Psalm 32:5: I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
2 Corinthians 13:5: Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?