Earlier this week we took a look at Psalm 66:18:
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened. (Psalm 66:18 ESV)
Actually, we looked at it three different times (here, here and here). And though we took three looks, the message is pretty simple: when we hang on to sin, our prayer life is greatly hindered. Though God hears everything, when we embrace sin, He isn’t obligated to listen or answer.
That is a pretty stark message — and it should be.
God is perfect and He wants nothing to do with sin. That statement describes His righteousness and holiness. He is the opposite of sin and He goes to great lengths — like sacrificing His only Son — in order to reconcile us to Himself and deal with sin. Accordingly, we don’t need to and should not want to cozy up to sin.
Unfortunately, though, we often do. And when we do, God knows:
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. (Psalm 69:5 ESV)
God is omniscient. This means He knows everything.
I’ve heard lots of Bible preaching and teaching. I’ve even read the entire Bible once and lots of it more than once. I know lots of stuff about the Bible. But even so, it’s amazing how often I forget about this one particular attribute of God. I know God is all powerful. Amen — He can do anything! I know God is everywhere. Amen — He’s always with me! I know Jesus Christ died for my sins. Amen — I am alive with Him! But what about God seeing everything that I do? Crickets.
If you have children, you know it’s a lot easier for them to be obedient when you are watching. When they are alone? Not so much. And we sort of understand this and train them to obey when they are alone. “I’ll be back in 10 minutes and I want your room to be clean.” When we return and their room isn’t clean, they usually get right to it when we watch over them!
So why do I forget God is watching me? When I’m about to sin or in the midst of sin, why do I forget that His eyes are upon me? I think there are perhaps several answers to these questions, but one in particular, at least for me, is this: I get too comfortable with God. I take His grace for granted. I come to expect His mercy.
I’m definitely not proud of that. As I write this, I’m actually quite ashamed. How could I take the marvelous grace and mercy of my Savior for granted?
Lord, I am sorry that I have taken Your grace and mercy for granted. You are a holy and righteous God and You have no fellowship with sin! Your word tells us that the guilty will not go unpunished, yet You have wonderfully chose to save me by offering Jesus Christ in my place to pay for my sins. Thank You, Lord, for making a way for me. As I go forward, please grant me repentance and help me to be amazed by Your grace every second of every day. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen and amen.