Imagine being invited to the US White House, or the Queen of England’s Palace and not going prepared in proper attire or with the expected protocols? Now consider going before the God of this universe, the most holy and righteous God, the Lord of all lords and King of all kings, with sin in your heart? In today’s Psalm, David shared such a time in his life when he realized that this made a difference in how God responded to his humble plea. Let’s consider our heart’s condition when we enter into God’s presence and ask for His favor.
DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2021-11-23
WRITTEN AT: Sebring, FL
BY: Ed Algreen
SCRIPTURE FROM: Psalm 66:17-20
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
BIBLE TEXT: 17-18 I cried out to him for help, and I praised him. If I had been hiding sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened to me. 19 But God did listen to me; he heard my prayer. 20 Praise God! He did not turn away from me—he listened to my prayer. He continues to show his love to me!
APPLICATION: Not in our wildest imagination would we think of approaching those in highest authority over our country without first seeking advice on what to wear and how to deal with the expected protocols of the office held. We wouldn’t dream of attending in our farm working clothes, or a pair of sandals, nor with a company cap on. We would want to be prepared to greet, and respond with utmost respect, and we would appreciate knowing when we are to keep quiet and whether to only speak when asked to, etc. So what about our approach with God? We must always remember that there is no one higher, none as holy, and we are oh so unworthy of His love and acceptance of us, mere sinners saved by grace. Why presidents, kings and queens must all bow to Him, and they must approach the throne of grace for salvation just like the poorest man on earth. So if we see the need for respect and honor of our country’s leaders, shouldn’t we all the more freely give honor, glory, and our foremost respect to our Lord – the One who created us and our leaders, the One who loves us all unconditionally, and the One who placed our leaders in authority over us? Notice that all these qualities I just mentioned have nothing to do with the dress code of our church nor the worship songs they choose to lead us in. Instead, it is a matter of what’s in our heart. Led by the Holy Spirit, David shared how he felt his prayers would not have been answered if he approached God with sin in his heart. Perhaps this is something we should look at deeply when we seek God in prayer, especially if it appears like He may be refusing to hear our cry for help. Friends, we may stand a chance fooling some of the people around us some of the time, but we could never fool God and get away with it. The Bible says that God not only hears every word we speak and sees every move we make, but He is well aware of even our deepest thoughts. So let me encourage you precious friends, make your heart right with God and stay so closely connected to Him, that the Holy Spirit will prompt you to seek forgiveness of sin that develops in your heart. God is righteous, and He expects us to communicate with Him from a righteous heart. I believe that, like David, God will hear the cries of His righteous children and He will encourage us to ask for what we need and He will grant it!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God answers the prayers of those who approach His throne with a clean and contrite heart.
PRAYER: Living in this old sinful world, we are often stained with the sin that surrounds us. Lord, we beg You to forgive us of our sin and unrighteousness, for it is only with a clean heart free from sin that we could expect You to answer our prayers. Thank You for answering the cry of our ancestor, David, and for His words of wisdom to help us as we approach You. Those that we come into contact with will see us in our sin and it will hinder them from seeing the One that we are supposed to represent. Lord, please make us suitable for Your kingdom, and usable as Your representatives here on earth. AMEN!