Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sin is a Prayer Killer

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

To regard iniquity in one's heart is to acknowledge its presence and to do nothing about it, rather, to encourage it. It means to have favorable thoughts about our sin.

It is akin to taking a bite of forbidden fruit and rolling it around in the mouth enjoying the texture and the flavor. If we have fond thoughts of our sin, if we wish to continue in it and are reluctant to part with it, then our prayers are hindered.

We cannot afford to have our prayers unanswered. Sin has its pleasures for a season, but in the end, it is rottenness to the gut. Favor with God, conversely, is the Christian's cherished treasure.

I often wonder how a person can "regard" the pleasure and consequences of sin verses the favor and fellowship of God and consistently choose the former over the latter. And yet, regarding sin in the heart is the natural course of the unregenerate, as well as the carnal individual.

I think of some that I know that I have counseled in the following way. I show them one hand that represents their family, church, job and a good life. My other hand represents their sin and its consequences (drugs, illicit sex, anger and wrath, laziness, etc.) I challenge them to choose one or the other. Often they waiver a while before making the no-brainer option. Then they go leave the office only to go back to the sin they have been regarding in their hearts.

So be it. That poor choice results in unanswered prayer.

The forbidden fruit that is dangled before you today is a prayer-killer, don't eat it!

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