November 23rd, 2018
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” (Psalm 66:18-20 NKJV)
Unconfessed and prideful sin cuts the line of communication between us and God.
If we give our own sinful thoughts higher regard than the words of God, He will turn His ear from us. Our God is gracious and ready to hear our prayers and lift us up out of the miry clay, but we need to be willing to drop the sticky clay of our own wisdom and humbly ask His forgiveness when we go our own way.
The phrase “the Lord will not hear” sounds harsh and unlike the loving God that we know, but it is actually another reason to praise Him! Like a wise and loving parent, He gently uses discipline to guide us back to unhindered communion with Him.
Jeremiah reminds us of God’s heart towards us: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV).
God’s heart is not against us when He is silent. And so we can thank Him for guiding us, even when it doesn’t feel good.
Christmas is coming, and with it lots of good cheer, baking, and a whopping potential for selfishness and overwhelm. Take some time right now to ask God to keep your heart focused on Him through the Christmas season.
Don’t let the praise and thanksgiving fade away with November. Now is a better time than ever to pull out that gratitude journal or chalkboard, intentionally giving thanks for every good and perfect gift from our Father.
We can start with the words of David: “But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.”
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