Psalms 66:18-20 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.”
You seen it… That vacant stare. Eyes that are glassed over, looking into the distance. You’re talking but you can tell their mind is far away. If I recognize that state of mind, I try to say something fantastical or unbelievable. Their response usually gives them away.
“I murdered my neighbor and buried him in my backyard.” When they respond with; “Oh that’s nice.” – Busted!
It is a whole different matter when we come to God and feel as if He is not listening. In His Word, God gives us a prerequisite to our prayers being answered.
REGARD: def – to attend to with respect and estimation; To esteem; to hold in respect and affection.
You and I must be willing to put our all before God and allow Him to decide to do with us what He would.
For many of us, that flies in the face of all we have learned. ‘Be in control’. “guard your feelings’ ‘Look out for #1’ are just some of the axioms that we use to fend off any personal dealings. Thanks be to God He is a personal God!
He cares deeply about the things we hold and fancy. As His purchased possession, I belong to Him – lock, stock and barrel. From the very hairs on my head (which He knows the number) to the soles of my feet, He made a bid for my soul with the price of His Son for the purchase.
I willingly accepted! I wanted so desperately to have my sins paid for so I would miss having to pay for them myself in Hell. I am grateful… So very grateful.
But am I grateful enough to allow Him to take full possession? To move me? To guide me? To direct my steps? To order my speech? Tell me who my friends should be? Whom I should marry? How to raise my children? Where to go to church? What to buy? What to give? Albeit, every decision given over to His scrutiny.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
This so goes against the world’s narrative. Be your own man. Take control of your own destiny.
Ultimately, I DO want my prayers to be heard. If it means I cannot place anything in front of my relationship with my God, I must place it on the altar and allow Him to accept it, to take it, to remove it, or to give it back. Our willingness or reluctance to place that thing, that person, that job, that possession, that dream on the altar is a direct reflection on my love and acceptance of who I really am in Christ.
I must ask as the Lord asked Peter that day:
John 21:17 “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
God knows you and I far better and far deeper than we know ourselves. To the extent that we yield ourselves to that thought, reveals the commitment, albeit, the love we have for our Savior.
He has created us for Himself. He has gifted us with gifts and talents to be used for His glory; not our gain. He has promises for protection, provision, power and peace. His gives us that which do not deserve – His grace, and keeps from us that which we do deserve – the punishment, payment and penalty for our sin – His mercy.
He gives us armour for the battle. He provides what is necessary for us to live. He gives light to see around us and before us for His word is – “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
His love for us is everlasting and eternal. Because He lives, we have hope. Because He lives in me, I have security and assurance of an eternity with Him.
Why, then, would I want to hold anything or anyone in higher regard than Him?
Serve Him this weekend!