A Spacious Place...
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened Psalm 66:18 (New International Version)
David wrote this psalm as a song of praise for everything God had done for him and for Israel. He extols God, talks about His great power and invites everyone to praise God with him (v8). In verses 10 – 12, David expounds on the reasons for his praise:
- God had tested them and tried them as silver is tried
- They had been brought into the net and had burdens laid on their backs
- God let people ride over their heads
- They went through fire and water…
"YET, you have brought us into a spacious place"! verse 12b
David was ecstatic! After all the tribulations they had gone through as a nation, God had finally brought them into a spacious place. God had answered their prayers and David promised God that he would make good on all the vows and burnt offerings he had pledged to give if God delivered him.
But, was that the key? Did the promise of burnt offerings and vows make God answer David’s prayers? David cried out to God and God heard him (v 17), and brought the nation of Israel into a spacious place (v12). And David rejoiced! “What an awesome God”, he exclaimed! “Come and see what God has done”, he urged. Come…come and see…but there was one key, found in verse 18 “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
David is not talking about perfection; we don’t need to be perfect to be blessed by God. What he speaks about is ‘cherishing’ sin; holding it dear, cultivating it with care and affection. He is not talking about the occasional lapse in judgment that we all have. Not the things that we struggle with and ask God to help us forsake. No. He is talking about those sins that we cherish, the ones we don’t want to let go of…the ones that we justify to ourselves and lie to others about. Those sins.
Sometimes, God answers ‘No’ to some prayers; maybe because a ‘yes’ would be premature. Maybe because a ‘yes’ wouldn’t fit into His design for us.
But, sometimes He is turned off by our regard and affection for sin, deep in our hearts – in the place where only He can see.As I thought about David’s words, I found myself praying that God would free me from secret sins and help me to lose all affection for them.
May our entry into our ‘spacious place’ not be delayed because we cherish sin.
Do you agree that secret 'cherished' sins are a major impediment to answered prayers? Please share your thoughts and leave feedback below.Thanks for reading!