Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Psa 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.”
Renee and I have four children. Our oldest is our daughter Stephanie, then Jeff, Peter, and Matt. They are all two years apart. When they were young, Stephanie being about eight, tried to take on the role of mother to the boys. We were teaching her responsibility and she would like to help out with the boys. She often tried to play the role of mother. Well like any mother, there are times where you tell your children to do something and times where you tell them not to do something. Stephanie liked to try that out on the boys. Peter, who was four at the time, did not like it. I remember hearing him over and over saying in a loud voice, “Step-o-nee, you are not da boss!” It makes me laugh every time I think about it. For over a year, I don’t think there was ever a week that went by where I didn’t hear “Step-o-nee, you are not da boss!” Well Peter was right. She wasn’t the boss and we had to teach her that.
God is the boss of our lives! In being that, he does not lead or instruct us through intimidation although the world loves to lead that way. God initially calls out to us in many ways and most often from the position of wanting to impart the knowledge of His goodness His love, and instruction of His ways to us Psalm 25:8-10 says, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in His ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the ways of His covenant.”
God is calling to all of us and it is a call of love, grace, mercy, and willingness and to help us in more ways than we can imagine. God is Love. But, God is also the boss. There are things He does not like – even things He hates. What He hates is the ways of sin that destroy our lives that Satan has perverted and made to look good. Prov 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Satan knows that and that is why he disguises sin and leads us into it. Satan also knows that sin hinders our prayers.
When I say the Lord hates things, I did not say the Lord hates the person who commits these sins. He doesn’t. God’s desire is relationship and instruction to His children on how to live a godly and blessed life. He does want us to correct the areas of sin in our life and repent from them and turn from them. That is why He reveals His hatred of them. That is also why the Holy Spirit within us brings the feeling of guilt. God doesn’t want to condemn us as guilty. He sent Jesus to set us free. John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world – to condemn each of us as guilty – but to save the world – to save each of us individually through Jesus.”
Guilt isn’t bad. It’s an inward sign that is an alarm for us to pay attention and realize something is wrong – something that will get us into trouble and hinder our relationship with the Lord. When you are really hungry you feel hunger pains. They are telling you your body is hungry so you’ll eat. When you have eaten enough, your body feels full. That is so you will quit eating and not get fat or sick. These are signs to help you. Likewise the feeling of guilt is not bad when properly viewed. Your conscience is trained by God’s Holy Spirit through the Word of God to learn good and bad, righteous living vs. sin. Your conscience is a gift to help you stay away from trouble and help you yield to those things the Lord instructs us in that keep your prayers from being hindered.
An example of this is the command to forgive those who hurt or offend us. Jesus forgave those that crucified Him. He forgave you for all your sins. I’m sure whatever others have done to you have fallen short of that. In Mat 6:15, Jesus says, “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” You can see from this verse that forgiveness is not an option. Unforgiveness creates hindrance to God and answered prayer. As today’s Fresh Manna says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” This is saying, if I allow things that I know are sin or that I know God hates to continue in my life, at some point God will not hear my prayer.
The Lord wants us to put away things that hinder our relationship with Him and lean on the Holy Spirit to help us make those changes. He doesn’t want anything to hinder your prayer. His love wants to help you not hurt you. He simply wants us to remove barriers – to unclog the pipes that we plug up through sin. When we do, it will strengthen our perception of Him working in our lives. It will increase our confidence and faith in His willingness to help us. As 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
All rights reserved.