“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;. . . ” Psalm 66:18
At the first glimpse of this passage it’s easy to feel the innocence. If we haven’t murdered someone or stolen we feel on safe grounds to dismiss this and move on to question the Lord as we faithfully pray for an answer or some sort of relief from our circumstances. Not to mention that we really would love to have an answer to prayer!
For me praying Psalm 139:23 is helpful, knowing that the Lord will show me any lingering concerns that I might otherwise be blinded to, or find ways to justify. I’m partly referring to things that might be more ‘acceptable’ in our hearts such as:
- not trusting the Lord with any particular issue
- not resting in Him
- lack of contentment
- not casting our anxieties on Him
- a critical spirit
- feeling and behaving entitled
- laziness in any area of our lives
- handling conflict in an unloving manner
- thinking more of material possessions or people than the Lord (any form of idolatry)
- a thought life that isn’t pleasing to the Lord
That flesh get’s our permission to dominate, and I’m sure the list could go on and on. But the really wonderful thing . . . is that He is so ready to relieve us of whatever we no longer wish to cherish. As he opens our eyes to things that we cherish, we have the freedom to confess and receive His peace and strength to move forward. Letting go of that cherished sin requires His prompting. . . and strength . . . and then comes freedom.
If you have thoughts about cherished sin and receiving His peace and freedom, I would love to hear it.