“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” – Psalms 66:18
That’s a tough pill for us all to swallow. Everyone thinks that God hears us at any point and time, but the truth is if we harbor sin willingly in our heart, God turns a deaf ear.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” – Isaiah 59:1-2
And here’s John’s account affirming this theological truth:
“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, AND doeth his will, him he heareth.” – John 9:31
Sin is not only intended to be forgiven of but removed and abandoned or we can say purged. “To Purge” simply means, “to remove.”
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth AND forsaketh them, shall have mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13
“Forsaking” your sin is what it means to “repent.” Not just a “change of mind,” but also a change of heart or lifestyle. Pretty hard right? Well, that’s what being born again looks like. It’s more commonly referred to as us becoming a “new creation”
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
This is also what God’s grace is for. Its not just a fancy religious word or a hymn we sing, but it’s to help us walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” – Titus 2:11-12
Simply said that when we choose to repent as a declaration of faith, God’s grace will come in to forgive, purge us of sin, and impart His divine influence (grace) to equip us for this “good fight of faith”
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4
Why is all of this important? Because there is a great number of people in the church today that are deceived into thinking they do not have to choose to turn away from their sinful lifestyle. “I’m only human.” you hear. Yes we are, but that’s why Jesus said we “must be born AGAIN” or we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Confession without repentance is dangerous theology to stand upon because it is abundantly clear in scripture that if you stay in willful sin, God not only does not forgive us, but he also does not hear us.
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,” – Hebrews 10:26
In summary, if this day you find yourself living in willful sin, it’s time to repent! It’s time to (as I was told as a child), “recklessly abandon” your sin for His grace! Choosing God’s grace also means rejecting our sin.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” – James 4:8
“ Lord I realize that the only prayer you hear from a sinner is the prayer of confession of faith and repentance. I’m asking you now to forgive me of my sin and give me your grace that equips me to overcome it day to day! Give me a new heart, and a new mind that serves see you for the rest of my life! Lord, I realize that you are faithful, but help me to be as faithful to you as you are to me. In Jesus name, AMEN!”