Does Satan have a stronghold in your life where you find yourself battling a habitual sin that you can’t seem to shake? He might have beaten you down so badly with shame and addiction that you feel like you’ll never be free of it. Or, you may have grown so accustomed to your sin, that you’ve learned to justify it to a point that it doesn’t even prick your conscience anymore. If that is you; if Satan has his hooks in you but you’ve decided to accept that you’ll never be free, I challenge you not to give up. Set aside the shame, humble yourself, and continue to pray and believe that Jesus will set you free. Because the more you grow comfortable with your sin, the more you are distancing yourself from God. In Psalm chapter 66, verses 18 and 19, the psalmist shares these words:
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.”
You see, we can’t comfortably continue in our sin, and think that our prayers will be effective. If we cherish sin in our heart, this psalmist says that the Lord will not listen. There is support for this truth in other areas of the Bible as well, explaining that God may not hear the prayers of those who cherish sin in their hearts, but the prayers of the righteous will avail much. So I challenge you not to cherish, or love, the sin in your heart. Because if you do, the Lord will not listen to you, and your separation from God will grow. Do what the psalmist did. Allow the Spirit to clean your heart. Then God will surely listen and hear your voice in prayer.
Our spiritual unfaithfulness has a greater effect on our relationship with God than we might think. When we are spiritually far from God, he is spiritually far from us. But once we repent; once we humble ourselves before the Lord with a broken spirit, he will forgive us, restore us, listen to us and “hear the voice of our prayer”, as the psalmist puts it. So I challenge you not to cherish sin in your heart. Learn to see sin as God sees it; as evil and a vice that separates you from him.