READING THE BOOK of psalms chapter 66 and verse 18, we find the words,
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
This lines reveal very important matters relating to our relationship with our God and Maker.
FIRST WE FIND INIQUITY in the heart. Iniquity is anything evil or wicked. All unrighteousness is sin, the Bible states. So iniquity in the heart brings us into disfavor with God to the extent that our prayers, cries and yearnings made toward God will not be attended to.
INIQUITY IN THE HEART is a state of defilement where it becomes impossible to appear before the Throne of Grace. God said of the people living in the days of Noah,
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” Genesis 5:5.
The result was the destruction by flood.
THE HEART OF MAN is the place for constant battle between righteousness and unrighteousness. The one is contrary to the other. If righteousness reigns, darkness and every evil work or iniquity will be vanquished, yet when iniquity reigns, righteousness will be subdued.
YET THE PSALMIST said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
SOME PROFESSING CHRISTIANS are reveling in sin, yet make many prayers to the Lord. They make sure that they attend all the church programmes and pay all the church levies that are due to them, but they are deluded that the Lord will receive their sacrifices.
BE NOT DECEIVED, God is not mocked; whatever you sow you shall reap. God is not a man that He should lie. He told the children of Israel,
“TO what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.”
YOUR new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood,” Isaiah 1:11-15.
WHEN ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
GOD DOES NOT hear the prayers of sinners. Although some believe that although they sin, God still hear their prayers. They are confused and deluded, God heareth not sinners, John 9:31.
SOME WOULD SAY, “If God is not hearing me, why is God blessing me?” Such confuse material success with God’s divine favour. There is nothing to show for that. Even the ungodly who do not know God prosper in material things. In fact, they appear to have more access to the wealth of the world, but they do not have access to the divine grace of God. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
THERE ARE MANY people today suffering under the bondage of Satan, calling on God for help. They travel from one church to another seeking deliverance; God said he does not hear sinners and the workers of iniquity He cannot attend to.
“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,”
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation”
FOR THOSE WHO would curse, swear and grudge, the Bible says your prayers will not be heard. And that is the reason Jesus Christ gave the instruction that if you come before the Lord to offer a sacrifice, and you realize that you have a quarrel with somebody, you have to first lay aside your gift and first be reconciled with the person, then you can return to offer your gift. This is because if you regard iniquity in your heart, the Lord will not accept that gift from the Lord.
SAUL WAS REJECTED because he sinned against the Lord, although he sought to offer sacrifice to the Lord from the spoil of the war, but God would not receive a defiled sacrifice, and Samuel said “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams,” I Samuel 15:22
HIS HYPOCRISY to still continue to offer sacrifice before the Lord after he was rejected further worsened his situation when he tore the garments of Samuel as he tried to force him to worship God with him. God had rent the kingdom from Saul and given it to David.
HOW CAN WE HOPE to worship God in our sinful state? Although we may come to God as we are, we cannot worship Him that way. He has plans for you and I when we come. As He said through Isaiah,
“WASH you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
“IF ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
Isaiah 1:16, 18-20
IF THE HEART is defiled, the Lord cannot work, except it be purged. There is one purging fountain, and that is the blood of Jesus Christ. If you present your heart to the Lord he will purge it.
IT IS GOD’S WILL that His people be holy in heart and life. Although some do not believe that they can be holy and teach that men should not bother to be holy, yet in an unholy state we have no place in God. The Psalmist says
“I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me.”
In Psalms 119:2-3 we read,
“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.”
TO BE HOLY is to do no iniquity. These are the people who are blessed, they do no iniquity.
GOD IS LOOKING for hearts that are willing to submit. He will not only forgive sins, He will cleanse from all unrighteousness ( 1 John 1:9). God in the heart makes anew. If any man be in Christ (or if Christ be in any man) he will be made anew.
REMEMBER – THE LORD said, if ye rebel ye shall be devoured, that is to say you will face the wrath of God, but if ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. You will find peace and joy and your prayers shall ascend to the Lord as a sweet incense. Oh what joy it is that we can commune with the Lord!
FOR THE BIBLE SAYS the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their cry (Psalm 34:15). To be righteous is to be free from sin, only such can appear before God and have their cries and prayers answered.
AGAIN WE ARE TOLD that although God heareth not sinners, he would hear the penitent and repentant cry of the sinners. For he said a broken and a contrite heart he will not despise (Psalms 51:17), again it is written,
“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit,
MAKE YOUR DECISION now to be free from all sins and receive God’s admittance into his presence, for in His presence there is deliverance.