If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: – Ps 66:18 KJV
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The scripture for today’s devotion is a testimony by the Psalmist about how God answered his prayers. He testified of how God dealt a great blow on his enemies calling on all people to join him in singing praises to the Lord. He testified to how even though God took them through punishment due to their transgression and how that same God took them out of it shaming all their enemies in the process. He then revealed why God gave him the particular victory in reference which was revealed in the text of today.
The Psalmist asserts that had he “regarded iniquity in his heart”, the Lord would not have answered him. So there lies one secret to answered prayers – the non regarding of iniquity. To disregard iniquity is to ensure that the thought of it does not even cross one’s mind not to talk of it having a root in one’s thought. This decision not to give any consideration to any act of iniquity was the reason God gave the Psalmist victory over his enemies after a repair of his relationship with God . Could that also be the reason for all those long drawn and unending battles of yours with no victory. Could you have being considering one or two acts of iniquity in your heart? You may not even have carried out those acts but the Psalmist is quick to let us know that the obstacle starts from the point of giving iniquity a consideration.
So what is iniquity and why is God so much against it? The dictionary defines iniquity as an immoral or grossly unfair behaviour. Whereas immoral is defined as a wicked or an unacceptable standard of conduct towards someone, an unfair behaviour is explained as a conduct that disrespect rules or operation of unequal scales in dealing with people. Basically it can be seen as cheating or oppressing someone.
The average Christian comes to the place of prayer not realising that the God he/she is coming to is very much interested in his/her intention not only about the prayers being presented but also about some hidden intentions probably not related to the request being made but still resides within the plan of the individual.
They either believe that God will not bother Himself with those intentions and even if he knows the kind of intention that they regard in their heart, it will have no effect whatsoever on the result of their prayer. God dislikes the use of dishonest scales (Prov. 11:1) by anyone and it is not possible for someone who operates such characteristics when dealing with people or operates in wickedness to be able to get the attention of the Almighty God which is a pre-requisite for answered prayers. .
To regard iniquity in one’s heart is to accommodate the thought of evil, to be a good planner and executioner of evil. These are acts that God completely detests but which people who do that see as being smart and sometimes being strategic. No evil thinker, planner or doer can see the face of the Lord and the thought that the individual will get away with it with men since they cannot see his intention does not mean that such can be achieved with God – 1Cor. 2:11.
It is not possible for someone who is good at operating double standards when dealing with people to receive favour from the Lord. God will never support any one with such behaviour or character.
As a Christian you need to search your hearts to see whether you regard iniquity because it could just be the reason for that long unanswered prayer. This state of one’s heart will not only affect prayers made but also every aspect of our relationship with God including am sacrifices and offerings – Ps. 139: 23-24.
God wants to deal with only those who have clean minds and pure heart as any standard short of this will not be acceptable to him. Review your thoughts and remove all the iniquities that are still at the planning stages because with God you cannot get away with it – Ps. 51:10-19. Men may not know but God knows and He it is that is important when it comes to granting all those requests you present in prayer.
Remove iniquity from your heart and learn how to operate fairly in your relationship with people by using just weights. Your personality must resent all kinds of double standards or unfairness just as your father the Almighty God does too. Someone who is comfortable with unfairness, immorality, and operation of double standards can never receive the positive attention of the Lord. A clean mind and a pure heart must be constantly desired and prayed for by anyone who wants to have the attention of God in prayer. Having a clean heart alone may not grant you a request but having a clean heart when making a request will ensure that the request is granted as it will also guide the words of your mouth especially those made at the place of prayer – Ps. 19:14.
Inability to achieve a state of mind that is completely against immorality and ungodliness, which is what iniquity is all about will continue to constitute hindrance to prayers being answered. There must be the determination on the part of each individual and of course, with divine support through prayers to attain this spiritual goal. There is assurance that prayers rendered in this state of mind will be answered and testimony similar to that of the Psalmist will be yours and people will join you to give glory to God.
May God grant us the ability to keep our minds free from iniquity in Jesus name. Amen.