I don’t know if you have heard all the buzz about the new iPhone. The iPhone is purported to be perhaps the best mobile phone device of all time. It will hold music, allow face-to-face chatting, balance your checkbook, act as a flashlight, and in the event you desire to make a phone call, there’s even an app for that as well. Perhaps you have also heard that there is an unfortunate characteristic of this revolutionary hand-piece. It just so happens that when the device is held in a certain position near the lower left-hand side, the human hand connects the two built-in antennas and compromises the quality of the calls; the transmission can actually be lost. The affect has been of such a shock to the industry, the event is being called “Antenna-gate,” and described as the “Death Grip.”
As I reflect on that a bit it reminds me of the system which God has put into place for us to communicate with him… Prayer. It is such a great system to be able to contact Him any hour of the day. We can talk to Him from deep inside the earth, under water, in a crowded room, from space…anywhere. We can pray out loud or just from our hearts, and He still hears us. How cool is that? One condition exists however, that is much like the iPhone. Human interference can cause that transmission to be lost. Psalms 66 tells us, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”
Whoa! Wait a minute are you telling me that God cannot hear my prayer? Yes, I am. Actually, I think He “chooses” not to hear your prayer if you regard iniquity, if you hold sin in your heart. In the same way that human interference causes the calls to be hindered on the iPhone, our communication with God is hindered when we get ourselves in the way. If your prayers seem to be bouncing off the ceiling, it may be because you are the one causing the problem.
God hasn’t permanently denied the lines of communication but they are delayed. Delayed until we remove that interference of sin. Contrition + Confession = Communication. Pretty simple communication math.
Peter even has a special caution to husbands in 1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” Our prayers can be hindered by dishonoring our spouses. It’s clear that God takes our prayers seriously, but He also takes our sin very seriously.
Don’t think you can just come before God dragging all your pollution along, refusing to get rid of it, and asking Him for blessing. Ask Him to help you let go of that sin. Get rid of that sin, confess it, and then approach Holy God with the humility that you are seeking to do His will, and not demanding your own.
Keep the lines open.