I Do – But God Does First!

I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

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.

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:17-20 (NIV)

Do I cry out to God? You bet. Even today. There are few times that God and I chat and I do not get… emotional and cry and/or cry out to Him. It is with God that I can say whatever is in my heart and He sifts through the emotion and brings His truth to me and sows those seeds into my heart and spirit.

Do I praise Him? Not enough. If every word from my mouth for the rest of my life was praise for my Lord and what He has done and continues to do…it still wouldn’t be enough. The words are inadequate but my Father is pleased to hear them any way.

Do I cherish my sin? No. Absolutely not. To cherish something is ‘to hold dear and treat with care and affection’ (The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary. 1997)and I do not cherish any sin in my life! I hate and regret the sin that is in my life. I want so much to let go of the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1) and with God’s help I am growing more in Him and less in sin every day. The steps may be small and my mind may try to tell me that some days I do not grow at all…but if I am ALIVE IN CHRIST then I AM growing!

And so…

God has and continues to listen! How do I know? Because I see His response in my life! I experience answered prayer in my life. I see answered prayer in the lives of others. I know God’s presence.

God has not and will not reject my prayer. Any information to the contrary is a lie. God wants to have conversations with me. Jesus came and died so that I could have conversations with the Father. He showed me how to do that.

God has not and will not withhold His love. If God was a ‘conditional-love’ kind of father, then He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for me. All I have done is accept the free gift of Jesus – God does the rest. And ‘the rest’ is extravagant, never-ending love.

Think how much the Father loves us. He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children, as we truly are. 1 John 3:1 (CEV)

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