July 22 - Hear and Forgive
King Solomon was granted the gift of wisdom and he operated his kingdom with God’s laws and directions. When he built the temple and dedicated it, he fully understood the purpose of the temple. The house of God was intended to be a house of prayer for all nations. People go to the temple to pray. Of all the prayers other than the prayers of praise and worship is the prayer of confession. After invoking God’s presence, we go into His holiness and the recognition of His holiness is to know of our sinfulness. Confessing our sins is a natural consequence when we go into God’s presence.
However, Solomon goes one step further: all our present troubles are all results of our personal or national sins. The forgiveness of these sins opens the way for the Lord to act and bless. It is not possible for the Lord to work until we have dealt with the sin problem. As we ask the Lord’s ear to hear us, there must be also a correspondent plea for forgiveness. When God hears our confession, then our sins are removed. In Solomon’s kingdom, people need to abide by God’s laws, not their own. When God’s laws are broken, people need God’s forgiveness.
God’s Kingdom comes with its own laws but we often make up our own laws. Accepting God’s laws is the same as becoming a Kingdom citizen. When God’s law operates in our lives, we have righteousness from God. God’s law is spiritual and operates in our spirit through the indwelling Holy Spirit. When we listen to the Holy Spirit through our cleansed conscience, we overcome sin.
Our trouble is that our flesh is still not redeemed and it has been sold under sin. The law of sin operates in our bodies and takes away our freedom to follow God’s law. Since there is no good in our flesh, whenever we listen to the needs and desires of our flesh, we would sin against God’s law. The symptoms are twofold: we cannot begin to do what is good and cannot stop doing what is evil. Only through Jesus Christ we may have victory and freedom.
We cannot serve God in our mind and at the same time serve the law of sin in the flesh. The flesh represents everything that we want to do. The self is always present, asking, “What should I do?’ instead of “What does God want me to do?” It is no use to delight yourself in God’s law yet following the desires of your flesh. Most Christians experience this problem and the only way to overcome it is not to listen to the needs of the flesh. Apply the law of God over the law of sin in the flesh and your life would not be the same. Have you said “no” to yourself lately? Are you controlling your own thoughts through obeying the Word of God? Whose voice are you listening to now, your own voice or the voice of the Holy Spirit?
Ps 77:16-20 2 Chron 6:12-7:10 Rom 7:14-8:8 Prov 19:24-25