A close relationship with our Lord should be a top priority with each of us because it is a priority for our Lord who have given us grace upon grace, out of His abundance, and as a gift we cannot earn. David requests that the Lord keep him from being ignorant of his unknown sin. “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.” (Ps 19:12)

As I study this Scripture, I see a believer lying prone before the cross, completely humbled because He knows that even trying His best to keep the Lord’s precepts, he knows his own imperfections. It’s the prayer we should humbly ask daily: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Ps 139:23-24)

But if we don’t ask Him to show us our unrecognized sin, how can we repent? This week I came across three verses that made me see that a life not lived in obedience to the Lord doesn’t manifest true salvation, but is instead deception. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus asked, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

If we say that Jesus is Lord, that means He is our Master, and we are obedient to His Word. But it’s an unfortunate truth that most who call themselves His disciples still have their minds set on the flesh. “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom 8:6-8)

Jesus was very clear when He told us how to tell if we are His disciples or not: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.'” (John 8:31) It got me to thinking that if I am not abiding in His Word and spending time in prayer with Him, what business do I have calling Him Lord? And then the third Scripture confirmed it all for me, “But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (James 1:22)

This prayer request is asking the Lord use His sharp two-edged Sword of the Spirit (Heb 4:12) to lay us bare, and show us the sin we don’t recognize. I’ve studied and used the words from Matthew 6:33 quite a lot, but until this week I hadn’t really taken it into my heart. I so love the AMP: “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” He had to show me that I can’t just find time to fit Him in everyday; I need to spend time with Him first — to seek after His attitude and character to take into the world.

He has awakened me very early for the last week. I’ve put the TV on Youtube and listened to sermons from John MacArthur, who is not only an amazing Biblical teacher, he also has a soothing voice. I hoped that I would absorb some of his teaching as I drifted back to sleep. But the Lord took me to a couple of sermons and kept me awake. That’s the method the Lord used to get me to hear that He wants me to be serious about my relationship with Him. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt 5:6)

When we walk in sin, there’s separation between us and God. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Is 59:2)  If we want the Lord to hear our prayers, then we must not only listen to His Word, meditate on it, but also act upon it. We must deal with our sin, the known and unknown.

I’m so thankful for His abundant grace to forgive me of my sin and wash me white as snow. But “if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin…If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn 1:7,9) Let us give thanks that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph 1:7). Thank You, Jesus!