Closing the ears of God

original-sin.jpg (JPEG Image, 400×580 pixels)

Heres a question;

Does sinfulness stop God hearing our prayers?

By this, I mean, if we approach him with unconfessed sin cluttering up our lives, does this mean that our prayers bounce off the ceiling? Or at very least, are we less likely to attract his attention- he is very busy after all…

Or perhaps it is a positive reinforcement thing- God blesses those who are pure, and withholds his blessings from the sinners?

I suppose I grew up with a firm idea that this was indeed the case. I can’t remember if anyone specifically told me this- but I think they did.

I certainly remember it being used as a possible reason for someone NOT being healed at charismatic healing services- a kind of blame-the-victim mentality which seems dreadful to me now.

Where does this idea come from? I am trying to think of verses in the Bible that would suggest this, but can not think of anything obvious (can you?) There are some OT stories of God punishing the nation of Israel by turning his face from their sufferings, and there often seemed to be consequences for leaders and kings who sinned and refused to heed the voices of the prophets.

But, if anything, there seems to be repeated evidence in the Bible to suggest that God did not wait for purity (even the ritualistic kind) before he engaged with people.

Abraham and his incestuous offspring
Moses the murderer
Jeremiah the reluctant.
Hosea and his prostitute wife.

And when we come to the new testament, and the coming of the New Kingdom, the evidence that God loves first and judges later is every where.

Mary and Joseph- mother and step father to God, imperfect vessels who carry and care for the King
The ramshackle bunch of losers who became the disciples
All the sinners whose company Jesus seemed to prefer to the religious folk of his day
Roman oppressors
Tax collectors
Women whose bodies made them untouchable

You get the picture. So how about you and me? I am often consumed by an awareness of my own sinfulness- the whole thought, word and deed bit. The stuff the I do once, and the habitual stuff, that I seem to do again and again, almost as if I have no control over myself, and as if it does not matter. When confronted by an awareness of the presence of God, I still bear shame…

Can God still use me? Has he still used me, and loved me and blessed me in spite of what I am?

Earlier I posted my feelings about the so called Florida outpouring, and its leader Todd Bentley (see here.) I see that Todd Bentley has stepped down from leadership amidst a broken marriage and allegations of adultery. Does this make the whole outpouring thing invalid? Even if you thought that the ‘outpouring’ was all smoke and mirrors before the allegations, then I would suggest that the Todd Bentley’s apparent frailties say nothing concrete about the incarnation of God in these happenings. We should rather pray that Bentley and those around him find a way through the Brokenness and hurt, and acknowledge that any leader in the public eye as he has been must have been under intolerable pressure.


Let us never come to accommodate and tolerate sinfulness within us. Let us never respond to the God who is willing to love, in spite of what gets in the way, by taking him for granted. Rather let us turn again towards his ways.

Let us start from now, and seek forgiveness. And because God imposes no conditions on his mercy- neither then should we.

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