“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
–Psalm 66:18 (NLT)

Computers are like most people. They have a mind of their own, and they work only when they want to work.

The above statement echoes my recent frustration regarding modern technology, and specifically some of the devices in our house. For some time now, my computer has not been working right. To top it all off, our wi-fi network didn’t seem to be transmitting its signal properly. I would try to listen to sermons or Internet radio stations on my iPhone, but the audio would often stop mid-sentence. I sometimes had to start over from the beginning of the file or re-connect to the online radio station.

My wife reminded me that this problem might be partly caused by our cell phone plan, which slows down our Internet service after we have exceeded a particular limit. But when I spoke to our Internet provider, it turned out that the modem just needed to be reset. Now our wi-fi signal is much better, and the number of interruptions to our streaming content is much smaller.

This incident made me do some thinking about our prayer lives. The Bible states that God longs for us to have constant fellowship with Him, but He may often seem far away as we go about our busy lives. We may feel spiritually paralyzed, as though the signal to our prayers is being delayed or blocked altogether. But I believe that many times, our spiritual modems just need resetting.

We can do this by simply looking at what God’s Word has to say, and then obeying the truth that we find in it. When we don’t obey this truth, problems arise in our prayer lives, and God’s signal is hindered. We need to concentrate on clearing the spiritual path between ourselves and God, so that signals can be clearly sent and received. But in order to tackle such a big subject, we have to break it down and look at a couple issues that may be blocking your pathway to or from God.

One of the possible signal blocks is your concept of God. The way in which we view God is foundational, if we are to come to Him as someone who has our highest good and our best interests in mind. If you see Him as a condemning tyrant rather than a loving father, you are not looking through the lens of His word. The Bible says there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. In order to see how He truly wants to relate to you personally, you only have to look at the story of the Prodigal Son.

Like the boy in the story, we have all disobeyed God and gone to the far country of self-indulgence. But the good news is that we can come back from a self-imposed exile anytime. Have you ever been held or supported by someone when you were at a low point in your life? That’s how it feels when you are held in the arms of our loving Father, who gladly welcomes us home.

The Bible makes it clear that God rejoices over all of us who will come to Him. He only wants to bless and forgive the person who will kneel before Him, acknowledging His Lordship. You may think God can’t forgive you for what you have done, but you might want to ponder the fact that Jesus not only said He loved us, but sealed it with His blood. I hope you will ask God to show you that He is real, and then cast all of your cares on Him, because He literally loves you to death. As we used to say in high school, Jesus loves you so much it hurts.

Now that we’ve considered our personal view of God, we’ll direct our attention to another major hindrance to the functionality of our shared spiritual network with God. That is playing games with sin.

I remember playing hide-and-seek when I was a kid, and trying to be quiet so my sister wouldn’t find me. In a very similar way, we attempt to hide sin in our hearts by keeping quiet about it, and not confessing it to God. But by doing this, we deceive ourselves into believing that God is some kind of cosmic killjoy.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. While the Bible says that sin can bring pleasure for a short time, God knows that it is really like a raging fire. When not contained, sin can do irreversible and irreparable dammage, which can keep us from the blessings God longs for us to experience. Like that fire, sin will destroy us in the long run.

God is holy and pure, so He cannot look on our sin. But this doesn’t mean He is waiting to punish us. God is extremely patient in the face of our sins, and He will not force His own will upon us. But many people choose to walk in their own ways, and mistake this patience for ignorance of our poor choices.

Instead of hiding our sins, Jesus wants us to live in harmony with the Father, so that we can enjoy what He has done for us. The idea of God filling you with joy instead of punishment may seem foreign to you, but Jesus said that He came to give us abundant and eternal life. If you hold onto sin instead of agreeing with God about it, your spiritual silence will act as a firewall, making communication with Him almost impossible.

Let’s say you know in your heart that some action or thought doesn’t entirely comply with God’s Word, but you do it anyway. If you’re in that boat don’t feel alone, because we’ve all done it. But now we have a choice to make. We can either try to rationalize our actions, or we can confess and place them at the feet of our loving God. We can take great comfort from His Word, which says that our offenses are removed as far as the east is from the west. If you’ve ever tried to travel west by walking east, you know that it’s impossible.

God has great things in store for you, my friend. He is asking you to trust Him as a father, filled with constant love and patience. While your circumstances may not improve all at once, He wants to give you the power to live above them.

Focus your heart and mind upon forming a clear and uninterrupted relationship with God, free from all blocks and obstructions. In return, He will fill you with unspeakable love and joy.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, check out our online store at www.amway.com/burdicksbargains. In order to support us, please register for free on our store website before purchasing anything. Thank you!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.