When a rat died in our attic a few years back, the stink spread through the entire house. We couldn’t find the source right away, so for days, the noxious odor penetrated everywhere. We couldn’t spray enough air freshener to cover it up. If we had to be in the house for long time periods, we’d get somewhat accustomed to the smell. But when we came in from the fresh air, the smell was like being hit in the nose with a hammer! Similarly, when we have lived in the sweet, refreshing presence of God, sin has the same effect as that stinky rat. Sin is offensive to God; and, it destroys us, other people, and everything good. It separates us from the wholesome, delightful presence of God. He is perfect and cannot dwell with sin. And–why would He want to be chummy with the destruction that His Son paid the ultimate price to redeem us from anyway? The Psalmist provided a vivid description of his own personal horror of sin violating God’s presence in his life. He said, “There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and fester because of my foolishness, I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all the day I go about mourning. For my sides are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.” (Psalms 38:3-7) When we’ve experienced both–the presence of God and the despair of sin–we readily identify with the Psalmist. The destructive consequences of our sin are a stark contrast to the loveliness of God’s presence! Ah, the blessed experience of cherishing Him enough to commune as friends and experience the benefits of His listening ear. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalms 66:18) God is the most refreshing and lovely part of our life. He wants to bless us with His presence. He doesn’t plant the rat in our house–we do. When we are born again, He frees from sin. He gives us the choice to dwell in the sweetness of His presence!