Luke 6.12 Now it came to pass in those days that He (Jesus) went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (NKJV)
Continuing our look at the four parts of prayer, we come to confessing our sin.
Confessing sin is a mere pious exercise unless we understand and accept the Biblical concept of our sinful nature. As we grow in God’s wisdom, we come to know that sin is much more than just the external acts of disobedience. We begin to understand the real underlying reason: that we are sinful by nature and must ask God to reveal our pension for sin and the ability to deceive ourselves concerning sin.
It is said that while Bible believing Christians understand and teach that mankind as a whole is sinful by nature and incapable of righteousness, but we subconsciously don’t believe that about our own self.
We rightfully believe mankind is sinful,
but mistakenly believe that individually we are basically good.
We subconsciously perpetuate this misconception by comparing ourselves to others who are “worse than us”; or by comparing our sin against sin we didn’t commit; deciding that we aren’t all that bad because of what sin we aren’t guilty of.
Effective, life-changing prayer comes from time with God, your beloved best friend, having no pretense of self-righteousness and asking Him to make you increasingly aware of your ability to deceive yourself.
Proverbs 28.13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
There are NO blessings or benefits for ignoring, rationalizing or excusing sin. The sooner we admit our phenomenal talent for excusing sin, the sooner we can begin transform our relationship with Him. To the contrary, the longer we avoid coming to grips with sin, the more destructive it is to our Christian growth.
- Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
- Genesis 8:21 …the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…
- Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
- John 8:34 …whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
- Romans 14:23 ….for whatever is not from faith is sin.
- Ephesians 2:1-5 …dead in trespasses and sin…
From cover to cover the Biblical message is: man sins, God saves. There is no use, benefit, reason or reward for ignoring the former while professing the latter.
Why is it hard to admit our sin? Because we don’t truly understand sin which is the consequence of not being close to God, which is solely the result of a lack of time with Him. Time: there is no other answer. So we are left with our human experience as our example. In our mind, we believe that God will respond to us the people respond to us. We’re afraid God will:
- Embarrass or reject us
- Throw our confession in our face later on when it suits His purpose
- Use it to berate us or beat us down
- Keep a list or a grudge against us
God is not like us! But you will never know that unless you get to know Him. When it comes to our sin, God is:
- Understanding (Ps 139.2-3)
- Merciful (Jas 5.11)
- Forgetful (Ps 103.12, Heb 8.12)
- Helpful (Ps 46.1)
- Loving (1John 3.1)
- Righteous (1John 2.1)
Learn to trust God. Feel safe in His presence. Come to a point where you are completely vulnerable and honest in His presence. When we truly seek God’s will, He judges and blesses our intentions. When we seek our will or ignore our sin, He judges based on our disobedience.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Freely confess all sin you think of
- Ask God to reveal what you cannot remember or recognize
- Ask God to increase your understand and sensitivity to sin
- Ask God to help you understand not just the actual acts of sin, but the attitudes and motivations that are the real cause
Confession is one of the most powerful blessings of Christianity; and one of the most neglected. Confessing your sin:
- Frees you from guilt (Ps 51.7)
- Brings intimacy with God (Ps 63.8)
- Stimulates spiritual growth (2 Peter 2.1-3)
- Glorifies God (2 Pet 2.11-12)
- Brings real power to your life and testimony (Col 1.10-11)
Confess daily. Confess immediately after sinning. Keep a very short account with God. Ask God to each day to increase your sensitivity to sin.
Sin is like dirty window between you and God.
The longer you go without cleaning it, the less you can
clearly see God and the harder it is to clean up.
Lord help us today to quit hiding, ignoring or rationalizing our sin. No matter how much we try to excuse it, it doesn’t change anything and only hurts us. You know the truth about my sin even more than I ever will. Let me run to You and confess my sin. Show me today the blessing and freedom of cleans hands and pure heart. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you keep short accounts with God? Or do you allow sin to build up making it difficult to return to His presence?
Application: Learn to confess your sin to God everyday and then you will never have more than one day’s worth of “muck” to clean up in your life. The longer you allow sin to build up, the more difficult it is to decide to “wash” it off.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?
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