We often overlook confession. Perhaps we live unaware of our sins. Maybe we think if we don’t talk about them, God will not notice. We probably don’t realize how absolutely bad sin is. But the consequences of sin are dire. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened (Psalm 66:18 NLT). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Guilty, you enter God’s throne room. Jesus sits beside our Father, pleading for you. His sacrifice atoned for your sin. The Holy Spirit is also there, praying for you, with groans that can’t be expressed in words.
You rise up, forgiven! (from 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:26; I John 1:9)
“Much of our problem in continuing fellowship with a holy God is that many Christians only repent for what they do, rather than for what they are!
Lord, I confess before you that at my very core I am a sinner–but one who has been saved by Your grace.”*
*A.W. Tozer, Mornings With Tozer, June 15.
God is love and love keeps no record of wrongs (1 John 4:14: 1 Corinthians 13:5).
Because God is love, we confess and He forgives.
After the victory at Jericho, the Israelites were soundly defeated at Ai. Joshua prayed, “O Sovereign Lord, why? Lord, what can I say now? What will happen to the honor of your great name? (from Joshua 7:7-9).
The Lord answered, “Israel has sinned. Command the people to purify themselves. The guilty one must be punished (from Joshua 7:10-15).”
Be ready to confess sin when you pray.
Sin brings sorrow. Confession, and the forgiveness that follows, brings joy.
Create in me a pure heart. Restore to me the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:10,12).
Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8:22-53 includes six requests for forgiveness.
He prayed, “Hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive (1 Kings 8:30).”
Powerful prayer includes confession.
Although our sins testify against us, O Lord, do something for the sake of Your name. For our backsliding is great; we have sinned against You.
Why are You like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, O Lord, and we bear Your name; do not forsake us (Jeremiah 14:7,9).
“I called out to God, softly. ‘Hello? I’m sorry God. I’m sorry I got so confused about You, got so fake. If you want to talk, I’m here now.’
As I lay there, talking to God, being real with Him, I began to feel a bit of serenity. It felt like I was apologizing to an old friend, and the friend as saying it was okay, that he didn’t think anything of it.
I felt a lot of peace.”*
*adapted from Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p.99-100).
Tell God you agree with what He says about sin.
Sometimes you’ll have to say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me. I don’t want to do that again. I need your help.”
Bonus thought: God is love. We confess. He forgives (from 1 John 4:16; 1:9).