Points to Ponder: Honest to God? That's a Good Idea
Points to Ponder
Honest to God? That's a Good Idea
Do you need to confess?
Confession means, "to agree with". When it comes to sin we need to face it head on and call it what it is; agree with God that this thing is out of line with His righteous standard. Making excuses for it, justifying it, blowing it off as insignificant, or becoming defensive when someone is on to you, will not change the identity of what it is.
"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ". (James 5:16 NKJV)
There is strength in being accountable. There is a powerful cleansing that occurs when people in the body of Christ humbly admit their weaknesses, mistakes, offenses, and fears. Sins of thought, word, and deed are common to all men and women. As scripture warns us, don't think you are above falling or too strong to be knocked down.
"Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12)
In the James passage, he links confession and intercessory prayer together. We confess, agree on the condition of our heart and soul and then join together as one spirit before the Lord to reconcile the break, to heal the breach, to be cleansed of the guilt that is never really gone until it's given to God. The prayer of the righteous person, the companion who is right with God and hears the confession of another, becomes "Fervent" because all is open before the Lord. Together he who confesses and he who intercedes in prayer for healing are seeking one goal, together, with all their heart: reconciliation with God and restoration to a right relationship with Him. That's what healing really is in its purest sense. Even if a physical ailment remains unchanged, or worsens; or the consequences of that confessed trespass are not removed, the soul is healed. A new and right spirit is restored. The iniquity is blotted out.
The formula for this level of healing is this:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9)
Confession is the first step. Get into God's word and call it what it is-agree with God that "against You and You only have I sinned" (Psalm 51:4a). Then, He can act in mercy and heal you. To forgive is to "drop the charges", so to speak. To cleanse of all unrighteousness is to expunge from your record that which separated you from the Lord. There are people plagued with ailments of body and attitudes of the heart because they are too proud to humble themselves and even consider that they are at fault. They sense a block is between them and God, but will not realize they put it there themselves.
If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear. (Psalm 66:18)
David recognized in his own life how unconfessed sin can literally make you sick.
When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. (Psalm 32:3-4)
We are like the little child who plays peek-a-boo. She hides by putting her hand over her eyes, figuring that if she can't see you, you can't see her. We play similar games with God; however, He does not play with sin. He wants to heal, but we need to come clean before Him.
"I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord! And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.' For this cause, everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found..." (Psalm 32:5-6a)
God's mercy is not overwhelmed by your particular sin. It's hindered by pride, because the proud trust in themselves ("I can handle it") more than in God. So God lets them. "But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him ". (Psalm 32:10b)
The assurance God gives to the one who will humbly confess and be open before Him is this, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. (Psalm 32:8)
When it comes to your relationship with God, honesty is the best policy. Is there any reason why it's not safe or wise to open yourself before Him? Actually, it is the safest thing you can do, and the surest way to healing and freedom.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
(ITALICS PLEASE)This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org and is downloaded for your reading pleasure. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit any material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public domain Web site and encourage all readers to visit this site to enjoy similar material.