If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)
Day 6: Confession and Repentance:
Yesterday, we dealt with forgiving those who had hurt us. Cleaning out the dirty closets of un-forgiveness in our hearts is not only healthy, but also life breathing.
Today we need to deal with the flip side of that issue- we need to clean out the closets of our own secret sins and hidden faults. We all have attitudes, actions, or desires we don’t want let out to the light of day. But God already knows our deepest secret. We can fool every single person we meet, but the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves.
- Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed... (James 5:16a, ESV)
As a 21st century evangelical Christian, I will say that I have never heard much of an emphasis on confession. I walk in the freedom of knowing Jesus paid for my sins once and for all on the cross. The facts that my guilt is covered by the blood of the Lamb, and my stains are washed clean are the bedrock of my faith.
But within those truths I sometimes loose sight of the importance of confession and repentance. To not take my sin seriously, is to not take Jesus’ death on the cross seriously.
- Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4 ESV)
Confession and repentance force me to acknowledge my sin, and humble myself under the mighty hand of the Lord. And in the hallow of that precious Hand is where His forgiveness, healing, and restoration begins.
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
- Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10 ESV)
Covering up the worst side of ourselves is So. Much. Work.
Jesus desires we walk free of that burden. If we will be honest- bravely honest- and confess our sins, His promise is to cleanse us! Wouldn’t it be amazing to live 2017 with the complete freedom that comes with the truth that our blackest spot has been been made white?
- ..."Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18b NASB)
Day 6 Prayer
- Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned... (Psalm 51:2-4a ESV)
Today I want to come humbly before You, with my heart bared, and the doors of my soul flung open. Please shine Your light to the deepest, darkest corner and reveal areas of sin I have hidden, even to myself.
I realize You already know all that is there. But You command me to confess and to repent, so that is what I will do. Because as long as I try to hide my sin, it has power over me. But when I confess to You, You set me free from its power.
As I pray today, please show me:
- Sins I justify, because everyone else does them
- Compromise I allow, because it is convenient.
- Justifications I use, to avoid difficult commandments.
- Addictions and strongholds where I need Your healing to be set free
I know it will be uncomfortable, but I ask You to reveal to me:
- Times my selfishness hurts others
- Unloving actions that blemish Your name
- Worldliness in shows I watch, music I listen to, jokes I make, words I say, items I covet.
- Ungratefulness for Your blessings
- Lack of generosity
- Failure to speak Your name
- Being more worried about temporal happiness than eternal significance
- Caring more for the opinion of man than pleasing You
Lord, I ask You to reveal to me today all the little foxes I have allowed in, that are eating the fruit I should be bearing for You.
- Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom. (Song of Songs 2:15 ESV)
Please reveal to me where have I justified sin or compromised Your standards. I will confess each item as sin, as You remind me of them, today.
Let’s clean house Jesus! Please send Your Spirit in to invade every dark space and wash it clean with Your light.
- I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:5 ESV)
Warning: this may be the scariest day yet.
But REMEMBER- we hide nothing from Jesus. He already knows everything. Hidden sin holds a power over us that is only released as we bring it into the light.
Let’s have 2017 be the lightest, brightest, cleanest year of our lives!
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