Burden of Confession

God has given me a burden of confession. It started when He laid this on my heart:

Sometimes, when I want something that I know I shouldn’t, I don’t want to cry to God for deliverance from temptation. “I want it, I’ll have it,” is what goes through my mind (either subconsciously or right in the front of my brain). This mostly concerns food, but to what other areas of my life does this apply?

This is a serious sin, Lord. Thank you for showing me. I confess. May I always run to You.

A month later to the day, my sister in Christ, Julie Dibble, wrote about revival and repentance, here: https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/2021/08/19/what-does-revival-mean-to-you/ . God increased the burden.

Since that day, this post has been bubbling and burning in me, to write about sin and confession and repentance.

In the Old Testament, God gives us a picture of living in sin, right from the time of Adam and Eve. He shows how sin leads us into bondage and darkness, when the Israelites were in Egypt. Also throughout the Old Testament, God gives us a promise of salvation. God saved His people from bondage, and brought them out of Egypt. But once in that Promised Land, they needed to fight and destroy the enemy so that they could live in peace. God didn’t just wipe out the enemy for them; they had to “work out their own salvation,” so to speak. They had to continually be on guard, keep up the defenses, and be ready to fight. Sometimes they gave up. Sometimes they didn’t care.

God chose David to be a victorious warrior, to take back the ground God meant for them to have. He and his son, Solomon, set the kingdom up to live in peace. Sadly, Solomon did not keep up the defenses, primarily the defense tool of honoring God and obeying Him.

Salvation gives us peace, a relationship with God. Our responsibility is to follow and obey Him. Sin puts up a wall, prevents us from receiving His blessings (we give ground to satan, Ephesians 4.27). When we confess sin, it’s not that we tear down that wall or take back that ground; it’s that we confess we can’t, and ask God to deliver us.

Our responsibility is to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2.12). We are to draw near to God, cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts (James 4.8). When we confess, purify our hearts, and walk in full obedience to God, we cannot even imagine the blessings He has in store for us.

1 Corinthians 2.9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Daily Confessions

Fall on your face before God Almighty, and ask Him to reveal your sin to you, that you can confess to Him, and receive His forgiveness:

Psalms 139.23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting

  • Did I fail God in any areas of personal conduct?
  • Did I miss an opportunity / did I avoid doing something I should have?
  • Was I honest in my dealings with others?
  • Did I depend on myself or on God?
  • Were my thoughts pleasing to God?
  • Was I wasteful with my time / money / home / people / food / family / friends / other relationships or resources?
  • Did I honor God with my actions?
  • Did I steal?
    • Material items
    • Time
    • Money
    • Joy
    • Name / reputation
  • Did I cause, condone, or promote bitterness or strife for those in my life?
    • Home
    • Church
    • Community
    • Leadership
      • Home, local, state, nation, world

Confessions: Digging Deeper

  • Do I deal with strongholds in my heart? Are they generational? Did I inherit them, or invite them of my own accord? Strongholds may include:
    • Thievery / greed
    • Fornication (inappropriate sex, pornography, etc.)
    • Addictions (food, sex, alcohol, pornography, drugs, video- or other-gaming, gambling, cell phone, etc.)
    • Lying
    • Curious or “familiar” spirits / worship of idols (crystals, figurines, magic/magi, tea leaves, tarot cards, sorcery, etc.)
    • Fear
    • Depression
    • Bitterness
    • Shame (general condemnation of a person as bad or not good enough)
  • Do I invite satan into my heart or home?
    • Movies, videos, TV, games, magazines, books, guests, phone calls, texts, etc.
    • Thought life (vain imaginations)
  • Am I careful in what I teach my children?
    • Purposefully
    • By example
    • By accident
  • Do I call out to God when faced with temptation, or do I decide that I want to give in and do it / take it?

Psalms 107.13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

When you confess your sin, when you receive the forgiveness God so freely gives, be sure to fill your heart with God and His Word.

Matthew 12.43 – 45 43 When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it passes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ On its return, it finds the house vacant, swept clean, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and dwell there; and the final plight of that man is worse than the first. So will it be with this wicked generation.”

Tearing Down Strongholds:

We have no power to take back the ground that satan has claimed in us. Cry out to God, confess, give it over to Him (humble yourself / surrender 1 Peter 5.6). If you or a family member are under the power of sin:

In Jesus’ name, bind satan (Mark 3.27, Matthew 16.15-19)

Pray a hedge of thorns around yourself/loved one (Hosea 2.6, 7)

Cast down false reasonings (2 Corinthians 10.3, 4)

④ Conquer every wrong thought (Romans 12.2, 1 Corinthians 2.14-16).

When you have confessed, repented, and received forgiveness, be sure you receive His forgiveness and don’t take up the guilt of your sin again.  God has removed your sin. Let it be removed and remain removed.

Psalms 103.11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him

Pull down false reasonings with God’s Truth.

Do not let sin entangle you:

Hebrews 12.1 Therefore we also, having such a great cloud of witnesses encompassing us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entangling, should run with endurance the race lying before us

Confess and be accountable to a reliable person. (James 5.16) Do you and / or your church need to have a communal time of open confession? God gives us the gift of relationships for so many reasons: one of which is to be accountable to each other, and support and edify one another, in the love that His Holy Spirit pours out upon / within / and through us.

Read your Bible. All the epistles teach us how to live in the Promised Land, how to fight and be ready. That Promised Land is the Kingdom of God, of which Jesus speaks so often. Read the gospels.

For more on sin and forgiveness see these posts:

Hymn: Just As I Am, Without One Plea

Author: Charlotte Elliott
Tune: William B Bradbury

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_as_I_Am_(hymn)  

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Repent With Me

This is post #2 in a series of three. Click here to read the first post, Grieve With Me.

Once we have confessed that we have sinned, that we were born in sin, and are daily sinners in the hands of an Almighty and Holy God, we must repent of our sins.

In the Old Testament, people would fast and put on sackcloth & ashes when they were repenting. There’s something to be said for that. Sometimes we need outward appearances to remind us of what’s on the inside.

Fasting is good for the body and for the soul. I highly encourage a full or partial fast when preparing to come before God Almighty. Fasting helps us cleanse.

Of course, God looks on the heart. It’s what’s inside that matters to Him, and to us. But many times, what’s on the inside manifests on the outside.

Repentance involves admitting to oneself and to God that we sinned (confession) and that we wholly desire to turn away from that sin and toward God.

(This is not to say that we promise to never sin again, or even to never commit that particular sin again. We cannot see into the future, but we can know that we will sin again.)

But repentance is a heart for God, to covenant to live in His ways instead of our own. That means a change. We agree with God that His ways are best, and we agree that we want to serve Him (and not serve ourselves).

God’s Word is the source of wisdom for repentance.

Jeremiah 10. 23O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. 24O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.

Psalms 6. 1{To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.} O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. 3My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? 4Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. 5For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? 6I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. 7Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. 8Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. 9The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. 10Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Psalms 25. 1{A Psalm of David.} Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. 2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. 3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 4Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 6Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. 7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD. 8Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. 9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. 10All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. 11For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. 12What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. 13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. 14The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. 15Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. 16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. 17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. 18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. 19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. 20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. 21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. 22Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Joel 2. 12Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. 14Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

Stay tuned for my next post, as we explore how God deals with our sin. In the meantime, repent with me.

What Kind of Sin?

WhatKindOfSin

It is generally agreed that the essence of sin is to do that (or not do that) which displeases God – to disobey Him. And sin separates us from God. It’s not that God turns His back; it’s that we turn our backs on Him when we disobey and choose our own way instead of His.

The remedy for sin is repentance, to turn around from our own path and direct ourselves to God.

In the Old Testament, God laid out several different types of sin, and several types of sacrifice to symbolize repentance.

Now that Jesus Christ has become our Final Sacrifice, we no longer follow the Old Testament sacrifice covenant – it is no longer needed, since Jesus paid the price for sin in full when He died for us.

In 1John 1.9, God tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

When we sin, it is important to recognize that we have sinned, acknowledge our sin, confess it to God, and repent. Why is this necessary, if God has already forgiven us through Jesus? Because when we sin, we distort our relationship with God; and we want a right relationship with Him so that we may live life abundantly. (John 15.10, 11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.)

Be aware:

  • Sin in ignorance
    • We don’t even know we sinned, but we did. Examples: Our words may offend when we say something without knowing the situation. We leave the store with something stuck in the cart that we forgot to show the cashier. We forget a loved one’s important date.

For these, we must ask the Spirit to convict us where needed, and confess that we sin in ignorance. Ask the Spirit to show you how to rectify, if needed.

  • Give in to temptation
    • Sometimes we sin because we are weak.

Ask the Spirit to strengthen you, that you will live in the strength of Him.

  • Sometimes we sin in rebellion. (I don’t care if this is wrong! I want it anyway!”)

Pray Psalm 51.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

  • Sin from selfish ambition
    • We see something we want (or don’t want to happen), and we manipulate to achieve our goals.

Pray, “Not my will, but Thine be done, O Lord.”

  • Sin in our hearts
    • When we judge others, it is a sin in our hearts. Other examples: We have a dirty rotten attitude toward a friend or family member and think we’re not sinning because we’re still smiling and being “kind.” Looking with lust. Imagining illicit activities.

Memorize Scripture, let it fill your thoughts. Psalm 119.11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

  • Sin in emotional struggle
    • Whether in anger or heat of passion, in turmoil or pain, we can say or do things that normally lie outside our personal makeup.

Proverbs 4.23 Guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow springs of life.

If your heart is pure, then what comes out in a squeeze will be pure.

  • Bringing someone else into sin
    • We have no right to entice or drag anyone else into sin. Examples: luring someone into an affair; sharing your drugs or pornography or alcoholism; talking someone weaker into evil / having someone do our dirty work.

1 John 4.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

  • Sin from evil ambition
    • In our hearts, we wish destruction or evil on another.

Pray Matthew 6.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

  • Defying God
    • Some people willingly, openly, and brazenly act to defy God. They blaspheme the Holy Spirit and set themselves up as gods.

Matthew 12.31 says, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

1John 5.16 says, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.”

  • Sin of omission
    • If we simply forget to do something, this falls under the first item in the list, Sin in ignorance.
    • However, if we know to do something right, and decide not to, that is sin of omission. (James 4.17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.) Examples: We feel directed to pray for a certain circumstance, and decide not to. God guides our attention to someone in need, and we ignore the need. We know our duty, and neglect it (i.e., reading our Bibles or attending church). Ingratitude falls in this category (1 Thessalonians 5.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.)

Pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5.17).

  • Sin of deceit
    • Any one of the types of sin may involve deceit, whether we are attempting to deceive others or deceive ourselves. We may purposefully “forget” to do something we know we should. We may lie to ourselves that “giving in this once” won’t matter. We may lie to people in order to stir up dissension or get something we want.

Proverbs 12.20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who devise evil, but the counselors of peace have joy.

Fall on your face before our mighty and gracious God. Search your heart. Ask God to search your heart: Psalm 139.23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Look up Psalm 51. King David wrote it, and he knew sin in his heart. He also knew Who to give it to.