Friday, January 7, 2011

The Cure of Confession

Have you ever been cornered and had nowhere else to go, you had to give an answer, and really, you couldn’t even lie about it?  I remember when I was in junior high, for some reason I had a bad habit of hiding my progress reports and report cards.  My grades were not great, and I really had no reason, but when my mother found out it was time for some answers.  The reports needed signed and brought back in, so there was no hiding it.  I don’t know what I was thinking, and I don’t even remember the conversation exactly.  What I do remember is, there was no more lying, hiding, or running.  I was caught, it was time to be honest (finally) and take my punishment.
I am going off of what I was talking about yesterday, deflecting, and wanting to talk a little bit about a problem deflecting can have on a very important aspect of our spiritual walk, that being transparency and confession.  The two go hand in hand and I will probably mention confession a lot more than transparency because you can’t have transparency without confession, unless you are perfect.  The Scripture has a lot to say about confession; in fact confession has a lot to do with forgiveness of sins (I John 1:9 for example).  So what happens when, instead of confessing, we do the dance of deflection?  Do we really confess, or do we excuse ourselves from fault?
Do we understand what that means?  What does that do to this process of forgiveness?  How do you half confess?  Is that even possible? 
I don’t think we understand the power of confession or we may not mess with it, especially when it is between us and God.  Think about this…
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So what if we don’t?  Am I trying to be legalistic here?  Actually quite the contrary, let me explain, is it worse to break the rule and hide it and point at someone else to deflect your sin and therefore never understand the freedom of this forgiveness?  You may live in guilt, fear, always trying to make up for our hidden sin.  Or do we quickly confess it to God, not hiding it, knowing He will forgive us and love us and we operate in freedom of knowing that He has forgiven us and cleansed us?  This doesn’t give us freedom to do whatever we want, but it does give us freedom in Christ to operate in the love that He offers us as He wants us to.
Have you ever known someone to be hiding a transgression of some sort, they fear and wallow in their hopes of never being caught?  What happens when they are caught?  Don’t they (not always but very often) feel relieved to deal with the punishment rather than the continuance of the hiding?  Confess really is the road to healing.  It is tearing down the manmade veil that the enemy has lied to us about to make us believe that the veil is the best way, when it is ripped down we have that freedom to operate in the presence of God and in full sensitivity to His Spirit and His leading.  What a joy.
I read a Scripture last night as I was doing a bit of random searching, I would like to share it.  I don’t often share Scripture, for numerous reasons, but this one really hit me.
 Ezra 10:1-3
“1 While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites—men, women and children—gathered around him. They too wept bitterly. 2 Then Shekaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, said to Ezra, “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. 3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done according to the Law.”
I won’t get into the whole historical background of this, suffice to say that Israel had sinned and while they hadn’t necessarily hidden it, they did deflect and try to justify what they had done.  When I read this, I have to tell you, I long for this.  I hope my life is a life so full of deep confession and prayer that one day it will lead others to do the same.  I pray that my life will be so sensitive to His Spirit and His leading that when others see it, it leads them to cast away the mess of this life to engage the life He has given them. 
Confession is us telling God that there is nothing that I believe is too powerful for You to overcome in the relationship You have provided for me.  Confession is us laying down the fear of condemnation from a hateful God and embracing the true loving, graceful, and just God.  Confession is an open air between God and man, accepting the hope that he has offered for us.  Confession is a continual precaution to maintain our lifeline of communication between us and God.

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