Monday, January 25, 2010

Confession is good for the soul

Good morning friends. I trust you had an excellent Spirit filled Sunday with lots of exciting things taking place. It is good to see such vibrancy in the Church. What is not good are all the hidden things; the disappointments, the missed expectations, the unspoken needs. There is so much more going on in our congregations that are unseen than seen. We need to ask for the eyes and knowledge of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to minister to those who remain hidden to us. Then again, maybe we do not want to ask because we do not want to know. Along with the unspoken needs are the hidden sins that no one wants to deal with; things people have never dealt with but instead have tried to bury and forget.

Paul warned Timothy:

The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. (1 Timothy 5:24)

You must have taken note of this, that there are those things that are immediately noticed and then there are others that take years to be revealed. Sometimes some sins are not revealed until the person leaves town or dies, whereas others take a number of years simmering beneath the surface before bubbling up and becoming noticeably.  We need to pray for eyes that will reveal these things in order to rescue the person burdened with such a needless load. It is a terrible thing to carrying around unconfessed sins.

The fact is that nothing is a secret to our God:

You have set our iniquities before you,
       our secret sins in the light of your presence.
(Psalm 90:8)

Proverbs is a little more poetic and honest about things hidden, tucked away, thought forgotten; but our God does not forget hidden things:

The woman Folly is loud;
       she is undisciplined and without knowledge.

She sits at the door of her house,
       on a seat at the highest point of the city,

 calling out to those who pass by,
       who go straight on their way.

"Let all who are simple come in here!"
       she says to those who lack judgment.

"Stolen water is sweet;
       food eaten in secret is delicious!"

But little do they know that the dead are there,
       that her guests are in the depths of the grave.
(Proverbs 9:13-18)

Things done in secret may at first seem to be delicious but the guilt of them slowly eats away at us from the inside until all that is left is rotten decay. This is what we need to pray about, that we would be sensitive to these things and would be able to draw it out to the light, not to kill the person but to help them. They carry a heavy and unnecessary burden. There is no sin that will not be forgiven. Somehow we must persuade them that nothing can be hidden from God:

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)

It is important that we get them to understand it is better to confess it here and now and be forgiven then to keep it hidden and face the consequences without forgiveness on the day of judgment.

People are often not willing to confess because we have the attitude of judgment instead of "been there, done that". It should be pity we feel for the heavy burdened not anger or judgment. That was us once, with plenty of hidden things that weighed us down. We did not trust God or anyone else. To confess our sins is an act of trust. Is that the atmosphere that exists in our churches? Are they places where sins can be confessed and forgiven in the same breath? Are our worship centers also places of great restoration? Lord, gives us eyes to see and hearts to understand our purpose and mission in this place.

If you have anything you have tried to keep hidden and need to unblock your path, then lighten your load, confess it, be forgiven and move on.

 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29) 

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