A Time of Confession
Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Editor
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.-1 John 1:9, NIV
One of the things I have come to appreciate more and more in a liturgical church service each week is the time of confession.
In this week’s time of “Public Confession of Sin,” we recited the following:
O living God, I bless You that I see the worst of my heart as well as the best of it, that I can sorrow for those sins that carry me from You, that it is Your deep and dear mercy to show me my sin so that I may return, pray and live. My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged, or look on my good and be puffed up. I fall short of Your glory every day by spending hours unprofitably, by thinking that the things I do are good, when they are not done to Your end, nor spring from the rules of Your Word. My sin is to fear what never will be; I forget to submit to Your will, and fail to be quiet there. Help me to see that although I am in the wilderness it is not all briars and barrenness. I have bread from heaven, stream from the rock, light by day, fire by night, Your dwelling place and Your mercy seat.
The last two lines of this confession brought a lump to my throat and really caught my attention when reciting it along with others in the congregation.
… although I am in the wilderness it is not all briars and barrenness.
It’s not? Yes! Praise God, it’s not. Take a look around your wilderness right now. And I’ll stop and take a look around mine, too. What do you see?
I have bread from heaven, stream from the rock, light by day, fire by night, Your dwelling place and Your mercy seat.
After a week of feeling like I was trapped in the briars and the barrenness of my life, I had a lightbulb moment when reading through the Truth of what I do have—no matter my circumstances or what the world may be telling me. And I was convicted all over again of a poor attitude and a life not being lived in right response to our God. I silently acknowledged what was being revealed to me: my sinfulness.
Confession will do that for you. It shines the light on what is really going on in our hearts and what is Truth in our lives. And hopefully, if we are in step with the Holy Spirit, we will have already been convicted of what we are bringing to God when we come to a time of confession.
I know that in the past week, there were several times where I felt the pangs of conviction in my own heart. I had either said something, thought something or done something that I knew was not pleasing to the Lord. And instantly, every time, I was reminded of that in my spirit.
While it’s good that I was convicted and knew that something was not right in my heart, I needed to take the next step and confess my sins to the Lord so that I could be reconciled and grow deeper in my relationship with him.
It is hard to experience the stench of our hearts. But when you and I confess our sins, we are cleansed and we are restored. Let’s aim to do that today, so that we may be forgiven, so that we may be a fragrant offering, so that we may enjoy fellowship and a right relationship with our Father in heaven.
Intersecting Faith & Life: To quote a Scottish proverb: “Open confession is good for the soul.” When is the last time you confessed your sins to the Lord?
Psalm 51, NIV
Psalm 103, NIV
Words & Lyrics: Brooke Fraser
Performed by: Christy Nockels, Life Light Up (2009)