Sometime last night, my e-book, 7 Days to a Closer Relationship With God, became available for sale on Amazon. Here is a link to it if you are interested:*
It took me a very long time to turn this into a reality. I’m quite sure I procrastinated and made excuses at least 3 or 4 times as much as I actually worked on it.
As great as it feels to have the e-book in print, I know that it’s only because of God’s work in my life that the book is a reality today. He has assured me in our private moments that He has a purpose for this book, this blog, my writing. I’m glad to be used by Him in what ever way He purposes.
The topic of this blog, however, is confession. My church’s weekly prayer meeting was held last night. We just restarted our prayer meetings after not meeting consistently for a year or two, and it has been such a blessing to me. We want to bless the church and cover it in prayer, and that is the purpose of our meetings. We also pray for individual members, each other, and world concerns (of which there are many right now).
Last night, the topic turned to confession. More than once, the leaders of our group have mentioned that we need to get rid of the sin in our life that may be getting in the way of God’s work in our lives and our church. That made me a little bit uncomfortable, because I don’t think God has a hard and fast rule that He won’t do anything for us if we haven’t confessed all our sins and repented. I know God has met me right where I am, in the middle of my pride and unaware of my own sin, many times. Praise Him for being so gracious to me!
That being said, I do think confession is important. I do think our sins can keep us from being as close to God as we would like to be, sometimes. It’s difficult to be aware of God speaking to our hearts when we are full of anger toward someone or consumed by fears about our lives. It’s nearly impossible to respond to God’s call to help others when we are in “what about me?” mode, focused like a laser on our own needs and desires.
I try to have a spirit that is open to correction from God. I try to have an ear toward hearing Him tell me where I’m falling short, and where I need to turn around and go a different way. I try to be teachable, to learn the daily lessons God has for me, to make me just a little tiny bit more like Him.
Last night He brought to my awareness the times I have a bad attitude toward different situations in my life. He showed me that I was slipping into a previous pattern of pushing away the people to whom I am usually close, rather than making an effort to connect with them, sometimes. It didn’t feel like God was scolding me about these things or telling me how wrong I am. God’s corrections, at least to me, are gentle and loving. I was able to agree with God that these parts of me exist, and to ask for His help in doing better. Then I was able to feel the joy of His forgiveness.
In 1 John 1:8 and 9, it says this:
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. [But] if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I need God’s guidance about the ways I’m straying from His will. Sometimes my pride gets in the way, and I think I’m doing fine even when I’m not. It isn’t easy at first, but I have learned that God’s corrections lead to better things in my life: better relationships, better understanding of life and myself, and more closeness with Him. It’s so worth it to make confession a part of my life.
This video talks about God’s response when we come to Him in our sins. I absolutely love the line in the song that says, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” When we can come to God with our sins, we find healing.
Crowder, “Come as You Are”