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

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. I know I'd rather just shut the door, spray a whole lot of air freshener to make the odor "disappear" and spend time elsewhere … far, far away where I don't have to think about the ugliness that lies beneath the many layers of me. 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? Not just thought about them in a nonchalant, get ‘er done type of fashion, but purposefully and audibly brought them before your Lord and Savior? Take time today to search yourself and spend time in confession. And may God break our hearts and renew a right spirit within us all.

Further Reading:


Psalms 51:1


Psalms 103:1

 

"hosanna"
Words & Lyrics:  Brooke Fraser
© 2006 Hillsong Publishing
Performed by:  Christy Nockels, life light up (2009)

I see the King of glory
Coming on the clouds with fire
The whole earth shakes
The whole earth shakes

I see His love and mercy
Washing over all our sin
The people sing
The people sing


Hosanna
Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest


I see a generation
Rising up to take the place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith


I see a new revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We're on our knees
We're on our knees


Hosanna
Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest


Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me


Break my heart for what break Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity ...

Hosanna
Hosanna
Hosanna in the highest


 
**Listen to the audio/podcast version of this devotional here.