CONFESSION

Chord Progression:  (Am  E7  Dm  G)  (Am  Dm  E7  Am)

KING DAVID’S PROPHECIES OF CHRIST’S PASSION

You, FATHER, “…took me (JESUS) from the womb;

you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.

On you was I cast from my birth,

and from my mother’s womb you have been my God” (Ps 22:9-10 ESV).

 

“Be not far from me, for trouble is near,

and there is none to help.

I am poured out like water,

and all my bones are out of joint;…” (Ps 22:11,14 ESV).

 

“…my heart is like wax;

it is melted within my breast;

my strength is dried up like a potsherd,

and my tongue sticks to my jaws;…” (Ps 22:14-15 ESV).

 

“…you lay me in the dust of death.

For dogs encompass me;

a company of evildoers encircles me;

they have pierced my hands and feet—“ (Ps 22:15-16 ESV).

 

“I can count all my bones—

they stare and gloat over me;

they divide my garments among them,

and for my clothing they cast lots” (Ps 22:17-18 ESV).

 

“But you, O Lord,

do not be far off!

O you my help,

come quickly to my aid” (Ps 22:19 ESV)!

FATHER, remind me anew that CHRIST was fully human in His flesh and vividly felt the pressure to rescue Himself out of danger, but instead deferred to You for help that He might be able to perform Your will in total, sinless, obedience.

CONFESSION

TWO NATURES

…FATHER, Your SPIRIT is teaching me to understand myself. This makes me responsible for how I conduct my life. So, let me warn myself about the battle that starts in my mind.

Since the SPIRIT resides in me, I admire righteousness. This admiration comes from the new nature You have given me. But my old unrighteous nature still has the ability to influence my mind—thus the battle.

My mind is in the habit of accepting input from my “flesh”—which is sense and reason without the HOLY SPIRIT. Thus my old nature gladly takes up the challenge to become righteous. This “flesh,” with its carnal thoughts and purposes, cannot please or satisfy You or ever be acceptable to You because it is obsessed with self (Rom 8:6-8). My mind is not renewed so as to change my conduct if I just try hard to act righteous (ref#33, p110).

Therefore, let me warn myself about my “flesh:” “…flesh not only can produce sin but can also perform good” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p110). I can read and preach the Bible, hear and believe the Scriptures in the strength of my flesh and not depend at all on the HOLY SPIRIT Who guides my new nature (ref#33, p113). I can serve You over-zealously like the Pharisees all with my natural strength.

“That which is born of flesh…is flesh, and can never be ‘unfleshed.’ Whether it be the flesh in the pulpit…the flesh in prayers…the flesh in reading the Bible, the flesh in singing hymns, or the flesh in doing good—none of these…can avail…” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p119).

My flesh will try to establish another righteousness outside of CHRIST. Flesh left to itself will lead me down Israel’s path—pursuing righteousness based on works (my doings) and not faith (Rom 9:32).

Because I attempt to follow You in faith, I know that You have gifted me with a new nature that is opposite my unrighteous, fleshly nature. I do not want to walk in the natural, easy ways of my flesh, but desire to follow You in the newness of life that You give. Keep me aware of these two natures within me and provide strength so my actions are in keeping with my new nature.

I make a decisive dedication of my members and faculties to be devoted and well-pleasing to You. Therefore, I determine, with Your SPIRIT’s help, to put to death by neglect my natural thinking.

CONFESSION

COVETOUSNESS

“…when the Holy Ghost convicts He…gives us the deep conviction that we are living in independence of God…we find all our virtues and goodness…has been based on a…boundless inheritance of covetousness Oswald Chambers (ref#8, March 31st).

“Never lay the flattering unction to your soul that because you are not covetous for money or worldly possessions, you are not covetous for anything. The fuss and distress of owning anything is the last remnant of the disposition of sin. Jesus Christ possessed nothing for Himself (see 2 Corinthians 8:9)” (ref#8, March 31st).

FATHER, today I submit in Your presence and willingly ask the SPIRIT to highlight the things in my life where I spend money and time on activities only for my entertainment and comfort. Point out my activities that are competitive right down to my efforts to make myself better than others. Show me my covetousness in my shopping habits. Help me distinguish between my needs and simply pleasing myself. Reveal the vast difference between Your provision of my basic needs and my pursuit of selfish wants. I am totally at fault for being rich. I am living a worldly life. And the way I spend my time and money separate me from You. Even if I multiply my prayers, You will not hear me (Jer 14:12).

LORD, I stand before You in rebellion,

full of covetousness—

wanting to keep my own life—

exerting myself to maintain my rule.

 

I’m not envious of the possessions of my neighbor;

but I’m greedy for comfort and peace.

I passionately guard my soft bed;

I lust after tasty food—clothes—shelter.

 

I jealously surround myself with friends—

striving to keep them happy with me.

‘Tis true, I begrudge others who find success,

and envy ones who are better than I.

CONFESSION

COMPATABILISM

…FATHER, theologians have coined the word, “compatabilism” to address the doctrines of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. These are two doctrines that are difficult to be reconciled together in the human mind. However, the “writers of the Bible are not embarrassed to put side by side teachings that do not fit our logic. For example, Peter charges his hears on the day of Pentecost with wickedness in killing Christ yet admits it was all in God’s plan (Acts 2:23). Jesus says, ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.’ And He also says, ‘Whoever comes to me I will never drive away’(John 6:37,44)” Will Metzger (ref#79, p108).

“God has, from the beginning, chosen a people unto salvation; but that does not mean there is no need for evangelists to preach the Gospel, or for sinners to believe it; it is by such means that His eternal counsels are effectuated” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p131).

FATHER, Your sovereignty does not release me from being responsible for my actions. And my human responsibility does not permit me to do anything without Your help. FATHER, I don’t want to be slothful. I want to do what I know I should.

CONFESSION

SPIRIT CHECK—ASSURANCES OF SALVATION

…FATHER, when I say, “I confess, with my mouth, that JESUS is Lord and believe in my heart that You raised him from the dead,” (Rom 10:9) I want to know positively that You accept my faith and have made Your home in me (John 14:23), for my heart can be deceived and my mouth can speak words without understanding (Rom 10:10).

Does Your SPIRIT bears witness with my spirit that I am Your child (Rom 8:16)? Let me examine myself to see if I am in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). For You give me assurances:

  • Do I trust CHRIST (Heb 3:6)?
  • Am I obedient to You (Matt 7:21)?
  • Am I growing in holiness—am I always attempting to purify myself as CHRIST is pure (1 John 3:3)?
  • Do I possess the fruit of the SPIRIT (Gal 5:22,23)?
  • Do I have a love for other Christians (1 John 3:14)?
  • Do others see my good works and glorify You (Matt 5:16)?

“If one desires to know whether he is regenerated or not, he simply need ask himself one question: Have I come to the cross as a helpless sinner and received the Lord Jesus as Savior” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p77)?

CONFESSION

STORMING HEAVEN

“Convince me that I can have no peace at death, nor hope that I should go to Christ, unless I intend to do his will and have his fullness while I live” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p167).

FATHER, heaven is not obtained except I violently take it by force (Matt 11:12). Since getting into CHRIST’s presence is never my natural desire, in the mundane or easy days I must power myself into CHRIST’s kingdom.

I default to the control of myself in a thousand different ways as I look for contentment. But, Oswald Chambers makes a statement that I must consider: “…we do not want to realize Jesus Christ, but only our enjoyment of Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 10th).

I can use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of my enjoyment. I can serve the church for my own well-feelings. In honesty, I must ask myself, “Am I a Christian because it is pleasurable?”

FATHER, always clue me I am on the broad path that leads to destruction (Matt 7:13) if I avoid being stirred up or am not willing to face “injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 10th). I have to believe storming heaven will mean physical stress, but because of my willful resolve and determination I will reap a joy superior to all joy—a joy that cannot be found anywhere else but in fellowship with You (ref#16, [1 Cor 2:9]).

“Faith makes things possible, but not easy” (a church marquee).

CONFESSION

PLANNING MY ITINERARY

…FATHER, if I say I have things in common with CHRIST—if I say I have fellowship with Him, yet plan my own itinerary, I speak falsely and do not live and practice the Truth (1 John 1:6).  If I claim that I experience a shared life with CHRIST and continue to stumble around in the dark not knowing if I am walking by my agenda or the SPIRIT’s, I am not living what I claim (1 John 1:6).

But, if I walk in the light, as CHRIST is in the light, we have fellowship (1 John 1:7).   If I habitually plan my agenda as You Yourself plan it, I have things in common and thus fellowship with You. “God and a holy heart are in continual correspondence” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [1 John 1:7]).

In fellowship Your light is continually showing me the truth about myself and my sin (ref#100, p111) and if I confess my sin, CHRIST will be true to His own nature and promises and will forgive everything not in conformity to His will (1 John 1:9). So walking with JESUS is not only walking in faith but also walking in repentance (ref#100, p117).

Let me examine my itinerary. FATHER, I confess I walk too much in the darkness. In fact it is such a habit I do it without thinking, especially when You let me accomplish my plans without intervention.

On earth every one knows who is head over them. Leaders of countries demand from their subjects. But You, FATHER, are silent. You do not show Yourself to me until I turn and wait for You. You do not come to fellowship with me until I invite You—then You come in haste—with abandon—as a father rushing to the panicked cry of his child. I easily forget that the joy I find in my own accomplishments in the dark does not compare to the joy of walking in the light with You.

CONFESSION

WORKING OUT MY OWN SALVATION

…FATHER, I don’t want to go to hell. I want to be forgiven and avoid Your wrath and to go to heaven. Reconciliation with You—everybody wants that (if they’re honest with themselves) (ref#93, p28-29).

But, the important question is, “Do I want these things for my own security?” or “Do I want them because they bring me to the enjoyment of You” John Piper (ref#93, p29)?

FATHER, only You can change my nature so I’m able to concentrate on You and reject my attention to preserving myself. When You provide a new nature it sets me on the path of working out my own salvation—working out selfishness and working in ever-increasing happiness in You.

“as ‘a nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit’” Erasmus (ref#130 p49).

“…become shares (partakers) of the divine nature….adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue…knowledge…self-control… steadfastness…godliness…brotherly affection…Christian love” (2 Pet 1:4-7 AMP).

“Wherefore, brethren, exert yourselves the more, and bend every effort to make for yourselves your divine call [into salvation] and your divine selection [for salvation] things that have been confirmed” Arthur S. Way (ref#37, p559, [2 Peter 1:10]).

CONFESSION

CHRISTLIKENESS IS NOT ME IMITATING BUT THE SPIRIT IMPLANTING

…FATHER, my previous understanding of the term “Christlikeness” has misled me. I thought I would become Christlike by doing more and more good deeds like CHRIST did. FATHER, it is my desire to walk by the SPIRIT, not imitate CHRIST by externally acting out my perception of His good works.

But, Christlikeness is not me imitating CHRIST. Instead, Christlikeness is the impartation of the holy qualities of CHRIST in me (ref#7, July 23rd). These “holy qualities” are Your qualities, FATHER, brought to me by the Person of the SPIRIT.

The HOLY SPIRIT transfigured the Son of Man, CHRIST, and He transfigures me. It is an internal change in me. Bit by bit—from one degree of glory to another—my life improves as You, FATHER, enter more and more into my life (2 Cor 3:18).

The length to which I’m willing to be molded into Your image is the length to which the SPIRIT will help me. As long as I keep calling out for His blessing and help, the SPIRIT has fully committed Himself to respond (ref#78, p38).

“Only when we are full of the Spirit do we feel the need for God everywhere we turn” Jim Cymbala (ref#78, p58).

CONFESSION

REFUTING STRONGHOLDS IN MY MIND

“…the weapons of our warfare are not physical…but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,…we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God;…” (2 Cor 10:4-5 AMP).

FATHER, I desire to sit before You for the purpose of identifying my strongholds. A stronghold is a fortified place. In my mind I keep certain thoughts at the ready to be quickly acted upon because I can trust them to get me through a particular type of situation.

These thoughts, turned to action, have worked for me. They have kept me independent. That’s why I consider them a stronghold and keep them fortified. More than anything I don’t want to abandon them for other thoughts that might not work.

But, FATHER, I know that these stronghold thoughts set themselves against the true knowledge of You for they are my thoughts, doing life my way, not Your way.  They require no faith or resting on You.  I do desire You transform me inwardly by a complete change of my mind (Rom 12:2) so I can take everyone of these stronghold thoughts and make them a prisoner capturing them and bringing them into obedience to CHRIST (2 Cor 10:5).

By faith I know that I can do this with Your help. My part in this process is to be willing to give strongholds up.

Stronghold thoughts that float into my mind when I’m idle, like prideful ones that serve to build up my ego, I can refute by willfully thinking of something else. So, FATHER, I ask You to call to my attention these stronghold thoughts so I can destroy them by neglect.

Thoughts though, put into actions that get me through frightening phobias, I’m not so willing to give up. But, by obtaining Your strength through faith I can also eliminate these self-preserving, strongholds. You give me the ability to do it when I willfully turn the thoughts toward You, for when my attention is on You I cannot initiate my self-preserving defenses. For it is impossible for two opposing thoughts to exist together.

FATHER, I desire to think upon You. You are true, worthy of reverence, honorable and just. You are pure, lovely and lovable, kind and gracious. You are excellent and worthy of praise ( Phil 4:8). With thoughts on You I lose the desire to think about my self-preservation and comfort at all. Strongholds vanish!