CONFESSION

DISCIPLESHIP

…ALL-WISE FATHER, I do not need to know how to disciple others. I only need to know how to be a disciple myself. My life lived out teaches others of what it is to be a disciple.

“Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him….The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Sept 4th).

“…the only men and women He will use…are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

FATHER, forgive me for not taking seriously enough Your constraint on me as CHRIST’s disciple. Let me put my energies toward exclusively becoming personally, passionately and devotedly yielded to CHRIST. May I desire not to rejoice in successful service, but rejoice that I’m rightly related to CHRIST (ref#7, Oct 27th).

JESUS said, “…’All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go…and make disciples…” (Matt 28:18-19 ESV). Do I believe that when I “go” JESUS does the work of making disciples? This is my challenge. If I believe “that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim,…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 27th) it is because I have commissioned myself with my natural talents to make disciples.

Making a relationship with You, LORD, is my work. And, relationship-making is difficult work. Because I desire such a relationship, satan may no longer tempt me to simply do wrong things.

Instead, his temptations will be along the same line that he tempted JESUS. His temptations will be crafted toward separating You from me. He hopes to discourage me so I give up on all the grace You have put into me (ref#7, Sept 18th). Satan attempts to keep me from being obedient to You. He wants me to cease being Your disciple (ref#7, Sept 18th). Therefore, FATHER, enlarge my desire to muse on CHRIST and enjoy His presence above all.

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CONFESSION

BONDSERVANT

“Just as it is the disposition of the Lamb that bestows upon the blood its power, so it is only as we are willing to be partakers of the same disposition of the Lamb, that we shall know its full power in our lives. And we may be partakers of His disposition, for it has been made transferable to us by His death” (Phil 2:5; 1 Cor 2:16) Roy Hession (ref#97, p95,96).

FATHER, that I might be a bondservant of CHRIST who is Your bondservant. This means I will be treated as You treated Your Son—serving Your will and experiencing “the malice of men” Roy Hession (ref#97, p85).

FATHER, You made me in the first place to be Your bondservant so that there is nothing I can boast in because this is what I have been created for (ref#97, p86). A slave doesn’t boast, he just does his assigned work.

“’Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, “Come at once and recline at table”? Will he not rather say to him, “Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink”? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?   So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty”'” (Luke 17:7-10 ESV).

When I catch myself feeling good because of my Christian activities, deflate my pride by calling to my mind the above verse. It’s serious business to steal Your glory, O GOD.

“…we have no right and no appeal, where we are the absolute property of our Master, to be treated and disposed of just as He wishes” Roy Hession (ref#97, p84).

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

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

UNCONSCIOUS USEFULNESS

…FATHER, caution me against my human nature that is so set on being consistent and useful to You. As long as I’m choosing the way to glorify You, You are not glorified. Governing my activities is a sure indication that I am not pleasing You (ref#7, May 18th).

I know that love is not premeditated but spontaneous. “We do not set the statements of Jesus in front of us as a standard; but when His Spirit is having His way with us, we live according to His standard without knowing it” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, April 30th).

“If we try to prove to God how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we do not love Him. The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, April 30th).

FATHER, I pray for the spontaneity loving You brings. No wonder CHRIST gave over half of His example prayer (the Lord’s Prayer) to adoration and thanks (Matt 6:9-13) to You; He was reacting to Your love.

CONFESSION

NOT SUCCESS BUT FAITHFULNESS

…FATHER, keep me from the desire for success. In my base nature I want You to come and revive my church, my town, my country. I want everybody to witness Your power so I can be proud of Your accomplishments—so everyone can see how wise I am to follow You. I want You to prove Who You are and what You have done for me (ref#83, p118).

But JESUS did not turn the world upside down in a great show of power. When He was on earth after performing a miracle he would not let the news be spread (Matt 9:30). He didn’t succumb to the devil’s temptation to make Him a household word (Matt 4:6). He was not interested in being admired by men.

Move me FATHER, to settle on CHRIST as my example to follow: “The one dominate note in His life was to do His Father’s will. His way was not the way of wisdom or of success, but the way of faithfulness” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p120).

CONFESSION

SATAN STANDS BEFORE GOD AND ACCUSES ME

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.57.35 PM…FATHER, it bothers me greatly that satan stands before You and accuses me day and night (Rev 12:10). Even though he hates Your presence, he is willing to appear before You to accuse me (ref#18, [Rev 12:1-11]). And his accusations are true! He lies to me but speaks truth to You. Day and night—continually, he gives me a bad name before You—day and night! How is it that You can 24-7 insist on loving me against all the facts?

This prosecutor, satan, has the evidence to convict me and I have no arguments in my defense for I do go through each day sinning just as he says. It is an absolute necessity to have CHRIST represent me. Impress upon me the seriousness of my inability to stop sinning and the seriousness of depending on CHRIST. By the “blood of the Lamb” You, FATHER, set me free (Rev 12:11). You cast satan out of Your court, crushing his indictments (ref#18, [Rev 12:1-11]).

So, I commit my cause to CHRIST, my Advocate (ref#18, [Rev 12:1-11]). In confession, CHRIST, You are my Savior; and because You are my Savior I gladly make You my LORD.

CONFESSION

PARDON IS NOT TO MAKE ME MORE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.13.44 AM…LORD, as I approach Your throne, my natural reaction is to cry out like Isaiah, “I have unclean lips” (Isa 6:5), and so desire to spill out my confessions of sin before I come close to You.

In the prayer JESUS taught His disciples, the first half of it is words of worship and honor to You. Confession of sin is toward the end of the prayer and then takes up only ½ a sentence.

Remind me FATHER, You do not throw the robe of CHRIST upon me so You can tolerate looking at me. You do not demand I confess my sin before You let me approach You. You know my frame (Ps 103:14) and my sinfulness does not give You pause.

A woman may forget she is nursing a child, but You will never forget me. You engraved me on the palm of Your hands (Isa 49:15,16) before I did anything right or wrong (Rom 9:11).

You seek and solicit my love constantly. You love me at the expense of Your Son’s blood—at the expense of condescending to beseech me (ref#18, [1 John 4:18]). Have You not rend the heavens and come down to be constantly beside me (Isa 64:1)? You are willing to call me Your bride even when I am unfaithful to You (Hosea 3:1).

I have mistaken thoughts about confession! My natural thought is to dwell on Your assurance of pardon to convince myself that I am now good enough to come into Your presence. FATHER, remind me once again that I am good only because CHRIST has made me His own, not because I have confessed my sins and received Your pardon.

Isn’t this what Job was so upset about—justifying himself before You? Job wanted You to speak to him about his sin—or lack thereof. Did You do that? No, You instead overwhelmed Job with Your majesty (Job 38:1-41:34).

Astonish me like You did Job. I want to spend the majority of my time with You losing myself in Your love.

“…if the heart be…much taken up with…the eminency of the Father’s love, it cannot choose but be overpowered, conquered, and endeared unto him” John Owen (ref#35, p128).

CONFESSION

PANIC

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 4.03.06 PM …if…you will not do all my commandments…then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic…” (Lev 26:14-16 ESV).

FATHER, as naturally and surely as Your lightening starts forest fires and hurricanes produce devastation, disobedience brings panic. The cause will always yield the same results. Whether I am presumptions or naive about disobeying the result will be panic.

FATHER, it is frightfully easy to move myself from Your rule back to operating under my rule. Not paying attention is enough to do it. Problems start when I go days not realizing I’m hearing nothing from You to obey. When I’m not in Your Word, or in accountable fellowship, or in honest prayer, I am not exposed to Your commands and thus, not obedient to them. But, ignorance of the law is no excuse whether it’s civil law or Your law. Forgive me for walking away from You.

Whenever I deduce I can’t handle a present or upcoming circumstance, FATHER, remind me that it is because I have drifted away from Your care and power over my life. Call me back, blanket me in Your presence, cause me to delight again in obedience. Only You can dissipate panic.