“…the way in which we repent to God or apologize to someone show that we have not truly judged ourselves. We betray the fact that we feel the wrong is only an unfortunate slip, and that we have on this occasion acted out of character with our true selves. What deception” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p77)!
FATHER, I do not have the ability to take honest stock of myself. You say my heart is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9) but it doesn’t seem that bad to me. I live in the realm of illusion just as the Pharisee in the temple (Luke 18:10-14).
“The Pharisee who thanked God that he was not as other men were, honestly thought he was telling the truth. He was, however, just as covetous, unjust, and adulterous as anybody else, but his own heart had deceived him” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p50).
FATHER, I want to know the truth about myself. I am suffering from sin much more than I know. Shatter my vain illusion about myself:
“If the moment the Holy One took our place and bore our sins He was condemned by the Father and left derelict in the hour of His sufferings, what must our true condition be to occasion so severe an act of judgment! The Bible says He was made in ‘the likeness of sinful flesh’ (Rom 8:3), which means that He was there as an effigy of us. But if the moment He became that effigy, He had to cry, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ (Matt 27:46), what must God see us to be? It is plain that God was not forsaking the Son as the Son. He was forsaking the Son as us, whose likeness He was wearing” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p52).
ME, IMPUDENT AND HARDHEARTED?
“It is not the Devil who switches folk off Christ’s way, but the ordinary steep difficulties of daily life, difficulties connected with food and clothing and situations….the little worries of life have…enfeebled our spirits, and made us sorry and humiliated before Him, even more so than the times when we have been tempted to sin” Oswald Chambers (ref#118, p96).
FATHER, You call Israel, “impudent and hardhearted” (Ezek 3:7), and I agree. Seems Scripture testifies they never got it right. But, You say, “No one is right” (Rom 3:11). Help me find my “not-rightness.”
SPIRIT CHECK: Impudent. Do I have “an arrogant spirit?” Do I lack “holy shame or an unhallowed boldness in evil?” Can I be un-humbled with no inward humiliation? Have I ever pretended to pray or pretended to praise (ref#34, April 28th PM)?
SPIRIT CHECK: Hardhearted. Even though I have a new heart, does much of my former stubbornness remain? How affected am I by the death of JESUS? Am I moved as much as I should be by the ruin of my fellowmen? Do I care about “the wickedness of the times?” Does it move me that You, FATHER, are chastised by unprincipled men? Do I regard my failures as trivial (ref#34, April 28th PM)?
Oh FATHER, I still live in this hateful body of death, though You have changed me to desire to live for You. I bless You now that Your Son’s precious blood will effectively soften me. His blood is a solvent that will melt my heart like “wax before the fire”Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 28th PM). You again will do wonderful things for me (Isa 29:14). “Oh that my heart would melt at the recital of my Savior’s sufferings and death” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 28th PM)!
“Let me faithfully study my character, be willing to bring it to light, observe myself in my trials, judge the reality and degree of my grace, consider how I have been ensnared or overcome” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p84).
FATHER, “sin is…my viper born in my birth, alive all my life, strong in my character, dominating my faculties, following me as a shadow, intermingling with my every thought…” (ref#76, p41). I recognize it is only Your compassion that I am not consumed (ref#76, p39). Therefore I wish to be searched to find and confess the wicked ways in me (Ps 139:23-24).
- Have I flattered You, FATHER, with only my lips (ref# 76, p39)?
- Do I set before myself some pleasure or profit or even striving for Your acceptance (ref#35, p150)?
- Do You live in my thoughts (ref#35, p151)?
- Do I covet by hoarding, improvidently squander, and not consecrate everything to You (ref#76, p87)?
- Do I go this way then that with various thoughts and ways, dreaming in my imaginations (ref#35, p150)?
- Do I resist “rebukes of conscience, admonitions of friends, leadings of providence” (ref#76, p192)?
- Am I settled yet experiencing peace and resting in Your “assurance of everlasting blessedness” (ref#35, p151)?
- Do I ungratefully receive Your benefits—forgetting to praise and thank You (ref#76, p192)?
- Have I really found CHRIST who will never grieve or trouble me (ref#35, p151)?
- Do I misuse my faculties, neglect opportunities, use words ill-advised (ref#76, p180)?
- Do I really know You in Your “excellency and desirableness” (ref#35, p151)?
- Do You have Your due place in my heart (ref#35, p151)?
- Are You my all in all (ref#35, p151)?
“I repent of my folly and inconsiderate ways, my broken resolutions, untrue service, my backsliding steps, my vain thoughts” (ref#76, p180).