CONFESSION

TWO ENTITIES–DEPRAVED FLESH AND THE SPIRIT

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 2.21.40 PM…FATHER, when I bow my knee and ask You to search me for sin clue me that I set two entities into motion: my natural, depraved flesh searches for sin as well as Your SPIRIT Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p83). Flesh brings to my mind unrighteous actions that I’ve committed; the SPIRIT reveals my unrighteous motives.

The search engine of natural flesh only finds obvious willful sins of rebellion—one or two unholy deeds. These are the sins I feel I can correct myself, with better effort.

The search engine of the SPIRIT scans the heart and finds innate rebellion—obstinate roots imbedded in my very character.

The SPIRIT brings my real fleshly self to my attention, while flesh overlooks itself and attempts to change bad actions. Flesh will not believe that its very self is bad. Therefore, FATHER, “I fall short of the purity thou requires because in thinking I am holy I do not see holiness, or, believing I am impotent, I do no more” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p96).

Motivate me to stay on my knees past admitting a few recent sins. For if I consider my confession done I will have only met with my self—my depraved flesh—and not with Your SPIRIT. My flesh will only prompt me to deal with my symptoms not my sickness.

I wish to be obedient to You, FATHER, and wait until a thought enters my mind that requires more than my own efforts to correct.

I thank You, SPIRIT, that You will not only convict, but also correct as You give me solid directions to work beside You for accomplishing the correction. Yes, how I thank You for not only directing but also I thank You for changing my very nature day by day making me able to obey Your commands.

FATHER, in my routine of confession prompt me please to warn myself to not stumble over JESUS, the rock of offense (Rom 9:33) by listening to my flesh and attempting to eradicate sin by working at it in my own strength. Direct me to stumble onto JESUS. For He, working through the SPIRIT, is the only One able to make me righteous. FATHER, increase my faith, not my abilities (Rom 9:30-33).

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CONFESSION

FAITH

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 3.58.22 PM“…faith is not a once-in-the-past action, but faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything” Ann Voskamp (ref#130, p114).

FATHER, someone recently asked me to pray for strength and courage that they might live their life reflecting CHRIST’s image. This is what we all want; FATHER, this is what we all have trouble with! I feel like I’ve prayed this prayer into the ground for myself and my friends!

But, this is a prayer You will not answer, for You can do nothing more than You already have to prepare me to reflect CHRIST. FATHER, You have done Your part, I am required to do my part. I must begin.

“We have to battle through our moods into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus….All our fears are wicked, and we fear because we will not nourish ourselves in our faith” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Nov 13th).

Give me strength to step out and trust You. My reach must be further than my grasp (ref#7, May 2nd).

“He calls us to do impossible things or to become something we think we could never become. This is His way of teaching us how much we need Him. He breaks us to pieces so that He can put us back together in His image” Michael Card (ref#137, p85).

CONFESSION

THE SIN OF FRETTING

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 12.26.05 PM“Worry is a window into the unregenerate soul [Matt 6:32]—worry is the evidence that satisfaction is being sought apart from God—the soul is searching for satisfaction in idols, the fear that an idol may not be available—worry is the evidence of what one is pursuing, of laying up treasure on earth” Dan Cummings (ref#141, “For the Love of Christ,” Jan 22nd, 2006).

FATHER, I know that all fretting and worry is caused by calculating without You (ref#7, July 4th). I also know letting the enemy’s thoughts take root in my head is disastrous but they seem to get planted before I realize. I have to experience Your intervention or I will spin in circles reviewing in my head all the carnal and evil suggestions that are there.

“…don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 23rd).

In all situations You put in my path the ending is more important than the beginning. My mistake is being at the beginning of a situation and wanting to see a swift and good ending, but You control the situation; I need not be concerned about the outcome.

FATHER, show me the blessings of leaning—leaning on You as the situation unfolds and caring only about Your will in the situation, not a comfortable outcome for me. Worrying is unbelief.

CONFESSION

REVELATION IN MY INTUITION

 Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.33.36 AM“His timing is perfect, His will is our hiding place. Lord Jesus keep me in Your will. Don’t let me go mad by poking about outside it” Corrie TenBoom (ref#84, p218).

FATHER, being obedient to You sounds simple enough, but how do I know it is You giving the orders instead of my flesh desiring to be spiritual? Can I not hear the same words from both You and my flesh?

No prerequisite is required for fleshly desires to enter my head. They are stand-alone commands rising from my depraved nature. They masquerade as important spiritual ideas appealing to my sense of logic. They beg to be put into action.

“Carnal pleasure, worldly profit and honour, the things of sense and time, are the things of the flesh…The favour of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit” Matthew Henry (ref#18, [Rom 8:5]).

FATHER, draw me into submission. Make me wait on You to receive Your revelation in my intuition otherwise my flesh will assert itself (ref#101, p43). If I sense I’m being the boss over any spiritual project, I can be sure it is my flesh directing me. You FATHER, do not delegate authority over the control of Your work (ref#101, p42).

“Despite a great revival in Samaria, Philip was not responsible for the follow-up labor of strengthening. He must leave immediately for the desert in order that a “heathen” eunuch might be saved….All acts are in the hands of the Spirit; believers simply obey. Had it been left to human thoughts and wishes, many places which ought to be visited would not have been, and many others would have been visited which ought not to be. These experiences from Acts inescapably tell us that we too must follow the guidance of God’s Spirit in our intuition and not follow our thoughts, reasons or wishes” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p 42-43).

“Jesus takes us over for His enterprises, His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, May 7th).

CONFESSION

CONSECRATION

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 12.53.19 PM“And the chief priests and the men learned in the sacred scriptures heard. And they went to seeking how they might destroy Him, for they were fearing Him; for the entire multitude was struck with astonishment at His teaching” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p108-109, [Mark 11:18]).

FATHER, You have put a very great desire in my heart to speak words similar to JESUS that strike fear in people or birth astonishment—one or the other. I am sick of being lukewarm (Rev 3:16).

So, LORD, why am I colorless? Guide me to back peddle from what comes out of my mouth (Matt 15:18) to why it comes out of my mouth.

Speech is only the result of what is controlling me. Help me make consecration strides—cleansing, so You can use me for Your divine service (ref#166, p126).

FATHER, I desire to be set apart to entirely devote and dedicate myself to You—to be “purified from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [Lev 11:44]).

  1. “We can be contaminated every time we immediately turn to medicine for solutions to our physical problems without first taking our needs to the Lord in prayer” Doug Newton (ref#166, p128). How many times have I popped a pill before consulting You, FATHER?
  2. Tithing—“Oh, no, I can’t afford to give that much!” can easily be my thinking without consulting You.
  3. I come in “direct contact with defiled and unclean objects” Doug Newton (ref#166, p129). What do I watch that is worldly on TV? Do I laugh at off color jokes from my friends? Do I tolerate sinful behaviors in my heroes?

I need to pay attention to my personal purity before I ever open my mouth to witness. How can a thorn tree produce fruit (Luke 6:44)? FATHER, You were constantly commanding the leaders of Your Israelite nation to consecrate themselves (Lev 11:44). What makes me think You do not demand that of Your people today?

CONFESSION

REFLECTIONS ON CHRIST

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 3.03.10 PMFATHER, my eyes are on CHRIST for “…my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]…” (Phil 3:10 AMP).

FATHER, do not let me lose sight of my determined purpose. I gladly review the Glorious CHRIST through Your word.

CHRIST, You are gentle and humble in heart (Matt 11:29) and yet You overcome the world (John 16:33). You reflect the glory of Your FATHER and bear the very stamp of His nature; You uphold the universe by Your word of power (Heb 1:3) and yet You live and make Your home in me (1 John 3:24).

FATHER, in the face of JESUS CHRIST, Your glory is seen (2 Cor 4:6), yet CHRIST bears my grief and carries my sorrows (Isa 53:4). In Him all Your fullness dwells (Col 1:19), yet CHRIST personally rescues me and draws me to Himself, investing me with all the privileges of a new life in Him (1 Thes 1:10).

When CHRIST walked this earth, FATHER, He found that in Your presence, was fullness of joy and at Your right hand were pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11). I desire fellowship with JESUS so that I may experience His joy of You fulfilled in myself. I want to comprehend CHRIST’s delight complete in me. Oh, that His joy may be perfected in my soul—that I may have His gladness filling my heart (John 17:13)

CHRIST is Your power working, FATHER, thus I have a personal trust springing from faith and leading to faith (Rom 1:16,17). Thank You for CHRIST Who is the Author and Perfecter of faith (Heb 12:2). Thank You for CHRIST Who enables me to move along in this world as He, Himself, did—from faith to faith.

CONFESSION

DISCIPLINE

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 4.14.34 PM…FATHER, lead me to the correct understanding of discipline so I may not only appreciate it but joy in it. My first thought when You present me with a painful, difficult, situation is that You are punishing me because You think I should know better.

I am quite aware that I commit many and varied sins, but I don’t need discipline because I’m a sinner, I need to be disciplined because I’m human (ref#5, p40). It is my prideful humanity You are attempting to root out of me; You are not attempting to discourage me from a particular sin.

Keep reminding me Your reproof is an indication that You care enough to teach me (Job 5:17). Certainly at the moment all discipline is painful rather than pleasant but it yields the fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:11).

FATHER, I will praise You because You discipline me in just measure (Jer 30:11). You promise I can always endure whatever circumstances You put me in (1 Cor 10:13). You are with me to save me (Jer 30:11). You give me power to keep myself calm in the days of adversity (Ps 94:13). Enduring the disciplinary trial proves my faith and produces perseverance and steadfastness and patience (James 1:3).

FATHER, commit to my understanding the fact that You issue discipline because You love me (Heb 12:6). When I go astray You call me back to You with discipline. Your steadfast love will not depart from me (2 Sam 7:14-15). You will not be false to Your faithfulness, nor violate Your covenant or alter the word that goes forth from Your lips (Ps 89:33-34). You chasten and scourge me because You cherish me (Heb 12:6).

“Divine love chastens because it sees the necessity for the correction. The Lord’s love is not blind affection….It is our mercy to know that love marks our iniquity, and that love and not justice, grace and not vengeance, holds the rod and administers the correction….those stripes of His rod are as much…the expression of His love as are the ‘kisses of His mouth’…” (ref#61, Jan 16th).

Submitting to Your discipline is good for me so I may share in Your holiness (Heb 12:10). I desire to be trained by it because it yields peaceful righteousness for me (Heb 12:11). Thank You for Your discipline.

CONFESSION

STORMING HEAVEN

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 6.28.52 AM“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” (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” (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

I SIN KNOWINGLY BUT NOT WILLFULLY

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 10.25.35 AMFATHER, I grieve especially over the sins I commit knowing full well I’m disobeying You. Can You forgive me for such in-Your-face, blatant, rebellion?

 The book of Leviticus describes sacrifices for sins. But the sacrifices are only for unintentional sins (Lev 4:2). The writer of Hebrews says:

“…if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” (Heb 10:26 NKJV).

Yet, I, as well as other Christians, knowingly sin—even King David prayed that You keep him back from “…presumptuous sins…(Ps 19:13 NASB). FATHER, help me understand that I may sin knowingly, as King David did but that does not mean I sin willfully. Sinning willfully means sinning willingly. Sinning willingly means I sin out of my own glad choice with no intention of repenting. Adam Clarke’s Commentary brings meaning to Hebrews 10:26:

“A man may be overtaken in a fault, or he may deliberately go into sin, and yet neither renounce the Gospel, nor deny the Lord that bought him.” Adam Clarke (ref#15, [Heb 10:26]).

But, “if we sin willfully] If we deliberately…renounce the profession of the Gospel and the Author of that Gospel,…the…case must be utterly without remedy.” (ref#15, [Heb 10:26]).

When I do sin deliberately, my “case is dreary and dangerous but it is not hopeless; no case is hopeless but that of the deliberate apostate who rejects the whole Gospel system,…” (ref#15, [Heb 10:26]). And, all thanks to You, FATHER, that You have cemented in my heart never to reject the Gospel.

How I thank You, FATHER, that You give me the grace of confession. Yes, You have put in my heart the desire to repent. You have closed the gate behind me. Because You have made me Yours, I will never again sin willfully.

Though FATHER, drive me to fear sinning against You deliberately. Such actions remove me from Your presence. My iniquities always make a separation between You and me. My sins hide Your face so that You do not hear me (Isa 59:2).

LORD, I take hold of Your grace of repentance and use it to bring myself back into Your presence. And, FATHER, during this activity of repentance, sober me into remembering that even though I will never sin willfully, sinning knowingly is dreary and dangerous.

CONFESSION

…REFORMING MY FLESH OR KEEPING IT DEAD

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.13.23 PM…FATHER, I know that my natural disposition must be crucified with CHRIST (that is, my flesh must die). The word, “flesh” means my human nature which is “under the control of animal appetites” and is sensuous (ref#150, NT:4559). “Flesh” is defined as my earthly nature apart from divine influence (ref#150, NT:4561).

Flesh is the part of me I must inactivate—kill by neglect. But I am anchored so in it I naturally choose to reform it instead of kill it.

It is intuitive to me to want flesh tamed. Therefore I strive to educate my flesh—teach it to be righteous. I happily give myself over to rules and methods (ref#33, p92). Intensive church activity is a way of attempting to reform flesh. It is frightening to realize that my own flesh can produce acts that appear Christian (Matt 7:22-23) yet they are without the help or consent of You, FATHER (ref#63, p706).

While teaching my flesh to be righteous I concentrate on one sin or a file-folder of sins. I fall into using my flawed self to try to become more like CHRIST. By doing this, I am in the business of trying to conquer and refine my old-nature flesh. I try to get flesh and SPIRIT to cooperate!

But, I cannot, and You, FATHER, will not reform my flesh—even the priceless blood of JESUS can’t cleanse the flesh. The HOLY SPIRIT does nothing to improve flesh; in fact, He will not even dwell in the midst of sinful flesh. The SPIRIT will abide in me for only one reason and that is for warring against my flesh (ref#33, p94).

O LORD, continually bring me to understand the difference between operating by my flesh and working with the SPIRIT—the difference between reforming my flesh and killing it by neglect. It is only by faith and dependence on the SPIRIT that I can put to death the deeds of my flesh (Rom 8:13).