CONFESSION

FLESH TOO BUSY

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 4.48.33 PM…FATHER, Richard Lovelace has labeled the world as our “corporate flesh” (ref#108, p86). The world’s a busy place—people actively doing what seems best in their own eyes—displeasing You, FATHER, whether they are displaying open rebellion toward You or simply ignoring You.

My “private flesh” is busy, too—busy ignoring You to the point of exhaustion. In attempting to please You my flesh can never work hard enough. The laws the Pharisees created for Sabbath observance is a good example of flesh too busy.

 “…the Pharisees…hedged it (the Sabbath) with repressive regulations so as to avoid the possibility of breaking the Sabbath” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p1464, [Luke 6:1]).

Paul accuses the Galatians of observing days, months, season and years all in an effort to train the flesh to please You (Gal 4:10).

When I find myself exhausted it is because I overextend myself—trying to perform beyond my capacity (ref# 101, p122). “Permit me not to labour at work which thou wilt not bless…” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p134). Motivate me to obey Your voice, not my flesh. Motivate me to obey what I hear from You today—only today. You do not strap heavy burdens on my back—You do not require the hectic pace the world requires.

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CONFESSION

SPIRIT CHECK

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 3.30.29 PMSearch me, O GOD, try me. See if there is any wicked way in me (Ps 139:23-24). SPIRIT, point out my misdeeds in the sentences below that I might own up to them, for “[Christ is compassionate] in [keeping] his institutions…—marrying his church to himself…” (ref#35, p266).

Do I love CHRIST enough to stay chaste? When I do not feel His presence, do I look for someone else to fellowship with or simply busy myself with activities (ref#35, p263)?

Do I trust any of my own righteous endeavors to commend myself to CHRIST—like, do I feel a twinge of self-satisfaction after I confess all the sins I know of (ref#35, p264)?

When my soul is in the wilderness will I sit still and wait until CHRIST comes or do I let my good intentions and activities satisfy my soul (ref#35, p264)?

Do I place my joy and comfort in other things besides being filled with joy in the HOLY SPIRIT (ref#35, p265)?

Do I consider it my daily work to get my heart crucified to the things of this world (ref#35, p266)?

Do I invent ways and certain times to worship You and not wait for Your appointment—do I plan my day without CHRIST’s input (ref#35, p266-267)?

Do I embrace everything that only CHRIST has appointed? Do I go to Him for directions and beg Him to lead me in the way that I have not known (Isa 48:6)?

 

VALLEYS TO MOUNTAINTOPS

NEVER ANTICIPATED

11/15/2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 1.04.16 PMCan’t divulge what sent me to the valley, but the means by which I found myself again on the mountaintop is worth recording:

Back home after church I changed clothes and ate but still was out of sorts—unnerved maybe would be a better word. Yes,—out of sorts and unnerved.

Sat down to read in an attempt to get over the morning—hoping to just move on. Opened the devotional at the bookmark where I last read and was drawn to the words I had underlined yesterday:

“Fear happens when I look at myself…and conclude that I do not have what it takes to do what God is calling me to do…To the degree that you forget who God is,…fear is your default emotion” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 26th).

Then the next page provided these words:

“You were created by God to be dependent on him, but sin makes you rebellious….Sin makes you think you’re capable of what you cannot do” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, August 27th).

That was enough for the SPIRIT to convict. How many times did I pray about this morning’s assignment? And, in attempting that assignment, not once did I consciously depend on my FATHER.

No wonder I have come home shell-shocked. I walked into the enemy’s territory without any protection at all.

And, if Paul David Tripp’s words were not enough to sober me out of the poor-me valley, on the next page he writes:

“The agenda of grace is to transform you into a person who humbly recognizes your need for authority…” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Aug 28th).

And so it is, His grace has done its work. I am drawn to a familiar verse as I admit my need for Him:

“…’In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength’…” (Isa 30:15 NASB).

NOTE: GOD’s moves are always mysterious, engaging me in ways I do not expect. His coming can never be anticipated though sometimes I wait for Him. How shall He reveal Himself on upcoming Sabbaths?

CONFESSION

THE WORK OF CONVICTION

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 12.21.13 PM…FATHER, the discovery of my sin is a part of the wisdom that is hid in CHRIST and made known to me through the SPIRIT (Col 2:2,3). If I am not attentive to the SPIRIT I only have a sense and knowledge of sin that is revealed by my conscience; it is the general knowledge of good and evil. But, it’s obscure so I notice my own faults only if they are very obvious or I sin in such a way that they are particularly embarrassing to me (ref#35, p200).

Familiarizing myself with the laws set down in the Old Testament helps me recognize more of my corruptions. But even laws do nothing to make me see my deep personal sin (ref#35, p202).

The work of conviction, from Your SPIRIT, gives me the best knowledge of sin. This knowledge is so useful that it reveals sins that I, on my own, do not have the ability to detect; these sins must be made real to me by Your SPIRIT—a source not connected with my native nature (ref#35, p202).

I thank You FATHER, for Your SPIRIT’s conviction. I am not offended when I recognize His voice, instead, I’m humbled. He has the ability to convince me of sin in such a way that I’m unable to deny His words and am ready to repent. I thank You, FATHER, that Your SPIRIT not only is able to point out my sins but has the ability to accomplish in me the sorrow for sin which leads me to the obedience You require. So, search me, O GOD, and see if there is any grievous way in me and then lead me in the right way (Ps 139:23-24).

CONFESSION

STANDING BEFORE THE CROSS

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 12.02.08 PM“…the love which Christ has [for me] presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness, giving me an impelling motive,…” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p424, [2 Cor 5:14]).

FATHER, this is how CHRIST’s love moves me—controls me. In words He is able to express His love for me. In words He draws me to Himself as I desire His closeness. Reviewing CHRIST at the Cross is a place where I am reminded again of His impelling love.

“What about the Son of Man…As we stand before the cross, we should feel as if we are standing upon a battlefield, the ground still wet with blood and pain. The screams, His cries of thirst, should still ring our ears” Michael Card (ref#137, p181).

In experiencing the strength of CHRIST’s love, it’s moving enough to dwell on His physical agony, but FATHER, paint a word-picture of His emotional agony that I may have a deeper concept of His willingness to offer me His love.

Jesus cried out, “Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46). FATHER, You separated Yourself from Him because You were too holy to look upon sin. I see CHRIST’s tear-filled eyes looking for You (ref#137, p181)…

CONFESSION

SIN DOES NO PERMANENT DAMAGE

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 4.09.35 PM…FATHER, I know sin has consequences, but it does no permanent damage. Sin has put me in shambles; I am like the rubble of a building but through my acceptance of CHRIST’s work on the cross the HOLY SPIRIT will purify and refine me back into a building gloriously enough for You to dwell in. No matter how horrific my sin or how horrific someone has sinned again me, You provide the way for my whole soul to be restored (ref#15, [Acts 9:31]).

Sin is a past issue with You. And, it may be too, with me, once I roll the situation over to You. To nullify sin’s damage, LORD, You require, by faith, I prove CHRIST conquered sin by putting the incident behind me, as You have put it behind You. Yes, I may deal with a consequence of sin everyday but it does not need to trigger a flash back to the original sin. I need to purposefully break the circle of returning to negative thoughts.

Direct me, FATHER, to fixing my eyes on JESUS (Heb 12:2), recalling His love for me that is stronger than death (Song 8:6), praying He bestow such love on me so that I’m able to bestow it on myself and the ones I have sinned against or the ones that have sinned against me. This becomes the entrance into restoration.

LORD, hand out enough faith to me that I know Your forgiveness heals the damage of sin; You will restore (Isa 57:14-19); this is Your promise! Be with me as I prove Your healing by letting You tear away habits of old hurtful thoughts and permitting You to replace them with new habits of thinking.

I must willingly let You work even though I, quite possibly, will not have any recognizable changed feelings. (Proper feelings may never come, but freedom will and the joy of following truth will easily override any lack of feelings I long for.)

To help me anchor the renewed mind You give me, FATHER, I ask for faith to perform the below commands:

  1. Never bring up the subject of the sin and its situation to the one who has wronged me or to the one I have wronged.
  2. Never again bring it up in conversations with other people.
  3. Never dwell on it again in my own mind.

CONFESSION

 

PARDON IS NOT TO MAKE ME MORE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.29.54 PMLORD, 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

CONVICTING SPIRIT

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.40.19 PM…FATHER, the discovery of my sin is a part of the wisdom that is hid in CHRIST and made known to me through the SPIRIT (Col 2:2,3). If I am not attentive to the SPIRIT I only have a sense and knowledge of sin that is revealed by my conscience; it is the general knowledge of good and evil. But, it’s obscure so I notice my own faults only if they are very obvious or I sin in such a way that they are particularly embarrassing to me (ref#35, p200).

Familiarizing myself with the laws set down in the Old Testament helps me recognize more of my corruptions. But even laws do nothing to make me see my deep personal sin (ref#35, p202).

The work of conviction, from Your SPIRIT, gives me the best knowledge of sin. This knowledge is so useful that it reveals sins that I, on my own, do not have the ability to detect; these sins must be made real to me by Your SPIRIT—a source not connected with my native nature (ref#35, p202).

I thank You FATHER, for Your SPIRIT’s conviction. I am not offended when I recognize His voice, instead, I’m humbled. He has the ability to convince me of sin in such a way that I’m unable to deny His words and am ready to repent. I thank You, FATHER, that Your SPIRIT not only is able to point out my sins but has the ability to accomplish in me the sorrow for sin which leads me to the obedience You require. So, search me, O GOD, and see if there is any grievous way in me and then lead me in the right way (Ps 139:23-24).