CONFESSION

BELIEF MORE THAN BEHAVIOR

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.10.35 PM…FATHER, I desire to be more concerned about my beliefs than my behavior. The enemy would lead me to focus on my behavior—my poor behavior. He is forever reminding me of my sins—trying to convince me that I am “unworthy, unacceptable, sin-sick” who will never amount to anything in Your eyes (ref#14, p 57). Yet, at the same time, he encourages me to work harder at being better.

Your intention is that I confess, forsake the sin, and quickly move on with You. But, I have trouble moving on with You when my attention is on changing sinful behavior. Help me, LORD to dwell on my beliefs and not my behavior.

“I have been justified—completely forgiven and made righteous (Rom 5:1)” Neil Anderson (ref#14, p57). Because of CHRIST’s work sin no longer has dominion over me (Rom 6:14). I have passed out of sin as truly as the dead man has passed out of life (Rom 6:2). I have been placed into CHRIST by Your doing, FATHER (1 Cor 1:30). “…The life I am now living is Christ’s life (Gal 2:20)” (ref#14, p58). “…I am sanctified and am one with the Sanctifier, He is not ashamed to call me brother (Heb 2:11)” (ref#14, p59).

Admittedly, the below is also true:

  • I, along with everyone else, do not understand or seek You (Ps 53:2).
  • I, along with everyone else, corrupt my own way (Gen 6:12).
  • I, along with everyone else, have fallen away and am dishonest (Ps 53:3).
  • I, along with everyone else, do not do good (Ps 53:3).
  • I, along with everyone else, have a heart filled with destruction and do not speak truth (Ps 5:9).

FATHER, continually aid me to always perceive the truth about my perpetual sinful condition then turn immediately to rest with CHRIST on His accomplishments. He is the upright One who instructs and teaches me (Ps 25:8-9). I walk in His faithfulness, not in my faithfulness (Ps 26:3). May I seek joy in CHRIST alone, not in any good feelings I may get by improving my behavior.

CONFESSION

 

SIN DOES NO PERMANENT DAMAGE

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 2.07.49 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

WANTING TO CONQUER SIN

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 6.06.12 AM…PATIENT FATHER, instill in me again that it is my old nature still residing in the members of my body that wants to conquer sin. But when, under my own strength, I succeed in not sinning, I become prideful—I hug myself like Micah when he got a real Levite and made him his own personal priest (Jud 17:12-13) (ref#35, p311).

However, as I move closer to Your CHRIST, communing with Him, I comprehend my utter unprofitableness regarding my ability to not sin. In communion I am face to face with the Infinitely Righteous who knows very well my vanity.

Let me quickly assign honor and glory to JESUS CHRIST for all that He has done for me. This brings fame to You, FATHER. Let me speak this truth to myself: You are credited each time CHRIST pardons me.

FATHER, You are attentive to CHRIST’s work, not mine. I am justified and accepted into Your kingdom only by the activity of JESUS CHRIST. He bears my iniquities (Isa 53:11) laying down His life as a ransom for my sins (Mark 10:45).

My sins will ever be before me (Ps 51:3), so let me rack my brain to think of them, not so I can attempt to stop doing them but so I can realize the extent of them and celebrate in praise that JESUS CHRIST answered Your justice for me. He has undergone the punishment that was and is due me.

CHRIST takes my sins and bears them away—disposes of them so You, FATHER, can be pleased with me and I can cling to CHRIST as He provides love, life, righteousness, and peace for me. Yes, He provides. Continue to remind me, FATHER, that as soon as I look upon my sin believing I can remove it (by overcoming it), I lose sight of CHRIST.

CHRIST, You call me to You even with my presently known load of sins. You say, “Come with your guilt of sin—come unto me (Matt 11:28) and honor the FATHER by laying yourself before Me so I can remove your sins as far as the East is from the West” (Ps 103:12).

Let me call on CHRIST to remove my sin and not petition You, FATHER, to help me remove the sin myself.

CONFESSION

INTERNAL RIGHTEOUSNESS

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.44.13 PM“If you would climb to heaven, stoop. Do we not say of Jesus, ‘He descended so that He might ascend’? So must you. You must grow downward so that you may grow upward, for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone”Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, April 5th PM).

FATHER, I want to become conformed to the image of Your Son (Rom 8:29)—His compassionate acts—His authoritative words—His unrivaled righteousness.

This way of thinking brings me close to the thin line where, on one side, activities are produced by my own energies, and, on the other side, activities are prompted by the SPIRIT. It is an unsafe place to be for the continual lure is to fall on the side of self-effort, which, at its best, can only “act” like CHRIST.

FATHER, direct me toward an internal righteousness—my striving to subject my mind, will, affections, and desires to JESUS. This is the place where the HOLY SPIRIT definitely works. “In every corruption subdued, in every…besetting sin laid aside, in every holy desire begotten, Christ is glorified…” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, August 24th). In repentance—with a broken heart—by being contrite I can bring You more glory than appearing impressively righteous to people around me.

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)?

 

CONFESSION

DISCIPLINE

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 3.37.53 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’…” Octavius Winslow (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

TRYING TO SIN LESS

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 2.36.57 PM…MY FATHER, “When thou art angry towards me for my wrongs I try to pacify thee by abstaining from future sin; But teach me…that only Christ’s righteousness, ready made, already finished, is fit for that purpose; that thy chastising me for my sin is not that I should try to reform, but only that I may be more humbled, afflicted, and separated from sin, by being reconciled, and made righteous in Christ by faith;…” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p96).

FATHER, my logic says, “Eliminate sin and I won’t need forgiveness—be good and I won’t have to suffer Your discipline.” But my striving to do better next time does not neutralize my sin.

“Sin is…deliberate and emphatic independence of God” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct. 7th). All attempts I use to stop sinning and live right are attempts to usurp Your authority and put myself under my control.

 “…the wicked…flatters and deceives himself…that his iniquity will not…be hated” (Ps 36:1-2 AMP).

“Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Oct 7th). In me is the heredity of sin. JESUS did not take my sins on Himself; he took on Himself my heredity of sin (ref#7, Oct 7th). I am not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I am a sinner (ref#56, p781).

FATHER, I humbly accept Your Son’s finished work on the cross to cover my sinful nature. Keep reminding me that constantly I need CHRIST to take care of my sin. I don’t need Him just when I think have I sinned. King David said, “My sin is ever before me” (Ps 51:3). Keep alive in me, LORD, the sense of sin’s evil constantly so I might think upon CHRIST constantly (ref#35, p317).

 

CONFESSION

BE DEPENDENT

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.56.40 AM“…the issue was whether Adam would let God determine what was good and bad, or would seek to decide that for himself, in disregard of what God had said” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p13, “The Fall”).

“The demanding of my own will is the singular force that smothers out joy—nothing else” Ann Voskamp (ref#130, p177). “Am I a pauper toward God? Do I know I cannot prevail in prayer;…I cannot alter my disposition; I cannot lift myself nearer to God” Oswald Chambers (ref#118, p16,17)?

FATHER, help me keep my arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of CHRIST. This is the unending life (Jude 21). Move me to relish all circumstances that drive me to depend on CHRIST. LORD, You can’t keep me if I don’t keep dependent on You. I desire to seek You LORD, and Your strength, to yearn for and seek Your face and to be in Your presence continually (1 Chron 16:11). Determine for me what is good and bad.

CONFESSION

MY FLESH DIED WITH CHRIST

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 10.28.32 AM…FATHER, because I have died—that is my flesh has died—that is my selfish disposition, let me set my mind on things above (Col 3:2-3). Since I am dead to sin and the world (ref#16, [Col 3:5]), my life now is hidden with CHRIST in You, FATHER (Col 3:3). I am with CHRIST in the glories of His kingdom (ref#16, [Col 3:5]), therefore, remind me that my job is to keep everything that remains of my earthy life subdued (ref#16, [Col 3:5]), i.e. my selfish nature.

I must make a habit of becoming sensitive to flesh’s continual attempt at resurrection. I must be aware of my selfishness, and be ready to lock arms with CHRIST and confront the temptation, which is to do what I want to.

Remind me, LORD, to assess how powerful and desperate my old disposition is to rule me. Flesh desires to live forever just as satan does and satan is behind it’s power. Flesh is a formidable foe that I cannot come close to defeating with my own strength. In fact, my own strength doesn’t even want to defeat flesh.

A short time away from You and Your Word will make me think I alone, in the strength of my flesh, can handle temptation as well as represent You adequately. But, the power outflowing from CHRIST’s resurrection is more than enough to subdue any fleshly work, yet, let my mind drift away from You, and flesh is instantly able to go on a rampage, for it never takes no for an answer (ref#33, p101). Letting the SPIRIT lead out is of the utmost, for it is by the HOLY SPIRIT I am able to keep the deeds of my flesh dead (Rom 8:13).

With my desire to keep my flesh dead and the SPIRIT’s power to accomplish that, is how I can live a victorious life. O FATHER, remind me to be constantly vigilant. Flesh always serves the law of sin; it will never change (ref#33, p102).

SPIRIT, apply the finished work on the cross to me continually, for my flesh is dead only if I keep it subdued. My selfish nature is always ready to break forth to rule at any moment. I plead to be led by You, SPIRIT.

CONFESSION

NEW BIRTH

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 2.48.03 PM…FATHER, increase my understanding of regeneration—Your ability to alter my natural-born heredity. My “natural virtues are the remnants of a design that has been broken, and that the only way the design can be fulfilled is by…being made all over again” Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p90). However, “…when the new disposition is put in the old physical case is not taken away. It is left there for me to discipline and turn into an obedient servant to the new disposition” Oswald Chambers (ref#118, p35).

 “Jesus says—If you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your dreams, in the recesses of your mind. You must be so pure in your motives that God Almighty can see nothing to censure…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 24th).

CHRIST is the only one who is above censure. And He is the only One who can put His own disposition into people who ask for it. “The purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within…” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, July 24th).

“From the divine side, Christ is living in us and enabling us to live the way he teaches us to live. It’s his work. But from our side, it’s experienced by trusting him moment by moment to be with us and to help us” John Piper (ref#92, p87).

FATHER, I desire to take hold of CHRIST’s disposition and mold my life after His. And, praise You, that He will accomplish that when I give myself over to Him.