CONFESSION

BACK TO BASICS

…FATHER, my human self-worth is tied up in my accomplishments so my tendency is to always think about accomplishments in spiritual life.

“…instead of stressing holiness in order to see God, the emphasis is on service for God…Techniques and methods, by which we hope to make God’s message known, have become the important thing” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p16).

Instead of longing for You, I gravitate toward longing for power to better serve You (ref#100, p16). Let me make some notes to myself that they might recalibrate my thinking.

“…thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11 KJV). “…what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him,…” (Deut 10:12 KJV). “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:…” (Mark 12:30 KJV).

FATHER, let the above Scriptures remind me that I have been created only to delight You. It should be my joy continually to submit to Your will and desires (ref#100, p17).

“The divines who…produced the Westminster Confession of Faith answered the question ‘What is the chief end of man?’ with the words, ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever’” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p14).

The missionary, David Brainerd records some sobering words in his diary. It makes me question whether I’m interested in Your glory or simply getting from You what I think best:

 “I saw it was self interest had led me to pray and that I had never once prayed from any respect to the glory of God….I saw there was no…connection between my prayers and the bestowment of divine mercy; that they laid not the least obligation upon God to bestow His grace upon me…because they were not performed from any love or regard to God” Jonathan Edwards (ref#88, p68).

FATHER, I confess the ease by which I trade my joy of being with You for the satisfaction of doing something I think You would appreciate. Call to my attention swiftly the subtleness by which I move from submitting to You to deciding for myself.   Truly, I want to see You. I want to possess a hunger for You. I want to satisfy Your heart. I want to be back into a relationship of submission to You (ref#100, p25).

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CONFESSION

REPENTANCE AND REST

“For thus said the Lord God…’In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’…” (Isa 30:15 ESV).

FATHER, in regards to sin, I easily find myself resolving to do better next time instead of resting in Your presence (ref#100, p94). I want the opportunity to get it right. My first reaction to my sin is that it’s just a mistake or a momentary weakness that I can fix with my own abilities.

“But the moment we repent and put the blame where it belongs, on ourselves, the all-availing blood of Jesus comes into view on our behalf before God, and He then is pleased for Christ’s sake…” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p 91, 92).

FATHER, quickly bring me to confession. Give me the ability to not only admit my guilt but admit it is impossible for me to do any better. I must rest as the sinner under CHRIST’s blood until it pleases You to meet with me again (ref#100, p95).

FYI. My sin causes a rift in our relationship. Even the smallest sin triggers the serious consequence of lost fellowship with You. FATHER, move me to Calvary—to JESUS—glimpsing what my sin cost Him. It isn’t anything I do but His Blood that moves You (ref#97, p81).

My responsibility is to rest—rest because I have returned and You have forgiven—rest because our fellowship needs restored—rest because You need to instruct me what my next steps should be (ref#100, p92). Train me in the truth: You are holy, any sin is serious, and I must bow to You, confess, and rest until I sense Your strength filling me again.

CONFESSION

WHO IS DOING THE DOING?

“Not all deeds done for God are His deeds. Doing for Him is not enough; the question is, who is doing the doing? God will not recognize any labor as His if it simply reflects the believer’s activity and is carried out in his strength” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#101, p44).

When the Apostle Paul says I am to work out my own salvation (Phil 2:12-13), he is not saying to me to get busy and convince You, FATHER, that I love You. If I have any thought of impressing You it signals my activities are birthed from ruling myself. Working out my salvation is not choosing Christian activities that I want to do.

FATHER, instead of permitting my perverse nature to work out my salvation, bequeath me that I may, with concentration and care work out the nature You have put in me when You changed my nature (ref#7, June 6th). I want You to dominate more and more of my life (ref#7, June 7th); I want to be more and more acquainted with Your good work, not my own good work—Your rule, not my rule.

“The moment we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than…carry on and rely on his grace,…and—sin” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p297).

CONFESSION

PLANNING MY ITINERARY

…FATHER, if I say I have things in common with CHRIST—if I say I have fellowship with Him, yet plan my own itinerary, I speak falsely and do not live and practice the Truth (1 John 1:6).  If I claim that I experience a shared life with CHRIST and continue to stumble around in the dark not knowing if I am walking by my agenda or the SPIRIT’s, I am not living what I claim (1 John 1:6).

But, if I walk in the light, as CHRIST is in the light, we have fellowship (1 John 1:7).   If I habitually plan my agenda as You Yourself plan it, I have things in common and thus fellowship with You. “God and a holy heart are in continual correspondence” Adam Clarke’s Commentary (ref#15, [1 John 1:7]).

In fellowship Your light is continually showing me the truth about myself and my sin (ref#100, p111) and if I confess my sin, CHRIST will be true to His own nature and promises and will forgive everything not in conformity to His will (1 John 1:9). So walking with JESUS is not only walking in faith but also walking in repentance (ref#100, p117).

Let me examine my itinerary. FATHER, I confess I walk too much in the darkness. In fact it is such a habit I do it without thinking, especially when You let me accomplish my plans without intervention.

On earth every one knows who is head over them. Leaders of countries demand from their subjects. But You, FATHER, are silent. You do not show Yourself to me until I turn and wait for You. You do not come to fellowship with me until I invite You—then You come in haste—with abandon—as a father rushing to the panicked cry of his child. I easily forget that the joy I find in my own accomplishments in the dark does not compare to the joy of walking in the light with You.

CONFESSION

VAIN ILLUSIONS

“…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).

CONFESSION

HUMILITY

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-3-46-01-pm“The head must be bowed low to the dust to admit that we are no better than what Jesus had to become for us” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p77).

FATHER, let me daily review my total inability to help myself. You do not help me occasionally, like picking up a just-learning-to-walk child when he falls, no, I am in the troughs of an enemy who labors day and night to devour me (1 Pet 5:8). I need to envision myself daily in the middle of a ring of fire needing You to reach Your hand down and pluck me out.

“The bedrock in Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possession; weakness, not strength of will; infirmity of character, not goodness; a sense of absolute poverty, not decisions for Christ…(Matt 5:3)”  Oswald Chambers (ref#83, p90).

“If we grow down in humility and up in worship—leave off all sin and the diverting pleasures of this world and persevere because we desire Christ supremely—we could not fathom doing anything to grieve One so infinitely glorious—One who saves to the uttermost and ever lives to intercede one as vile as me” Dan Cummings (ref#141, April 9, 2006).

CONFESSION

THOUGHTS IN MY HEAD–SATAN’S OR GOD’S?

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-2-06-23-pm…FATHER, my natural inclination is when life is easy to take life easy. Thus, it often does not occur to me to be resolute in the investigating of spiritual matters. You command me to “test everything” (1 Thes 5:21). I know I have power through the HOLY SPIRIT to test everything that enters my life. Let this prayer remind me that the evil one continually hurls lies at me (ref#101, p137-138).

Conviction that is real is conviction from the HOLY SPIRIT that leads to holiness while satan’s conviction leads to discouragement because he continually accuses (ref#101, p140). Asking for the precious cleansing blood (1 John 1:9) to purify me stops all accusation. If I am still assaulted with indictments I know they are from the devil (ref#101, p139). “…the Holy Spirit never reproves further if the sin is cleansed by the precious blood and forsaken” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p140).

“If the reproof is of a nagging nature—that is, blaming, without any end to it—and if it is a vague and general reproof rather than clearly specific, then we may know it to be, as a rule, the accusation of Satan. If the reproof is clear and specific, and if we instinctively know that we have only to be willing to say yes and repent to have peace and comfort, then we may be assured that it is the voice of the gracious Holy Spirit…and we may safely obey His convictions and turn to Calvary” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p96-97).

How sly the enemy is to make his convictions only slightly uncomfortable so that I can be lazy and only a bit discouraged. FATHER, too often I let accusations free to roam in my head for lengthy periods. Prod me, FATHER, that I may recognize conviction and deal with it immediately. All praise to You who conquers all Your enemies.

CONFESSION

ANGER

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 10.29.55 AM“…whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17 ESV).

Anger is my announcement to myself that I am seeking my own way and not Yours, FATHER. And the announcement makes me madder—it tells me I’m failing at being righteous—the very thing I want to be known for.

You have taught me so much. I know so much of the right things to do. I’m irritated that I know so much which proclaims to me how often I fail. Ah, but anger clues me that I have fallen into the devil’s ploy of trying to be spiritually ambitions (ref#105, p68).

“The massive interest in self-esteem and self-worth exists because it is trying to help us with a real problem. The problem is that we really are not okay. There is no reason why we should feel great about ourselves.  We truly are deficient” Edward T. Welsh (ref#106, p29).

“When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 8th).

Pride makes me angry. But how can I let my selfishness upstage CHRIST? CHRIST a continual servant—excepting life as it came—never getting His way—never.

“All He did was for others. When He came from heaven, it was for others.  When He laid down His life, it was for others….when He was raised again…it was…to justify others…the position He occupies…now in heaven is for others,…” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p139).

“For every one look at myself I must take ten looks at Jesus” Edward T. Welsh (ref#106, p67). Anger begs a “time-out.” And a productive “time-out” is to squelch anger by looking to JESUS.

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).