The Bible is clear that confession is a vital part of our spiritual lives. Psalm 139:23-24 teaches, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” How can we include confession in our prayer life?
1 John 1:9 provides a guide for our confession: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I claim those verses over my life before I start confessing sin. I have an index card that has a list of the different sins that I struggle with daily. These include pride, anger, jealousy, envy, and pleasing people.
I also have other sins I confess that have taken place recently, such as a rude comment to my wife or impatience with my son. As I pause to consider the many ways I need God’s forgiveness, I find myself convicted of many occasions in which I need His grace. As John notes, I confess my wrongs to remain clean before God. I do not want to live a life filled with unconfessed sins.
Why Do We Confess Sin?
We need to confess our sins to God because the devil is the accuser of the brethren according to Revelation 12: 9-10:
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I hear a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”
If you claim 1 John 1:9 and confess your sin, you are clean before God. Satan’s lies that you are not good enough or smart enough cannot change this fact. The Devil is the father of lies according to John 4:4.
We don’t want to give the Devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:20). What is a foothold? A foothold is an easy place for latch onto to secure one’s footing. Our goal must be to remove any opportunity for Satan to secure a place in our lives.
How Does God See Us?
God calls us the temple of God. Why? Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us as believers. I once read an illustration from a teacher that said to imagine yourself as a house. The house has 30 windows. And let’s just say it’s night and all the lights are on. That’s really bright! People can walk around the house clearly because of your light.
But imagine you have some unconfessed sin your life. It’s like turning off some of those lights. Just one little sin, and now you’re down to 25 windows. You still have a bright light, but it’s not the same. Keep this pattern up and soon there will only be a couple lights remaining. When people walk, there will not be enough light to guide them out of their darkness. The house will just look like an abandoned house.
Sometimes we wonder, “Why do I feel like I’m not making a difference for Jesus?” Part of the issue may be that we aren’t confessing your sin and the devil has a foothold. He is renting space in our home and covering those windows. Satan loves it because our light is not as bright as it should be.
Confession is not an enjoyable topic, but there can be joy as we experience the Lord forgiving our sins. Once you confess that sin, you are forgiven! Don’t give the devil the delight of holding past wrongs against you. Confess your sins and move forward in faith today.
Rik Cramer serves as Campus Pastor at Peavine Baptist Church. He is a graduate of Truett McConnell University who frequently writes and speaks on issues of prayer and evangelism. He lives with his wife and son in North Georgia.
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