Words of Worth

Get Ready to Confess

January 17, 2014

UnknownFirst a little recap: The word of the day is FOCUS. The goal is to get focused and maybe more importantly, stay focused on the things of the Lord. To be honest, my mind wandered more than once just typing that sentence and I had to resist an overwhelming urge to check my email even though I just looked at it five minutes ago! I’m so grateful God “remembers we are but dust”. (Psalm 103:14) But knowing how much I appreciate someone giving me some uninterrupted time and full attention, shouldn’t I desire to offer that same gift to the Lord?

So, F in the word FOCUS stands for Forsake all Distractions. Obviously for me, that means turn off my email.

The letter O reminds me to Observe His Omnipresence by saying, “God, you are in this room, listening.”

Now for C. The move from O to C is vividly described in a pretty familiar passage of Scripture from the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah had an astounding vision of the Lord “sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1) As Isaiah was ushered into the holy presence of God, his response was an instant confession. “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips.”

I don’t actually sit in my chair with the Bible on my lap wailing, “WOE IS ME!” (That’s a little dramatic for my nature) However,  after taking a moment to observe God’s omnipresence, I am moved pretty quickly to confession.

Confession of sins will look a little different for everyone. Some people are naturally prone to introspection. Others have difficulty making the connection of attitude, action, and behavior. Some sins are easy to spot; others we may hide or even excuse. That’s why the letter C in the word FOCUS is a prompt to “Confess your Sinful Motive”. This cuts deep because this kind of confession will involve searching your heart. For example, you lost your temper and you reacted in a way that you know was wrong. But why did you lose your temper? What is the reason you got so angry? Is it because you didn’t get your way? Do you need to confess the sin of selfishness?

Here’s how I handle the letter C – “Confess your Sinful Motive”. I have an index card that hopefully no one on the face of the earth will ever see. It’s labeled “Despicable Me”. On that card I write down the things I see in my life that are, well, despicable. Several years ago when I realized I was struggling with resentment, I wrote it on the card. That was a deeply personal issue for me but by keeping that sinful attitude ever before me, I was more aware of when my behavior connected to the sin of resentment.

The Bible tells us if we regard iniquity in our hearts, God won’t hear us. (Psalm 66:18) That word regard meant to see, to look after, and to learn about. A friend of mine calls this “a pet sin” – you keep it and feed and water it and even if you feel bad about it, you don’t let it stray too far from you. Most often, pet sins hang around in the form of attitudes. I could list a few, but I’ve already exposed one of mine and I am thrilled to tell you that as they say in Africa, “slowly by slowly” God rooted that bitter root of resentment right out of my heart. It’s your turn now to examine your life and see what you need to confess. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

By the way, I end the time of confession with another C. Before I move on to the next letter of FOCUS, I whisper this little prayer, “Conform me now, Lord, to what YOU want me to be.”  (ct)

 

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