Spiritual Discipline // CONFESSION
By Donia Hovet
A water pick is a wondrous thing. It’s like a mini pressure washer for your mouth. With the click of a button, food particles and microscopic germs are dislodged from your gums and teeth in seconds! If your gums are healthy, it feels really good. If your gums are compromised, it feels like daggers. If you have braces, it’s just plain magical.
Confession is like a water pick. When we confess our sins, they become dislodged from our spirit man, no longer able to infect us. I don’t believe there is any other singular act that catapults us more directly into the healing power of God than confession. Confession is LIGHT invading the dark.
Read James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
I notice several things about confession as James defines it:
- We need to confess TO SOMEONE. Confession ONE TO ANOTHER is what fully allows us to embody the words of Paul: “It is for freedom Christ has set us FREE!” Hiding, covering up, image-control-these are the devil’s playground
- Our response should be to pray for one another. In our weakness, we turn TO GOD and TO EACH OTHER. We don’t hide. We should expect each other to struggle. We should expect ourselves to struggle. We have the power to lead each other into truth, light, grace and the presence of the Father for healing.
- We are promised a favorable outcome if we engage in confession. We will be healed. We will be healed BECAUSE our prayers, shrouded in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, are powerful and effective.
This past Sunday, I shared about a time when my youth pastor asked me a hard question: “Are you reading your Bible?” I sheepishly confessed: “No.” Confession comes by way of honesty. There is no circumventing the truth when it comes to this crucial spiritual discipline. And just like the rushing waters of my water pik, honest confession promises to stave off spiritual infection as we discipline ourselves to do it regularly.
- How are you actively and regularly engaging in the spiritual discipline of confession? Who is the safe person who holds you accountable?
- Sin comes in many forms: habits, thought patterns, self-deceptions, judgement, choices, actions, etc. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your liabilities and schedule a time to confess, repent and pray with your trusted person.
- Are you reading your Bible? If so, how have you allowed your life to be altered, changed and examined by the reading of the word? Celebrate the victories. Repent for hardness of heart. If you’re not regularly reading, what is your next step? (Review the application points from this past Sunday’s message for suggestions.)