Ladies, I am so excited and grateful (also a bit nervous) to be bearing my soul on a blog. Today we’re going to talk about confession. It ain’t cute, but scripture demands confession. Yes. I’ll let you take a minute to do what I did… get some coffee and put your big girl panties on. Let’s hear a hard thing and live it out. Our hearts depend on Jesus cleaning house. Jesus cleans house when we humbly confess. We cannot fear and love our good God with our WHOLE hearts if we’re harboring unconfessed sin.
“If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:8
I am a nurse in a hospital. I see all the yuck and gore and heartbreak every shift. But when one of my patient’s hearts stops beating or converts to an abnormal rhythm you’ll see me go into emergency mode. Remain calm, think clearly, act fast. During a medical emergency, it’s crucial that I discern what is happening and do what is possible to convert the heart back into normal rhythm quickly. I’ll get the patient’s clothes off from the waist up, attach two pads to their chest, let the defibrillator analyze, and when necessary shock the patient (in Grey’s anatomy they use paddles… eye roll). With a shock delivered a heart can go back into rhythm within seconds. Game changer. Without the defibrillator to deliver a shock and without the patient’s chest bare, the heart doesn’t change. Y’all, our hearts, both spiritual and physical, don’t just passively go from a flatline to normal. It must be active. We MUST participate. James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you might be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Ladies CONFESS is a verb. We must do this. Jesus is commanding it, not suggesting it. When we sin and our hearts are not whole before him we must confess. It’s not passive, we need to be shocked back into rhythm.
Let’s chat about the part in the verse where prayer “has great power as it is working.” Girls, defibrillators have great power and work extremely fast. The patient being shocked cannot will their heart back into rhythm, the nurse cannot make it happen either. Similarly, we cannot manhandle our spiritual hearts into a healthy rhythm. We must pray and confess. When we pray, the work of the confession-forgiveness exchange is between our good God and our humble hearts. If you think your kind sweetness, your extra hard work, your desire to “do better, be better” can make your heart clean, you’ll still be working with a half functioning heart. Our glorious God hears our prayers and is loving and gracious to forgive when we confess. Make no mistake, as we pray God is already working.
Remember that part where I mentioned the patient’s chest must be bare for the defibrillator to work? The pads must be directly on bare skin with no clothing in the way. I can’t imagine anyone would eagerly agree to lay half naked in a room full of strangers. But to get your heart right you must get naked (spiritually people). We can’t keep pet sins and be wholehearted. We can’t keep the sex addictions, the lust for another man, the body image issues, or the food addictions. And girls, we can’t keep the “little sins” either. The pride, jealousy, anger, selfishness, bitterness, and fear. We jump so quickly to say we aren’t struggling with the “big stuff” but what about the “small” things, the things in the dark corners, the unspoken things or the things that have just become part of your “personality”. All of this “clothing” must be removed, we must get bare for our hearts to be whole before Him. Psalm 32:1 “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. “ We will waste away if we don’t confess any and ALL sin. Our hearts cannot love the Lord our God with our whole heart while we keep silent. If we keep silent something else will be speaking. Psalm 36:1 “Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart, there is no fear of God before his eye”. That should scare us. We cannot fear (or love) God when we harbor our pet sins. But what does transgression speak? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what transgression is speaking to you. For your heart’s sake, for His Glory’s sake, ask! I’m talking to me here as well. It’s not cute, remember that part about being naked?
- Me: Wow, I am better than them….
- Jesus: Love ME (not you) with your WHOLE heart
- Me: pity party…
- Jesus: I uphold YOU with my righteous right hand
- Me: how dare they do that to me …
- Jesus: I alone hold your lot.
- Me: I’m so afraid of…
- Jesus: MY perfect love casts out ALL fear
Several years ago my husband and I got to sit under Matt Chandler’s teaching at our home church when we lived in Dallas. Every Sunday we heard “preach the gospel to yourself daily.” I grew tired of it, then the Lord blew me up. I began to see the need for confession in my walk, and that I was doing it so little. Step one of the gospel is to acknowledge and confess your sin. You are a big nasty sinner. I had become a good christian jerk. I did church, I read the Bible, and I did all the things. But did I confess daily to God or to man? Nope, and I really didn’t want to. But the more I confessed, the more I was aware of the sins. The Lord was gracious and kind to press and sanctify. Sister, He still is. Every. Single. Day. I say sorry more to Him and others than I ever have, and I need to even more still. But, my heart goes back into rhythm.
Ladies, preach the Gospel to yourself daily. Confess. Ask the Holy Spirit to do the scary stuff, to search “deep in your heart”. When someone confesses to you, be gracious like He is and pray with them. Let us confess and be forgiven so we may glorify our good God!
Megan lives in Georgia with her entrepreneur (read handsome hunk) husband and their two daughters. She is a nurse by profession but LOVES the wife-momma-friend gig she gets to have. She loves people and coffee (coffee AND people together is even better). She loves caring for others, remodeling her house (yikes!), and talking with people about their strengths and stories.