More on Prayer - Confession

I am in Isaiah this month and once again amazed at the greatness of God and the depth of our sin. Isaiah has some very comforting passages and some that are disquieting to say the least.

I read God saying He is sovereign, He will not share His glory, He is doing things for His namesake and He is the first and last. He makes it pretty clear that He is in charge.

He also makes it very clear we try to steal His glory and we do not have a leg to stand on. "Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. Your first father sinned; your spokesman rebelled against me." (Isaiah 43:26-27)

There is no need to defend a defenseless position. We are guilty. It is ok to admit it. That is what we call confession. But let us not take it too lightly as we come to prayer.

We have a tendency to say, "Jesus paid it all." That is right. However, and this is a bit deep, we need to know that saying that will not kill our sin. We need to mortify the desires of the flesh with the right motives. To crucify our sin, not by just confessing it as we would shake off dust from our feet, but by actively putting it to death, led by the Spirit. True confession is hard work. True repentance is more than words, fruit must be born.

Some would say it requires specific action (penance). Most would say we need an active pursuit of sin to root it out and then kill it. We need the light of God to show it to us and to cause us to fight it. The action indicates that we really are sorry and we want God to change us. He is the one who eradicates, we are the ones who petition and work.

One area that may be new to some, but hopefully helpful is to take the mindset of taking your sin to the gospel, not for relief, but for further conviction. We really tend to have a small view of our sin. Every sin is offensive to a holy God in an eternal and infinite way. Every sin.

As we hold our sin up to the light of the gospel, the blackness of it will become apparent. I encourage you to hold it there for a while this week. Let conviction build, let sorrow grow, let tears fall and then repent before your Father who will help you to fight what He too hates.