I must confess, it's been wonderful to study this with you all. When I previously discussed with Pastor Kevin, it was a topic that I hadn't heard much beyond the point of "confess your sins". Over the past few weeks, the Lord has revealed so much in this one topic.
To recap -
What is confession? - (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary) - It’s admission, declaration, or acknowledgment, which is a significant element in the worship of God in both OT and NT. The majority of the occurrences of the term can be divided into two primary responses to God: the confession of sin and the confession of faith.
The freedom we find…confession frees us to leave the solitary confinement of sin so we can experience the freedom of being healed.
Notice the wording above?
Sermon in a sentence: When we fix our eyes on Him we can see the places of victory in our lives where He has been guiding, protecting & healing us. So, we can worship God in the process of confession.
Other way to say it - - we have freedom to see the journey we’ve been on and that we are being healed by Him.
- Sin & The prison -
Life is often referred to as a battle. Before salvation we were prisoners of war, held captive by the enemy, often without a clue. As we were integrated into the kingdom of darkness, each of us followed our own way fulfilling our evil desires.
The prison that we were confined to is a hidden/secret one. In that place, the voice of the Lord gets overlooked because we focused on the voices of doubt, fear, critique, pain, worry, self-hatred, etc.
Even when Jesus breaks in and pronounces our freedom, many continue to go about life in their shackles and prison clothes.
So often, Christians can’t get past the confession of sin and walk in the confession of their faith. We must focus on what the word said above, I believe we, by ourselves, could be any of the types mentioned in this scripture. The process of being “good soil” is not something we achieve alone, but it’s by relying on Him. If we confess Jesus and allow Him to take control of our lives He is the one who takes us through the process of sanctification. We don’t and can’t “get Holy” before we come to Him.
- Freedom & New Life -
As I was thinking of all this, the word reveille came to mind. I know, I’m a bit weird :)
Reveille - comes from a French word and it means ‘to awaken, to arise’.
We need a reminder, a wake up call(a reveille).
To those that are in confinement, there is no better wake up call than to hear about true Freedom! To know that, although we deserved our punishment for sin, someone else paid for it so that we could have new life. His goodness doesn’t just stop there!
Acts 16:25-26 -
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
Instead of focusing on their situation (prison), they shifted their focus. They reminded themselves of His faithfulness and sang for all to hear.
- Memorial Stones
Recently, we went through the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality study. In that series, we learned that in order to move forward, it meant that we need to go backward.
If you know me and my family, we watch a lot of kids movies. In Cars, the character Mater made the statement -
“There ain’t no need to watch where I am going, just need to know where I’ve been.”
Going back to what?
This reminds me that I am not the “driver”, God is. I can take in all the sights & sounds, the new & familiar places and allow him to teach me in those moments as well as when I am looking back. He will remind me of all the victories!
I’m not encouraging everyone to drive around backwards or to get lost in the past. I am encouraging us to count our blessings, to see the places of victory that Christ has brought us through. Just as the Lord was faithful to bring the Israelites across the Jordan and they placed memorial stones to remember, we must remind ourselves of His faithfulness to us. This should be our daily reveille, our reminder and prompting to confess our faith and trust in Him.
- Remind each other! -
The apostle Paul said that we should speak to each other with psalms, hymns & spiritual songs; making melody in our hearts to the Lord.
Luke 12:8-9 TPT
8 “I can assure you of this: If you don’t hold back, but freely declare in public that I am the Son of Man, the Messiah, I will freely declare to all the angels of God that you are mine. 9 But if you publicly pretend that you don’t know me, I will deny you before the angels of God.
The Full Assurance of Faith
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- Closing -
Your old life will always remind you that you’ve messed up too bad this time. That you need certain people or things to be “accepted”. Or even that the church or church people hurt you and you’ve had enough of religion, you don’t need to go back.
I believe the Spirit will say something like this: I have loved you with an everlasting love. I will never give up on you. You don’t need to “clean yourself up”, look a certain way or talk a certain way. I knew what I was getting when I paid for you with My blood. Accept me into your life, spend time with me & I’ll teach you my ways and I’ll teach you what to say. But don’t stop there, I want to spend every day with you. Remember to bring some friends with you and watch as you are transformed together and you can worship me together.