Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Our Secret Sins

Chuckle: "TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor? JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables."
“If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9 NIV).
"When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, 'I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.' And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone" (Psalm 32:3-5 NLT).
In a previous lesson, we dealt with our hidden motives for what we do as Christians. We can definitely do good things for the wrong reasons -- to impress people and bring attention to ourselves rather than to God. Today, how would God have us deal with the secret sins of our hidden lives?
First, we can begin by recognizing that God sees our hidden lives. The Scriptures repeatedly declare that God knows all our secrets. We may deceive others, but not God. "Men look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (I Samuel 16:7 NIV). It's unfortunate that many of us live as if we can hide our true motives and sins from God. ". . . for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts" (I Chronicles 28:9b NIV).
Second, we can consciously open ourselves to God by confessing our sins. Since God already knows everything about us, we're not telling Him anything he doesn't know. But Confession can restore us to peace with God and contentment of spirit. This was the experience of the Psalmist in Psalm 32. Secrets can be heavy and burdensome, can rob us of joy, and can stunt our spiritual growth. Guilt harbored in the heart rather than confessed openly to God is devastating. On the other hand, guilt entrusted to God is dead and gone, freeing us to enjoy God's love. Confession and forgiveness are how we allow God to lighten our load and fill our hearts with a new song.
Third, we can open our hidden lives to God by paying more attention to what's going on inside of us. We need to take the time to stop, look, and listen -- to examine ourselves, and discover what's been happening to our soul -- the deepest center of our being. This is why we have to learn to pray the prayer of silence -- the prayer of quietly listening as God speaks to us.
Prayer is much more than flooding God with our requests, our pleas, and our cries for help. Prayer is also about listening. In our silence, we need to listen for the voice of God. He will show us our hidden motives and secret sins. Have a great day as you confess secret sins and let God forgive you, cleanse you, and restore the joy of your salvation!
Love, Jerry & Dotse

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