May 11, 2017
For about 10 years, I had many insecurities and fears that led to numerous sinful decisions and behaviors. I made lame excuses to myself, to others, and to God. I also perfected the art of directing blame away from myself to avoid or deny the feelings, shame, and reality of my mistakes. My hole got deeper and deeper until I finally landed in jail. The nice aspect of jail is that the truth is hard to avoid. I was all alone, just God and me. I had no other excuses to give or places to hide.
Today’s Scripture is more lengthy than usual, but it beautifully expresses the despair so many of us experience when we hide our sins from God. But it also reveals the great freedom we experience when we stop hiding our guilt, confess our sinful decisions to the Lord, and receive His loving forgiveness.
Even though painful feelings are unpleasant to experience, facing them honestly and dealing with their cause is essential if we desire to function well and to feel fulfilled. If we want to be the person God has called us to be … if we want to stop hurting others and ourselves … if we want to experience the freedom and peace in our lives for which Christ died … we must face the truth and ask God for His forgiveness and His help. That is the first major decision. The second is to move forward by becoming good stewards of His help and His instructions by developing and growing Godly decision-making skills.
Jesus understands the damage that occurs when unpleasant feelings are ignored and pushed below the surface. He encourages us to approach Him like a little child … being vulnerable … willingly sharing our feelings with Him … trusting that He will heal us, not rub salt in our wounds, or take advantage of our vulnerability.
In childhood, there were times when we opened up, trusted, made ourselves vulnerable, and then were hurt. We mistakenly assumed the only way to avoid further hurt: hold it all in, close down, be skeptical of others, hide our mistakes, questions and insecurities. Satan wants us to keep our wrongs in the dark, to keep us down. He knows the Light will allow truth in, and that healing and shalom will prevail.
Today, think about sin in your life that you may be hiding … especially from yourself. God loves you and is ready for you to come to Him. He is your loving Father. Come to Him as the psalmist did. Then you can join the psalmist in rejoicing: “Finally, I confessed all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide my guilt.” I said to myself, I will confess my rebellion to the LORD. And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Develop the Spiritual Discipline of confession. Look at our Spiritual Basics link. It reconnects you to God and puts Him back on the throne of your heart so healing can begin and sink in. Whether you let light in to heal your wounds and mistakes, or you keep your wounds in the dark where Satan can re-open and infect them in a destructive way, is your choice, so choose well.
Dear Father God, I confess my rebellion and my sins. Forgive me for trying to hide it for so long. Thank You for Your unconditional love, for Your forgiveness, and for the peace that only You can give. Empower me with trust to come to You and be vulnerable when I am afraid of experiencing old wounds. Help me not to fear the pain I felt in the past. Let me know that with You I can withstand and overcome any and all pain. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One you sent to teach me about unconditional love, honesty, and humility, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My Strength evaporated like water in the heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.