Are we doing it right?
Stand on one foot. Jump up and down. Rub your tummy. Eeeiikk!
Have you ever felt like being a Christian is wondering what your next step is? Well, I have.
I like to set up a puzzle when my siblings come. I enjoy puzzling with them, catching up, etc., but when they leave, I look at the puzzle for weeks asking myself if I will finish it. I have decided the only reason I really like the puzzle is that it’s with them. Catching up on their lives. It’s a way to make us all sit down together and talk.
That thought led me to how we need to sit with God and talk. (It’s called prayer if you missed that subtle hint.) Why is it so hard for us to sit and talk with God? Well, just like it is to keep my siblings all in one space, the same goes for our thoughts.
We need an element that makes us go there. People have come up with great ideas over the years, and if we apply them; they work, we just need to apply them.
But then you can cross the line of being a Pharisee, only following the rules with no feelings.
Satan is really out to get us! Always putting us on our guard. Making us second guess our actions.
“Did we do that for Christ or for the praise and attention to ourselves?”
“I must not really love God if I have to force myself to read my Bible.”
“Yes, I’m watching this movie that is very entertaining but so against what I believe.”
“Should I stop watching it?”
These question swirl thru our minds at about 100 a minute.
I have been writing for months about making sure we know the Bible and knowing what God wants, not what we think or what we want.
To make sure our perception has not been askew by a misconception.
To ensure what we think is a sin is actually sin and not guilt.
And once we establish that we have sinned against God, then confession needs to come from us.
There is a quote in my Bible study from Jonathan Dodson about confession of sins.
“The goal of confession isn’t to cleanse ourselves before God because we can’t, and it isn’t to forgive ourselves because our sin isn’t ultimately against self; it’s against God. Therefore, confession isn’t to be viewed as a ritual bargaining chip we cash in to obtain a clear conscience. Our forgiveness has already been bought in Jesus; we simply procure His purchased forgiveness through confession… Perhaps it would be helpful to think of confession in terms of authenticity. Confession is a verbal way of spiritually recovering our authenticity in Christ.”
I think once we become authentic with Christ, we are able to pray a little easier. We are no longer estranged with God, so we can easily jump into a conversation with Him.
The Greek word for confession literally means to say the same thing about or agree with.
Biblical confession involves more than merely saying, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
When we say the same thing, God says about our sin, we agree with Him that we must not continue committing it.
Read your Bible folks and find out what you’re agreeing to, what you’re confessing to.
It will free you up from the chains of asking yourself all those questions and give you much better prayer life.
Karen Y. Stevens is the founder of Orange County Christian Writers Guild
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