Every time in my life that God has brought me back to one of the foundational principles of my salvation, it has been utterly transformational. This season has proved that all over again.
He laid it out simple. How to stop living under the burden of sin. How to kill the lies that seem to hide deep in my heart, manifesting themselves in all sorts of brokenness…all sorts of sin.
*“Killing the spider (lie I believe) is actually easy. It’s finding the spider that’s the hard part. Killing the spider is simply…
Confess. Repent. Replace.”* Carlos Whitaker
This little process, confess - repent - replace, has been life changing for me. Just a tiny tool to add to my tool belt of ways to combat my daily struggles with my own sin. But it’s that first word, that first step, that has really caught my attention recently.
I’ve been working myself into a new habit. The intent is to actually confess and repent to God daily, hourly, as often as needed, for my wrong attitudes, wrong thoughts, wrong actions. Oh how often it is needed.
And It feels a little odd. Like I imagine it would be going to confessional, although I am not Catholic.
But then I wonder, how in the world did regular repentance and confession become something that feels odd to me?
Isn’t that one of the very primary practices of our faith? Isn't it one of the first things every Christian was told to do at that pivotal moment of their salvation? Aren’t we commanded not only to confess our sins to God, but to eachother as well? (James 5:16)
And yet it feels odd to say, even in the most deeply Christian circles.
“I’m making a daily practice of confession.”
“God is teaching me about the importance of confessing my sin to Him daily.”
“I’m working on confessing and repenting over my sin to God every day.”
Yet it is true, and yet I persist. Because in this practice, I’ve found a deeper intimacy with God.
It’s harder to hide from God when I’m being honest about my sin.
It’s harder to hide from the nudge of the Spirit when I’m admitting how I really think and feel. When I am confessing to Him my wrong attitudes and the selfish or self-indulget actions that spring from them. It’s harder to hide from God. And from myself.
And I think I subconsciously run from confession and repentance for that very reason.
"Getting close to Jesus means we can no longer hide our inadequacies. His light illuminates everything that is wrong and ugly about our lives. Unconsciously, therefore, we may flee God's presence rather than pursue it.” Joanna Weaver: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
How much of my life have I spent in subconscious fleeing from God because I refuse to look my sin in the face long enough to bring it before His throne in repentance?
The thing I forget is… God’s throne is not a place of condemnation and punishment, but rather of grace and restoration.
And when I choose to hold myself back from that place of freedom God offers me, I’m not helping God or myself. I’m only causing more pain to us both through the unnecessary distance.
So I persist in this quest to lay my heart bare before my Savior each day in my pursuit of intimacy with God. To take the painful looks at my own heart and life and thoughts and motivations. To look long enough to see my heart in all its ugliness, and to see it washed again by the blood of the Lamb.
He never makes me regret it. Instead He forgives me, restores me, fills me…draws me close.
Confession - it is worth the pain. Always.