Confession

WEEK 6: CONFESSION

What are we learning through Lent? How have your readings, prayers, or fasting challenged or encouraged you as you follow Jesus?

SCRIPTURE

Read Psalm 38. This is David’s prayer of confession. It’s his prayer to expose the lifelessness of empty sins.

Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord

1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger,
nor discipline me in your wrath!

2 For your arrows have sunk into me,

and your hand has come down on me.

3 There is no soundness in my flesh

because of your indignation;

there is no health in my bones

because of my sin.

4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;

like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

5 My wounds stink and fester

because of my foolishness,

6 I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;

all the day I go about mourning.

7 For my sides are filled with burning,

and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8 I am feeble and crushed;

I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

9 O Lord, all my longing is before you;

my sighing is not hidden from you.

10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me,

and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

11 My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,

and my nearest kin stand far off.

12 Those who seek my life lay their snares;

those who seek my hurt speak of ruin

and meditate treachery all day long.

13 But I am like a deaf man; I do not hear,

like a mute man who does not open his mouth.

14 I have become like a man who does not hear,

and in whose mouth are no rebukes.

15 But for you, O Lord, do I wait;

it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

16 For I said, "Only let them not rejoice over me,

who boast against me when my foot slips!"

17 For I am ready to fall,

and my pain is ever before me.

18 I confess my iniquity;

I am sorry for my sin.

19 But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty,

and many are those who hate me wrongfully.

20 Those who render me evil for good

accuse me because I follow after good.

21 Do not forsake me, O Lord!

O my God, be not far from me!

22 Make haste to help me,

O Lord, my salvation!

Confession is the act of “saying the same thing as God” or naming reality. We grow in our love for God by being honest about who we are and how we live. We lower the façade and tell the truth: “We are not a peaceful community,” “I don’t like serving the poor,” “I don’t believe God is concerned or cares for me,” or “I love sin, and this is how I sin.”

Confession is how we bring our true selves before God. In fact, Jesus was not too welcoming to the self-righteous and the hidden hypocrite. Jesus says he came for the sick in need of a doctor. The only pre-requisite for joining Jesus’s entourage was to be honest with who you were: a human tainted by sin. Jesus ate with sinners. Jesus forgave sinners.

Ironically, Christian communities have become hiding places for sinners to pretend they don’t need Christ, but we cannot grow in our love for God (with all our hearts, minds, and strength) until we tell the truth about our hearts, minds, and strength. This is the beginning of transformation.

Confession is not just about speaking about how bad our circumstances or we are but about speaking to God about how good He is in our circumstances. Confession is also about speaking the truth about God—who he is and what he has done.

David was the confession expert. He offered God his true feelings of fear, anger, resentment, disappointment, and doubt while simultaneously speaking of God’s great works, kindness, and power. David confessed his life was on shaking soil and needed saving and that God alone could save him. God was David’s refuge because David confessed he couldn’t find rest anywhere else in the world—despite his best efforts.

PRACTICE CONFESSION

This week’s prayer time will be a practice in confession and using Psalm 38. Read Psalm 38 again, and use this guide your community as you go through each stanza or verse.

  • Part 1 (vs. 1–2): What sin is God exposing in your life through Lent?
  • Part 2 (vs. 3–12): What is the fruit of this sin? What does your life look like because of it? What is the state of your soul?
  • Part 4 (vs. 13–14): How are you cold to rebuke and repentance? How do you avoid it?
  • Part 5 (vs. 15–20): Confess your sin to God and seek forgiveness.

As you pray, remember: God has heard you, and God hears you. God hears our request. God accepts our prayers; He longs to hear them.

Lastly, look to the cross of Christ. Praise Jesus and pray answers to these questions: How has God conquered the enemy and put them to shame? How has God defeated sin? How have you experienced his steadfast love?

Posted by Communications Ministry at 3:11 PM
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