Confessing to receive freedom
Confessing our sins and saying sorry to God is an ongoing part of our journey with Him while we are on earth. Even in our relationships with people, there will be times when we do or say things that offend each other – what more when we are in a relationship with a holy God who established all physical and spiritual laws since the beginning of time!
Knowing this, God has generously given us the Holy Spirit to dwell within us to help convict our hearts whenever we sin, so we can restore healthy interactions with God Almighty. He loves us too much to allow us to stray too far away from Him!
1 John 1:9 ESV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
John 16:8-9 ESV And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
Why confide and confess to godly believers?
So, is it enough for us to simply confess our sins to God on our own? Yes certainly, but only if we know what those sins are!
Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, Satan will continue to tussle for our allegiance on a daily basis. Satan is a deceiver whom, if we unwittingly let him, will fill our hearts to lie to ourselves and even to the Holy Spirit.
Acts 5:3 ESV But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?
That is why we need people around us who are spiritually more mature who can lovingly help us identify areas that are displeasing to God, for the following reasons.
1. We need help to identify our blind spots
We all have spiritual blind spots in our lives that we don’t realise are there, which could open doors for sin to manifest. We can sometimes even ignore these blind spots because we don’t realise how seriously God takes them.
Matthew 7:3 ESV Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
2. Satan is crafty
People get deceived by Satan not because they don’t love God, but because our enemy is crafty. Satan can’t forcibly knock us over, when we are aware of his schemes. It is when we are unaware that he slips in. He is a thief and has no other real weapon against us except for lies and deception. He hides in the darkness of our minds which become clouded by ignorance, doubt, unbelief, fear, shame, pride, anxiety … and ultimately a lack of understanding of God’s true character, love, power and purpose.
We can’t tackle something when we are unaware of it. We need the wisdom, counsel and love of brothers and sisters in Christ who can speak the truth in love to us, to help uproot Satan’s deceptions in our lives.
3. Blocked by our own sin
The Bible warns us that we can become blinded by the darkness of sin in our lives, and that can separate us from God.
Hebrews 3:13 ESV But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
1 John 2:11 ESV But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Isaiah 59:2 ESV But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
4. There is power to bind spiritual strongholds when two or more pray
The Bible is very clear about the power we have to bind spiritual strongholds when we pray together. Notice how Matthew 18 specifies that there is power when two or more gather in His name to pray and agree on anything.
Matthew 18:18-20 ESV Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
5. We are called to build each other up
Has there ever been a war where there was only one soldier fighting? Or a party where there was only one person attending, the host himself?
There are strength and celebration in a community. No person, no matter how strong spiritually, should be an island because that opens us up to Satan’s cunning schemes. Pastors who are strong testimonies often have spiritual accountability partners and mentors to pray with them, encourage them, admonish them and walk with them through struggles and temptations, so that they can do good works for God effectively. The rest of us will certainly benefit from such relationships too.
Hebrews 10:24-26 ESV And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Colossians 3:16 ESV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
6. We need to break the chains of shame by bringing it into the light
When we have people who care about us with God’s unconditional love and walk with us to overcome areas of darkness, it breaks the power of shame and guilt over our lives.
1 Peter 4:8 ESV Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
This is critical for ongoing victory over sin, and the ability to keep each other accountable. A spirit of shame can cunningly lock us into not actively attacking sin head on and resigning ourselves to a state of self-defeat. That’s the worst thing we could do to ourselves, when Jesus already paid a high price for our freedom!
7. Better on earth than on Judgment Day
Consider this for a moment. Would we rather confess something to a fellow human being now, or wait till the end where we all have to confess before an almighty, fearsome, holy God? At that time, it might be too late and the consequences irreversible for eternity.
Mark 4:22 ESV For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.
We are all called to live freely in His love, joy and peace. It’s God’s promise when He stamped us with the Holy Spirit as a seal of His redemption of us. Let us make every effort to seek help from someone we can trust to help us “clean the skeletons out of the closet”.
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
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