It’s hard to believe that Thursday is October 1, but on Thursday, we will switch gears and begin our study of the spiritual discipline of worship. As we wrap up our time looking at the spiritual discipline of confession, I hope that you have found some meaningful takeaways for your own life. Our verse today makes God’s thoughts on unconfessed sin pretty clear:
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18 (NLT)
The New International Version uses the word cherished in place of not confessed, reading “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” To me this means if I have sin in my heart that I absolutely know is there, but do nothing about it, that puts a wall of my own building between God and me. Self-examination is vital to a growing relationship with Jesus. We must know what’s in our hearts and put those things up against the light of God’s word to see if they match up. If they don’t, we need to confess it and get rid of it.
Thoughts become words and actions and if they are not in line with scripture, we are in danger of representing our flesh instead of the Holy Spirit within us. As followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit is to completely fill us, transforming us from the inside out, beginning with our thoughts. Merriam-Webster defines transform as “to change in composition or structure.” The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is meant to change the very substance of the way we think. Confession makes way for that process by allowing us to repent and get rid of the sins that entangle and hold us back. This transformation process frees us to be who God created us to be.
Unconfessed sin is like a cancer growing in your body. That may sound dramatic and if so, good. That was my intent. Hidden sin has a way of mutating us until we are no longer recognizable. I’m of the firm belief that given the right circumstances, there’s nothing I’m not capable of. That’s exactly why confession MUST be a daily discipline for me. I want to be shaped by Jesus and the molding of the Holy Spirit in my life, not by my sin. The good news of Psalm 66:18 is found in verses 19-20:
“But God did listen!
He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
or withdraw his unfailing love from me.” Psalm 66:19-20
God sees you; He hears you, and He runs to you with arms wide open when you confess to Him.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach