True Biblical confession comes from our hearts. True Biblical confession sets us free and does not produce guilt or shame. True Biblical confession allows our wonderful Father to begin to work in us.
For the better part of three years, I dealt with injuries and setbacks. I struggled through multiple heartaches of disappointment after disappointment. The ability to effortlessly throw 98 mph and cruise through hitter after hitter had vanished, and what had taken its place was a boy trying and trying to regain his former self. I was chasing what was, rather than what is and what could be.
I would wake up and ask the Lord for favor. Plead with Him to heal me. I would praise Him and tell Him how much I loved Him and trusted in His process. Often I sat with my Bible, reading and agreeing with the Psalms and the praise David gave the Lord. Then if those things didn’t work, I began to apologize and say how sorry I was for the choices I had made that comprised His blessing in my life — or so I believed.
How great and faithful was I that I continued to reach out and tell the Lord I trusted Him and what He was doing. This is what my peers had encouraged me to do. The problem was, I believed none of what I was saying. Let me say that again….
I BELIEVED NONE OF WHAT I WAS SAYING. NONE OF IT!
I didn’t trust Him. I didn’t really believe He loved me the way He says He does. I didn’t trust His process. My praise for God was shallow and fake. I didn’t believe He could really heal me.
Wow, what a confession, right? I want to address what most consider to be an act of confession and what it looks like to confess in a way that allows our Father to begin working in our hearts, minds and souls.
Confession is not saying sorry, it’s not feeling guilty, and it most certainly isn’t about having tears in our eyes. Well, you agree with this do you? Confession also isn’t stating Scripture in hopes that we can somehow muster belief to convince ourselves of God’s goodness.
The reason I say all of this is that not one of those things listed above is going to produce lasting heart change. We may walk forward from a situation for a day, a week, maybe even a year, but our efforts will undoubtedly come crashing down and we will fall back into despair and sorrow. As far as the things I was telling God and believing in God for, those fall right into that category.
The problem with all my statements about God was that I believed none of them. See, as a Christian we are taught to praise the Lord and tell Him how wonderful He is no matter the situation. What happens, though, if we don’t believe it? I mean deep-down, lasting, heart-changing belief.
I’ll tell you. Our gracious Father waits and waits until we tell Him exactly what it is that we believe about our status quo. He is such a good Father that He won’t move further on with us unless we are willing to tell Him the truth about what we believe. Most people would gasp at the idea of telling God we don’t believe He loves us the way He says. How dare someone say something so offensive to God.
Of course, He loves us the way He promises. True, but I would be willing to bet we don’t believe it. Christians are good at repeating Scripture and stating truths the Bible gives us about God, but all we are really doing is lying. We are masters at lying and we don’t realize it. Our Father only deals in truth, period. So, if we are just saying what the Bible states but our hearts don’t believe it to be true, then He will just wait till we begin to speak open and honest with Him.
He is our Father! What good Father would be angry with their child if they spoke their hearts to them? I don’t know of any. A good father would hear the heart of his child and then begin to replace the false beliefs with truth.
When we confess, what we really believe, this opens the door for God to show us and speak to us through His Spirit the truth about who He is. He can now take the lie we really believe and replace it with truth. This is the true act of confession and repentance. In confession and repentance, we see the act of telling the truth about what we believe, good or bad, and our good Father taking that false belief and replacing it with His word, His truth and His love. His truth is the only thing that can produce real change.
This is what real repentance looks like. We are solely dependent on His truth to change us. This is a discipline we must learn to depend on in our walk with God. Moment by moment we need to be in complete truth with Him in all things. We will be blessed by what He is able to do when we just tell Him our honest opinion on what is happening around us. He isn’t mad that we don’t trust Him. He won’t punish us if we tell Him we don’t think He really loves us.
Relationships grow in truth only, so begin now by speaking your real heart to Him and watch His grace pour over you in ways you didn’t think possible.
– Victor Black, MLB Free Agent Pitcher