The first section of my new book, Honey from the Comb, collects verses to help you focus on who God is and what he is like. But when we do that, we realize that we aren’t as good as we would like people to think we are. Isaiah was a young prophet when he had a vision of God in the temple (Isaiah 6). His response wasn’t “Wow! What a great worship experience!” It was “Oh, no! I’m ruined! I have such a dirty mouth, and everyone around me has a dirty mouth!” He was embarrassed when he compared himself to God instead of to other people.
Part 2 of Honey from the Comb focuses on Scriptures to help you be specific in confession.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart,” David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24. “Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” He invited God to examine his heart, show him where he had failed and direct his future behavior.
Confession is telling God that he is right about our sin, saying we are sorry and asking him to forgive us. Chances are you won’t have any trouble thinking of something fresh that embarrasses you when you compare yourself to the God you have been adoring. If you love God, you will want to be rid of all that displeases him. Tell him you are sorry and get on with it. He has promised to forgive.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
My custom has been to daily pray Psalm 19:13-14. This prayer confesses how easy it is to pass over my own faults. It draws into the light my “willful sins”—the things I know very well or wrong, but do anyway. The sins that I do on the outside all start inside my mind, so this prayer asks God to keep the things I say and think about pleasing to him.
Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditations of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:13-14
The rest of Part 2 is made up of lists of instructions from various passages of Scripture with accompanying questions to help you think about them in your own twenty-first-century context. I use one of the lists approximately once a week, but feel free to use them any way that works for you. There is a sample on my website, or you can use Amazon’s Look Inside feature and search “Confession” to find more.
We are all frustrated with recent events we see on TV. Any solutions to our problems have got to begin with searching our own hearts, standing with naked souls before a holy God and letting him cleanse us from accumulated filth. We must clear the planks from our own eyes before we can see to take the splinter (or plank) from our brother’s and sister’s eyes. I pray that Honey from the Comb will help to prepare many of God’s people to transform our world.
[The special launch offer of $0.99 for the Kindle version of Honey from the Comb is being continued one extra week until September 7. After that the price goes up to $4.99.]
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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