The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Ps 14:1-3 (KJV)
Today, by the grace of God we will be considering another element in true prayer which is “Confession”. I do not want Christian friends to think that I am talking to the unsaved. I think we, as Christians, have a good many sins to confess.
If you go back to the Scripture records, you will find that the men who lived nearest to God, and had most power with Him, were those who confessed their sins and failures. Daniel, as we have seen, confessed his sins and those of his people. Yet there is nothing recorded against Daniel. He was one of the best men then on the face of the earth, yet was his confession of sin one of the deepest and most humble on record. Brooks, referring to Daniel’s confession, says: “In these words you have seven circumstances that Daniel useth in confessing of his and the people’s sins; and all to heighten and aggravate them. First, ‘We have sinned;’ secondly, ‘We have committed iniquity;’ thirdly, ‘We have done wickedly;’ fourthly, ‘We have rebelled against thee;’ fifthly, ‘We have departed from Thy precepts;’ sixthly, ‘We have not hearkened unto Thy servants;’ seventhly, ‘Nor our princes, nor all the people of the land.’ These seven aggravations which Daniel reckons up in his confession are worthy our most serious consideration.”
Job was no doubt a holy man, a mighty prince, yet he had to fall in the dust and confess his sins. So you will find it all through the Scriptures. When Isaiah saw the purity and holiness of God, he beheld himself in his true light, and he exclaimed, “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips!”
Brethren, while we are waiting upon the Lord for His promises and his healing, lets us go before him in humility and confess all our sins, so that our waiting will not be in vain and our healing will be whole:
Wait on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait.
Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God.
But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry.
Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes.
I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in the full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”
Waiting in quiet patience is where many of us have missed the mark, if you don’t have any sin to confess as some will be claiming what about this, have you not murmured while waiting on the Lord, have not reminded God how far and how well you would have done it, I for one had done it several times but God dealt with me until I gave up SELF and rest on Him. Is that your case, also come and ask for His forgiveness, He will wash you clean with hyssop and you will be made whole. How? Read further:
“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed.” Jeremiah 17:14
“I have seen His ways, and will heal him.” Isaiah 57:18
It is the sole prerogative of God to remove spiritual disease. Natural disease may be instrumentally healed by men, but even then the honour is to be given to God who giveth virtue unto medicine, and bestoweth power unto the human frame to cast off disease.
As for spiritual sicknesses, these remain with the great Physician alone; He claims it as His prerogative, “I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal”; and one of the Lord’s choice titles is Jehovah-Rophi, the Lord that healeth thee. “I will heal thee of thy wounds,” is a promise which could not come from the lip of man, but only from the mouth of the eternal God.
On this account the psalmist cried unto the Lord, “O Lord, heal me, for my bones are sore vexed,” and again, “Heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee.” For this, also, the godly praise the name of the Lord, saying, “He healeth all our diseases.” He who made man can restore man; He who was at first the creator of our nature can new create it. What a transcendent comfort it is that in the person of Jesus “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily!” My soul, whatever thy disease may be, this great Physician can heal thee. If He be God, there can be no limit to His power.
Come then with the blind eye of darkened understanding, come with the limping foot of wasted energy, come with the maimed hand of weak faith, the fever of an angry temper, or the ague of shivering despondency, come just as thou art, for He who is God can certainly restore thee of thy plague. None shall restrain the healing virtue which proceeds from Jesus our Lord. Legions of devils have been made to own the power of the beloved Physician, and never once has He been baffled.
All His patients have been cured in the past and shall be in the future, and thou shalt be one among them, my friend, if thou wilt but rest thyself in Him this day and answers will come.
I firmly believe that the Church of God will have to confess her own sins, before there can be any great work of grace. There must be a deeper work among God’s believing people. I sometimes think it is about time to give up preaching to the ungodly, and preach to those who profess to be Christians. If we had a higher standard of life in the Church of God, there would be thousands more flocking into the Kingdom. So it was in the past; when God’s believing children turned away from their sins and their idols, the fear of God fell upon the people round about. Take up the history of Israel and you will find that when they put away their strange gods, God visited the nation, and there came a mighty work of grace.
What we want in these days is a true and deep revival in the Church of God. I have little sympathy with the idea that God is going to reach the masses by a cold and formal church. The judgment of God must begin with us. You notice that when Daniel got that wonderful answer to prayer recorded in the ninth chapter, he was confessing his sin. That is one of the best chapters on prayer in the whole Bible.
So also when Job was confessing his sin, God turned his captivity and heard his prayer. God will hear our prayer and turn our captivity when we take our true place before Him, and confess and forsake our transgressions. It was when Isaiah cried out before the Lord, “I am undone,” that the blessing came; the live coal was taken from the altar and put upon his lips; and he went out to write one of the most wonderful books the world has ever seen. What a blessing it has been to the church!
It was when David said, “I have sinned!” that God dealt in mercy with him. “I acknowledge my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” Notice how David made a very similar confession to that of the prodigal in the fifteenth of Luke: “I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight!” There is no difference between the king and the beggar when the Spirit of God comes into the heart and convicts of sin.
Beloved, do you want God to remember you in this season of remembrance CONFESS YOUR SINS and you will receive answers to your prayers today like Daniel did.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu