Part 2 in the Satisfied Life-
Practically, in our everyday life we often treat God like a distant relative, or He is “up there” somewhere. We go for periods of time without talking to Him, consulting Him or thanking Him. We have more of a contractual relationship; if we do our part, He will reward or do His part.
Yet, I am nothing like a distant cousin, but I am forever His child. I am a part of His family, in a secure, loving, and satisfying relationship. I am completely known by Him. And there is no where I can go to be out of His presence.
It is a relationship and He is constantly with me.
Yet, sometimes I don’t feel satisfied. There is distance, as if a barrier is there. Why do I feel more empty, than full? It is up and then down. The Christian life can feel way too sporadic.
Last time I talked about dependence and that misplaced dependence leads to being unsatisfied. Also, unconfessed sin creates a barrier– leading us to depend on other things, rather than walking in the spirit moment by moment. And this barrier needs to come down.
Another Brick in the Wall
When my sons were young I would explain this to them– that our sin builds a barrier– it become like bricks in a wall. As we sin and don’t talk to God our Father about it, it is like putting a brick up in a wall between us and Him. As we become more accustomed to this way of living, more bricks tend to go up. As I become more apathetic and act as if I don’t need Him or that my sin is not known, doesn’t affect anyone, or is not important to confess I become less satisfied in Him. I depend way too easily once again on my sweet indulgences and tend to ignore His prodding. I choose to be temporarily consoled, find satisfaction or reprieve in so many other things. Dependence has switched– instead of trusting Him moment by moment, I am giving into these other things.
Not confessing becomes the habit.
More bricks go up.
Removing the Bricks, Restoring Intimacy
But it is a relationship with God, not a contract. What if we related to God in a personal way and we confessed to Him our ‘bricks?” What would this look like?
Confession is agreeing with God that we have sinned. Maybe we were self-centered and self-absorbed. We were depending on other things. We didn’t consult Him and chose not to give a certain area over to Him or trust Him.
In a relationship that matters we make things right. The bricks come down, the wall is removed. The relationship is restored. We once again experience His love– not because He has moved, but because we moved. We moved our heart to depend on other things. Then as we confess we are reminded of our forgiveness, His grace and our debt that He paid in full.
As I bring these things into the light I am able to grow in depending on Him and in experiencing a life that is satisfying in Him.
Confession as a Habit
The problem is we tend to forget this simple thing: confession. It goes on the back burner. We become busy and there is no time to hear the prodding. We compare our life to others and find we are doing pretty well. We just would rather not confess. It feels like too much- too heavy. Sometimes, we just become apathetic and think it really doesn’t matter. Yet, God in His goodness reminds us of our sin and our need for Him because He loves us.
God loves me and has inexhaustible reservoirs of grace and mercy. He does not stand over me with arms folded, but with arms wide open. His love motivates me to confess. He knows I need it. This confession takes away the barrier and restores me to God. The quicker I confess and surrender, the quicker I experience intimacy with Him and enjoy the satisfied life. Also, the quicker I experience living forgiven.
What does confession look like?
- So I ask, “God will you show me my sin?”
- I look back over my day and see what I need to bring before God and give over to Him.
- As I am alone with my thoughts and see the sin in my heart, I confess.
- This habit of confession brings peace, dependence and growth.
I am God’s beloved, and part of His family. And He is with me always. Yet, I sin. As His child I continually confess and come back to Him. I can enjoy intimacy with Him and be satisfied in Him. His word becomes my delight. I sense that He is with me. I delight to do His will and follow Him. As I walk in the power of the Holy Spirit I enjoy Him and the relationship we have. This is the satisfied life.
Confession gets me out from behind my brick wall and opens me to the wide open space of His love and mercy. It helps me to depend on God and not on myself. That is where true life is found– dependence in Him. If I want to experience walking in the spirit moment by moment, then confession needs to be a part of my daily life. It is a necessity. Confession is closely linked to experiencing God more deeply, living in right relationships with others and living a life that is being transformed. Confession is a beautiful gateway to the satisfied life.
Part 3 of the Satisfied Life- next time
Overflow: allowing God’s ways to touch our lives and then our lives to pour out to others
- Take time alone with God and confess your sins. Read 1 John 1:9 and thank God for His forgiveness.
- Surrender these areas over to God. Choose by faith to depend on Him moment by moment, each day.