Take another look at those two ageless questions of "who are you?" and, "what do you want?" So, what do you want to do in your life? Does it correspond to God's Word? Our call in life is to please God. Will you seek His Kingdom; will you be filled with fullness? This can be our joy as well as our stumbling block. We have to realize that the Fall defaced everything in this world, including our thinking, relationships, and sexuality! Our sin will block any attempt to seek our Lord; that is why the cross was, and is, so essential. That applies to everyone; even those of us who are fortunate to be saved by Grace are affected by sin. Christ's atonement means He covered the sin, but it still remains, lurking, destroying, and causing our thinking to replace good with bad.
This essential third attitude will allow us to recognize, then, confess our sins. Confession will motivate us to yield to the work of the Spirit within us. Our confession helps remove the blockage, to allow His work to flow. His work is there; it is done. He can force it, but, normally, He will not. Yes, God did so with the apostle Paul, but who of us is Paul? We still have to respond to it by faith. Sin and confession are not popular subjects; who wants to be bothered, confronted, let alone be convicted? But, for us to grow and mature we must, we have to, lest we remain in those sins-and how sad that would be! The sin will cloud everything. It will blind us to truth, and from seeing the Will of God for our lives. We will, instead, be lost in that maze of despair, and, end up making very poor choices for our lives, especially with relationships! Fullness will be chocked off, as well as His Kingdom, making it too distant for us to go to.
We have to be willing to declare: I, as a follower of Christ, bought and paid for by His shed blood, must acknowledge my own sinful nature. If this is not in your practice and in your mindset, you will fall way short on His plan and possibly even His redemption for you. All of humanity is fallen from God, and, we are corrupt in our thinking and actions. Unless God's Grace is not only flowing in us, but is also being emphasized and utilized, we will fail to make the right decisions. Our sinful nature directly relates to friendships, marriage, our sexual choices, and even finding our true love, if you are still single. Each of us must commit to ongoing confession in this area, from selecting relationships to battling lust.
The Israelites during the time of the Judges were at a curial juncture, as the Philistines had occupied their land and killed them by the thousands, while God was neglected, His law was refuted and His people were in bondage, all because they refused to acknowledge Him as their Lord, instead, prostituting themselves to foreign gods, who led them into sin and ruined their lives. They lived their lives as they saw fit. So, God raised up Samuel to be their leader and help them see that what they saw as fit really was not. He further showed them how false gods and pride devastated them, so, they could turn from their sins and back to Him. Samuel calls to them, after many defeats and hopeless situations, to turn back to God. And, to do this, they had to renounce all of their idols and false gods, repent, and turn to the God who serves, loves, and protects them. So, the Israelites repented and recommitted themselves to God. Thus, the people were spared from the Philistines and became ready to receive the blessing of God, for the land to be healed, and for prosperity to come (Judges 17:6; 1 Samuel 7: 2-10).
To be willing and able to confess sin will renew your mind and prepare you to be more effective in relationships, as you have given yourself to God, mind and body. Just think through what He has done for you, the incredible amount of forgiveness you have received, and your response to what He has done. It should be gratitude that leads you to desire to purge yourself of sin. When we do as we see fit, all we bring on ourselves is strife and confusion that leads to endless hurt. When we have purged the sin, and continue to do so as an ongoing venture, we will have no desire to copy the evil ways of the world. Rather, we will desire to be further transformed and renewed by God. We will be a new person, infused by the Spirit, so that all we think and all we do is pointed in His direction and call. Because of this renewal, we will know what He desires for us, what is best, what is pleasing and perfect.
Therefore, we have to make a commitment to acknowledge our fallen nature, and be willing and able to confess our sin and repent, which means we do not do it again. It also means to have someone hold you accountable, and that you confess your sins to God (Romans 14:12-13; Galatians 6:1-5; Ephesians. 6:21; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
When we are not accountable, we are free to sin, which will lead to social and physical disaster. The sin of the Israelites led to their occupation and the loss of countless thousands, all from their desire to do as they saw fit, which was the refusal to see their sin and recant it. Their sin was pride, and it is the root of most sins. Refusing to deal with your sin will lead to pornography, flirting, inappropriate lust, jealousy, and, then, sexual encounters, relationship breakdown, and, perhaps, the break up of a marriage that God brought together. Just think how devastating sexual addiction can be. If you think because you are single you are OK, or, you have a good marriage and you do not need this, know this: it will lead you to betray your spouse, your future spouse, our Lord, and you may even acquire a disease and die!
Living a surrendered, redeemed life is about seeking the Lord's Will, and seeking to glorify Him!
Read Romans 12:1-3; 14:12-13; Galatians 6:1-5; Ephesians. 6:21; 1 Peter 4:10-11 then discuss this section and answer these questions:
1. What are some of the points in the section that have gotten your attention and why?
2. What do you want to do, or where do you want to go, in your life?
3. Have you ever confessed your sins to someone? Why, or why not? If so, what happened afterward with your attitude?
4. Confession will motivate us to yield to the work of the Spirit within us. So, why would we not desire this? What are the things in life that block, or might block you from going to a trusted pastor, or mentor to confess?
5. Why do you suppose sin and confession are not popular subjects today, in the Church as a whole?
6. What does sin do in our lives?
7. How can confessing sin renew your mind, and prepare you to be more effective in relationships?
8. The sin of the Israelites led to their occupation and the loss of countless thousands, all from their desire to do as they saw fit, which was the refusal to see their sin and recant it. Why do people like to do as they see fit? What happens in your life when you do as you see fit?
9. Refusing to deal with your sin will do what in your life?
10. How can you start to live a surrendered, redeemed life, so your motivations are about seeking the Lord's Will, and seeking to glorify Him?