Phil Wickham When My Heart is Torn Asunder

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sin's Scum and the Waters of Forgiveness



Psalm 66:16-19

16 Come and hear, all who fear God,
And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.
17 I cried to Him with my mouth,
And He was extolled with my tongue.
18 If I regard wickedness in my heart,
The Lord will not hear;
19 But certainly God has heard;
He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.


                Confession is the first step in having God hear us.   We cannot worship while regarding sin.
"confession is the  first step toward greater intimacy with God."  It is important to  search  my heart before interceding....or worshiping.   Sins rise to the surface of consciousness like flotsam in a pond.   It must constantly be skimmed off.  Pray for  awareness.....do not allow sin to hide beneath the skin.
Come clean: to confess....to  acknowledge and remove the sin from our guilty hearts.
Come near:  to approach the HOLY GOD with the holiness he has given me via the shedding of the Son's blood.  To be declared innocent and therefore fit for his company.
                                It is essential to come clean so that we may come near to his throne with a heart ready to worship. If you  think for a while and the only sin you can conjure up are the wrongs done in your  youth, then it is  high time you begin to study your heart. It is time that those unloving thoughts be seen in the light of his holiness.It is time that you are accountable for your use of the minutes and hours he has given you to occupy and conquer . Do you pray only a few minutes in the morning? Do you whisper panicked "Help me God"s when you are in trouble but otherwise are unmindful of his presence? Is Prayer a battle?  Not a battle against enemy forces, but a battle against your own sloth and indolence?                                  How can God use you to stand "in the gap"  when you first of all do not kneel in confession? If you think that God owes you forgiveness, protection, blessings and guidance but you do not first learn how to speak to be heard and how to listen when he speaks--then you are in a dangerous stance.  You are in no shape to guard the gap. More: you are inside the walls of Jericho on the last day of the march.  The walls will fall on your head and you do not have a scarlet-corded-call for help.God purifies his own people for their sin before he addresses the sins of other peoples.
                                I am talking about myself as well. Recently the topic of  confession came up and I realized with something of a shock that it is not something I've been faithfully  carrying out. And  I learned (as did ST Augustine) that the more you find to confess; the more you will find to confess.  And in the mixture of sins that God brought before me were  the sins of my youth,some of them were appalling.  These horrible commissions could only be  removed by some heavy regret and some repentant tears and then by an application of the blood of the Lamb.
                                  YES God cares about my ancient history, because those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it and not only that but those corrosive, toxic habits from hell still affect who I  am today.  They MUST be expunged!   And I owe the people that I hurt back then with those sins, I owe them much time on my knees praying for internal healing for them and that someday they may find it in themselves to forgive me.
                                In fact there is another  person, now that I'm thinking of those whom I've wounded. My best friend  The last time I saw her, she was crying  tears of pain. Tears at my failure to act like a friend. I've begged her for forgiveness as well. And she has not responded...choosing instead to hold tight her pain and anger.
                                So once you get ancient history out of the way,what about the impatient nasty remark I made to my husband yesterday?  What about a wasteful purchase?  What about failing to make productive use of my time?   There is a necessary skill here. It is important to hate my sin but to still bask in the sweetness of God's love for me.  Sin is evil and repugnant. My heart  bears the scars of sin but the foul, fetid, corrosive nature of sin has been cut away leaving a small scar to bear witness to the work of the Master.  The sins, once  the  concrete cap of the septic tank of sin is blown away, come oozing out at a quickened rate. We are not more sinful than we first knew, our sins have, rather, come out of hiding so that they may be expunged. Soon our sensitive hearts will be unable to bear the presence of known sin for longer than a few seconds. We MUST --are compelled to take them to the cross. And this is as it should be.  The quantity of our failures will have us believing that we are the worst of sinners...but do not  give up hope: God is working a work of righteousness in you.   Keep honesty and humility before you always. Hold tightly to his hand.....trust his undying  (and his dying!) love for you. Bare your heart to him and watch your prayer life take flight. Your prayers will become powerful. Your heart light and joyous. You have the keys to the Kingdom....what you bind in heaven will be bound in heaven...What you loose on earth will be loosed on earth....Walk in the power  that God  gives you.  Spread the love of the Father  to everyone you encounter.

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