Since that is how many of us respond to making a mistake, it is no wonder that we have a difficult time confessing our sin, even to God. The result is that many of us carry around the baggage of guilt for past sins, and the chains of habit for present sins. This dual threat of guilt and addiction makes life complicated as we try to keep the masks we have created in place, so no one can see untidy parts of our lives.
One of the reasons I find it hard to confess my sins to God is because I am embarrassed about the weakness that I have in my life. “After all,” I think, “I should know better! If I truly had faith I wouldn’t do such things.” Like Adam and Eve, I try to hide from God because I don’t want admit my foolish choice.
There are other reasons why people hide from God, rather than confessing their sins to Him. I think another big one is fear. You know God is the law-giver, and fear tells you that if you confess your sin, then He will punish you. “After all God is holy,” fear has you rationalize, “and that means He has to punish those who break His law.” With a thought like this, it is easy to understand why people have a difficult time confessing sin.
In his book Created to Be God’s Friend Henry Blackaby wrote:
“When a child of God sins, what he does next will reveal his heart-relationship with God! Faith in God always returns a person to God for forgiveness. Faith always trusts and obeys” (pp. 88-89).
We cannot have faith in God if we do not trust God. When we are struggling to confess our sin to God the question we need to ask ourselves is: “Do I trust God to forgive me?”
If we don’t trust God to forgive us, then we won’t turn to Him and confess our sins. Instead we will try to run and hide. Another thing we might do is to try to clean up our lives, to look more respectable, before we go to God. The worse thing we can do is to ignore the sin that is ruining our lives.
The problem with these responses is that God already knows what we have done. We can’t hide from God, and so all our attempts to hide from Him or sugar coat our sin are nothing but empty gestures. God knows about the sin that is in our lives.
Since God already knows about our sin, there is an important question for us to consider: “Is there any reason why we should trust God to forgive us?”
The reason we can trust God to forgive us is Jesus Christ. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the evidence we need to know that God will forgive us. No matter who we are or what we have done God is waiting to forgive us for the sin we have committed.
The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote this gem of truth:
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:14-16; NLT)
How do we come before the throne of God?
- We need surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord. If we are not willing to be a follower of Jesus, then it is impossible for us to receive God’s grace and forgiveness. Jesus is the High Priest who has prepared the way to God. There is no other way to God except through Jesus.
- We need to confess our sins to God through prayer. God knows our sins, but we need to acknowledge our sins to Him. This is an act of trust. We lay our sins at His feet so He can deal with them, rather than us trying to deal with them ourselves.
- We need to worship God. We worship God by singing His praises and by serving people who are created in His image. Worshiping God requires nothing less than living out the two great commandments: to love God and to love people.
As long as we live in these bodies of flesh, sin will be a part of our lives. This does not give us an excuse not to struggle against the sin we have in our lives, but it does mean that need to seek God’s help and forgiveness in this struggle. When we turn to God and confess our sin to Him, we are declaring that we trust Him to forgive us and that He will put us back on the road of righteousness.