By Diana LéGere, Crosswalk.com
We see confession as an elaborate, complex task. A state of overwhelm. Every fiber of our being wants to resist. We realize we need to come clean, but it's humiliating to admit we've done something wrong. Our prideful hearts may even see our confession as somewhat heroic when we finally give up the goods and lay it all on the table. Pride rears its ugly head when we refuse to confess, and sometimes pride escorts us when we finally come forward.
In court, we can admit to committing the crime. But we might secretly not agree. When we confess to the Almighty that we’ve violated God's law, we've got to believe it to make it a good confession. Anything we've chosen to say, do or think beyond God's will for our lives leaves us standing guilty before the throne. There's no condemnation, but we are no longer protected by His covering of grace. Sin separates us from God. No matter how much we try, there is nothing that can escape His gaze. No thoughts or intentions are hidden.
Your iniquities have become a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:2
If God is omnipotent [all powerful], and He is omniscient [knowing everything], why should we confess? If we are a believer, we are saved eternally, and our sins are forgiven. God already knows what we did and why we did it. One good confession before the final cleansing dunk should suffice, right?
There is a right and wrong way to confess. Confession worthy to God is not merely affirming what we did but agreeing that our thoughts, words, and actions were not in line with His Word. Ultimately, we accept the consequences of our confession—the blessed gift of forgiveness.
What Does the Bible Say about God Seeing Everything?
In a realm of the current spree of lawlessness around the country, we might become dismayed when we fixate on all the horrible things happening in the world today. Some people use that as their argument against God. How can He see and not act against these crimes? God assures us there is no place man can hide (Jeremiah 23:24).
God is in the business of details. We see that in the splendor of God’s creation. The intricacy and diversity of the animals and insects. The vivid colors and detail in the pattern of a butterfly wing. God cares about everything. And he knows everything, including the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). He sees everything, and neither the sinner nor the sin escapes Him (Jeremiah 16:17). He also sees the good we do and our attempts at kindness.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Psalm 139:1-6
God knows us better than we know ourselves. So, if God knows the secrets of the human heart, and He sees everything, why does He let sin go on? God has promised that He wants no one to perish.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
In His mercy, He sees everything but does not act on everything.
If He Sees Everything, Why Do We Have to Confess Our Sins?
Earlier, I mentioned good and bad confessions. It might be easy to see when we do something wrong. We may even feel bad about it, but only repentance will persuade us to turn from sin. When we've come to the point when we admit we were wrong and feel bad enough about it to avoid it, we can secure the victory. Without forsaking our sin, we're all talk. Empty words mean nothing to God. And He knows when we share a heartfelt confession and when we don't.
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Psalm 28:13
But if at the death of Jesus, our sins were nailed to the cross and God has removed our transgressions as far away as the east is from the west, that's a debt paid in full. And if payment is accomplished, finished, isn't confession nailing our sins repeatedly?
Beyond salvation and the cross, a personal relationship with Jesus needs regular purging. Just like our earthy parent-child relationships. We will always remain in the family, but closeness will suffer if we aren't sincere and truthful in our relationship.
Confession brings healing. We can confidently approach the throne because God knows what we are facing. He understands our heart, our motives, our struggles, and our failings. He wants us to come to the living water so we may be healed. Confession lets us surrender to God and allow Him to transform us into the image of His Son.
We stand righteous in Him. But in confession, we recognize our own fallibility. Without confession, we might be prone to think we are good enough. We might even weigh our sins against the other and decide that our many good deeds were okay for today. We did the best we could. Too often, we hear the message of God's love without accepting the truth that God can condone no sin.
All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). We will never be perfect until, in the twinkling of an eye, we are changed (1 Corinthians 15:52). But for now, we are merely humans who need less of us and more of Him.
The Apostle John tells us that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (John 1:8). We aren't fooling God. He knows our sin, and we know we sin. But it is in bringing our sin to the light through confession that cleanses us and purifies our hearts before Him. We must put sin to death (Colossians 3:5). But when we don't, there is safety at the cross.
Does that mean we can simply pray each day for God to forgive us for our sins? No. We are to give a good confession. He wants the details. We see this throughout the Bible. He asked Adam had he eaten from the tree. God knew the answer. He asked Cain where his brother was because He wanted a confession.
The more we confess and realize our own sin, the easier it is for us to forgive others who have sinned against us (Luke 7:47). Confession makes us humble. As we cling to the cross, we are anchored in an intimate relationship with Christ.
Why We Can Be Comforted that Our God Is All-Knowing
Abundant in power and understanding beyond measure (Psalm 147:5), there is no sin greater than our God. We gain comfort in knowing that God will meet us where we are and make us white as snow if we confess. Nothing we do will surprise Him, and no sin has taken us past the point of forgiveness. The Apostle Paul is a beautiful example of God's love shining through forgiveness and the result of a believer who receives it.
Knowing that Christ has paid for our sins, we are not facing condemnation (Romans 8:1). There is no fear of God's judgment. He has promised forgiveness to those that confess their sins—everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
We can also gain comfort in knowing that if God is all-knowing, he has determined a plan for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). And no matter where our journey takes us, He will work our circumstances for good (Romans 8:28-29).
God knows what we need. Often, we believe we know, but it isn't until we are on the other side of not getting what we asked for, and we are grateful we didn't. How many prayers we assumed were unanswered only to discover God answered precisely in the way best for our situation. If it were not for our all-knowing God, we would likely be the destruction of ourselves.
When we ponder on the vastness of the universe and that our omniscient God knows everything, it is humbling to imagine that He knows each of us. Psalm 147:4-5 tells us he numbered the stars and calls them by name. God created the stars. And God created you and me.
What is man? He would even think of us. But He does. He treasures us.
Confession Is a Gift from God
So why should we confess? Through the process, God will grant us comfort and peace. As we become aware of our own shortcomings, we are more gracious to the faults of others. Our relationship with Christ will grow deeper and we can take comfort in knowing that God comforts us in all our troubles. He is ready to listen when we confess our sins or our fears. Confession is God’s gift to promote our healing.
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Diana LéGere is a Christian writer whose passion is to share her faith and life experience through her words and help other women do the same. She is the author of four books, most recent, Celebrations of Praise: 365 Ways to Fill Each Day with Meaningful Moments and the memoir journal, Ripples: A Memoir of Reflection.You can learn more about Diana and her books by visiting her website at https:www.womenofwordsrva.com.