Monday, November 14, 2016

Confessing, Repenting And Forsaking

While it's not a pretty subject to talk about, sin is the cause of so many of our problems. The enemy is prowling about, tempting us and attempting to divide and destroy us. People with evil in their hearts lash out and try to hurt us as deeply as possible. Our own sin often keeps us from enjoying the depth of blessing our heavenly Father has prepared for us.

What a sad state of affairs - sin forces us to break fellowship with God and drags us down further than we ever thought we'd have to go. Our flesh gets in our way and tears apart any healthy relationships we have. We wander off the path of righteousness and find ourselves in a mess of our own making.

This is where we find the prodigal son in Luke 15:15. He had wasted all of his inheritance on a frivolous lifestyle and found himself wallowing in the pig pen, longing to sample those corn husks the hogs were dining on. It doesn't get much lower than that, so it was here in the muck that he came to his senses.

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. Luke 15:18-19

This young man had figured out in both his head and his heart what needed to be done - confession and repentance. When he came to himself in a state of want that he had never experienced before, he rehearsed what he would say when he arrived home. First of all he would confess his wrong-doing, and then he would tell his father of his repentance for all he had done.

How often do our painful and heart-breaking situations prove to be the breaking point in our selfishness, convincing us to turn from our sinful ways and return to our Lord? The lost son knew that he was wrong, had experienced just how devastating his choices had been and then humbled his heart to the extreme, heading for the home he had abandoned.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

God gave Solomon one more piece of the puzzle when He inspired this proverb. Just as the lost son figured out, the first two steps to restoration were confession and repentance, and Solomon took it one step further. Once the relationship was reestablished, it would be time to forsake that sin and receive God's mercy. Confession and repentance are part of the heart condition, but forsaking sin - walking away and deciding not to repeat that sin - is an active metal choice we make every single day. The situation may not change, but the choices we make each day make all the difference.

We can be sorry for our sin, but nothing changes until we decide not to return to it.

You know the story of the prodigal son from here. He was welcomed home without question and was treated to the rejoicing of a delighted father. He didn't even get to use the whole speech he had planned out because his father was more interested in celebrating the young man's return.

Our heavenly Father has the same reaction when we confess our sin, come to Him with a repentant heart and vow with His help not to make the same mistakes again. And just like the earthly father welcomed his son back with open arms, God is standing on the porch, watching for us to start down the road to redemption, where we can find Him ready to welcome us home.

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