It is inevitable after time spent in worship and prayer, that we become aware of our own sin, shortcomings and weaknesses. When that happens, it is important not to shy away, or rationalise, or call the sin something else or try to hide it.
Be still and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the sins in your life. You need to make time every day to ask the Holy Spirit if there are things in your life that are not acceptable to God.
Test your heart according to these questions:
- Is there unconfessed sin in my life? If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Ps.66:18).
- Is there unforgiveness and bitterness in my life? For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matt.6:14-15).
- Are there any dodgy activities or practises in my life? Are there things in my life I am unsure are God’s will for me? And find out what pleases the Lord. (Eph.5:10). Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. (Rom.14:13). “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Cor.6:12).
- Do I obey the Holy Spirit in all things? Sometimes I know deep inside that I have to do something, but am shy or afraid of what people will say. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Eph.4:30); Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thess.5:19).
- Do I confess Jesus boldly? Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. (Matt.10:32-33).
- Are there unfinished things God asked me to do? Have I ignored any commands in Scripture? E.g. to love unconditionally; to make disciples of others; to look after the poor and people in need or to forgive. (Matt.6:10, 11, 13-14)
- Am I rebellious against God or did I dishonour Him through deeds done in His Name? E.g. idolatry; not thanking Him for His goodness; not worshipping Him; only looking after my own interests and not seeking His will.
- Are there any specific things I did during the past few days that were detrimental to others and not approved by God? E.g. theft; drunkenness; greed; anger; criticism; slander; impatience; unbelief; gluttony; dishonest profiteering; foul language. Confess it. 1 Joh.1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
What happens when we do not confess our sins?
- Don’t hide your sin. Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Prov.28:13
- Unconfessed sin hinders answers to prayer. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Ps.66:18
God’s promises when we confess our sins
- God removes it. “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps. 103:12).
- God removes the stain of sin. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah. 1:18).
- God no longer thinks about our sins. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jer. 31:34).