So I’m helping Smooth in the space at Journey Church on a sign project for “A New You `08” Campaign back on December 6, 2007. While clipping wire for the yard signs I start to actually think about what Journey hopes to accomplish through this series, “A New You.” I started thinking about what “a new me” would look like and the distance between the actual me and the potentially new me. A big divide existed between the two. I finish and as I leave, I turned to an old college friend and said, “Maybe one day I’ll get real with myself.” Of course he had no clue what that meant and in part I didn’t want him to – I was yet too afraid to uncover my hidden sins.
The meaning behind my statement was that even as a Christian I often live by double standards. I make allowances for my private sins and guard them closely. These allowances are wrong, and my statement to Smooth was evidence that the Holy Spirit was convicting me of my “double agent” lifestyle. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters…” And John taught, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” More on this in a moment.
I pull out of the parking lot and seconds later:
My intention is not to make a statement about or discuss the sovereignty of God in this situation but to share how this was one of several events in recent months that bowed my heart low before the greatness and majesty of God.
Now back to what Scripture teaches: Jesus (God incarnate) and Paul both taught that a follower of God would obey His commandments. James 5:16 teaches, “Confess your sins to one another…” In January, confession of my sin was something I began to put into regular practice. I met weekly with Alex Harding, a friend from my Journey Church Small Group.
Another thing that is essential to confession and life change is repentance. (sadly, some would disagree) Paul said in Acts 26:20, “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines repent as “to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.” I not only needed to confess my sin, but also stop doing that sin. As simple as this statement sounds, it is something that is not always applied in the Christian life and prevents greater intimacy with God.
The times of confession and accountability with Alex have been awesome! True repentance is essential in order to experience real intimacy and clarity with God. A continued challenge to myself is to confess, repent, and bask in the freedom from sin through Jesus Christ.