Cleansing From All Unrighteousness

July 29, 2016 | Tags: ,

If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

-1 John 1:8-9

I want to discuss something this week that is difficult and painful but carries eternal significance. It’s confessing our sins. I know it’s something you want to run and hide from, then pretend that it doesn’t exist and that God doesn’t see. Or maybe you think it will go away on its own. But Dear friend, it won’t. And I say this with such compassion because I just went through it. What I’m presenting this week I just followed through myself. It was painful, but I can tell you it was worth it. And in the time I took to do this, Jesus revealed the truth in my heart that I needed to see for myself. And I feel set free, and I know you will too if  you follow through as well. Look again at our verses from 1 John above. “If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is the truth, Dear friend. You can believe it because Jesus is good and loves you more than you can imagine.

This list and each description is taken from the book I’m reading now by Ann Graham Lotz called The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations (Zondervan, 2016). I went through each item on the list and allowed the Holy Spirit to direct my heart to confess and repent of specific sins related to each one. I allowed as much time as God needed with me. I pray you will do the same, because none of us can more forward spiritually unless we confess our sins before the Lord and find forgiveness that only He can bring through the cross. If you are in a personal relationship with Christ, you can never lose your salvation. But you can be out of fellowship with Him because of sin. Might that be your situation today? Have you wondered why you haven’t felt close to Him lately or why certain prayers haven’t been answered? Only God knows your situation for sure, but I promise the best place to begin is to confess your sins before a Holy God who loves you and for you to find the forgiveness He already died for you to have at the cross.

  1. Ingratitude. List all the favors God has bestowed, before and after salvation. Which ones had I forgotten to thank Him for?
  2. Losing Love for God. Consider how devastated I would be if my husband or children not only were lessened in their love for me, but increasingly loved someone or something else more. Was there evidence I was lessening in my love for Him?
  3. Neglect of Bible Reading. Double-check to see if daily Bible reading had been pushed aside by an over-full schedule, or if, as I read my Bible, I was constantly preoccupied with other things. How long had it been since reading my Bible was a delight? Do I read it so casually that I don’t even remember what it said when I finish?
  4. Unbelief. Refusing to believe or to expect that He will give me what He has promised is to accuse Him of lying. What promise do I think He will not give me? What prayer do I think He will not answer?
  5. Neglect of Prayer. Prayers are not spiritual chatter, offered without fervent, focused faith. Have I substituted wishing, daydreaming, or fantasizing for real prayer?
  6. Lack of Concern for the Souls of Others. Standing by and watching friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even family members on their way to hell, yet not caring enough to warn them or pray for them or even admit that’s where they will end up if they don’t put their faith in Jesus. Have I become so politically correct that I don’t apply the Gospel to those I know and love?
  7. Neglect of Family. Putting myself and my needs before them. What effort am I making, what habit have I established, for my family’s spiritual good when it requires personal sacrifice?
  8. Love of the World and Material Things. Assess what I own. Do I think my possessions are mine? That my money is mine? That I can spend it or dispose of it as I chose?
  9. Pride. Vanity about my appearance. More time spent in getting ready for church than preparing my heart and mind to worship when I get there. Am I offended, or even slightly irritated, if others don’t notice my appearance?
  10. Envy. Jealousy of those who seem more fruitful or gifted or recognizable than I am. Do I struggle with hearing others praised?
  11. A Critical Spirit. God has given me a spirit of discernment. But do I use it to find fault with others who don’t measure up to my standards?
  12. Slander. Telling the truth with the intention of causing people to think less of a person. Whose faults, real or imagined, have I discussed behind their backs? Why have I?
  13. Lack of Seriousness toward God. Showing disrespect for God by the way I sleep through my prayer time or show up late for church as though He doesn’t really matter. Do I give Him the leftovers of my emotions, time, thoughts, money?
  14. Lying. Designed deception. Anything that is contrary to the unvarnished truth. What have I said that was designed to impress someone, but it wasn’t the whole truth? Or was an exaggeration of the truth?
  15. Cheating. Treating others in a way I wouldn’t want to be treated. Have I stopped short of treating others the way I would want to be treated?
  16. Hypocrisy. Pretending to be something that I am not. Am I pretending to be anything I am not?
  17. Robbing God. Wasting my time on things that have no eternal value. Exercising my God-given gifts and talents for a fee. What am I not doing for God that I am willing to do for others–for a price?
  18. Temper. Losing patience with a child, coworker, friend, spouse, or staff member. What cross words have I spoken lately?
  19. Bad Temper. Losing control of my emotions, thoughts, and words so that I abuse someone verbally. Have I lost my temper?
  20. Hindering Others. Taking someone else’s time needlessly. Destroying someone’s confidence because I hold them to an unreasonably high standard.
  21. Arrogance. Accepting God’s forgiveness while refusing to forgive myself or someone else.

I know it’s quite a long list. But once again, I pray you’ll take the time necessary to go through it.

If you have never entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to help you do that too. The Bible says in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” You can pray a prayer like this:

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. I believe by faith that Jesus took my sins at the cross. I ask that you forgive my sins and I want to make Jesus the Lord of my life. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer in the sincerity of your heart, welcome to the family of God! Please tell a trusted Christian friend your decision, or you can email me at encouragingwomenforchrist@gmail.com. We’d love to celebrate with you!

Please know how loved you are by Jesus and that there is no sin too great that He cannot forgive. “The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5b). Call on Him today.

By Courtney Silberman

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