Often feeling empty and distant from the Lord is caused by our not spending quality time with Him every day. Our relationship can be restored simply by re-establishing our daily quiet times. Sometimes, however, our loss of fellowship is because we harbor unconfessed sin. When we make a mess of our lives—accidentally or even on purpose—God has a plan for restoration. (Thank goodness!) His desire is for us to be filled with joy through confession and repentance.
Have you ever done something you knew was wrong, and somehow you thought that if you ignored it, it would go away? I have. All the while feelings of guilt piled up—keeping me separated from God and His love. I didn’t want to approach Him because I knew He’d put His finger on my sin. I was embarrassed. And like Eve, I hid. (You can read more about this here.)
(By the way, that’s Satan’s plan. He makes you feel guilty about the bad stuff you’ve said and done, hoping you’ll do what Eve did—try to hide from God. The enemy’s goal is to ruin your relationship with God by making you believe lies about yourself and about Him. The truth is: God LOVES you. There is NOTHING you can think, say, or do that will make Him love you less.)
Eventually I thought, Why am I acting like this? I know better! King David did the same thing. He wrote about his experience in Psalm 32.
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat … Interlude … Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:3-5) [Emphasis added.) Verses 3-5 [Emphasis added.]
Confession is simply agreeing with God. We can confess many things. But in regard to sin, confession is agreeing that we are wrong. That we have violated God’s law and offended Him (and often others). David says he refused to confess his sin. He refused to agree with God. Living with God’s heavy hand of discipline is not a place anyone wants to live. But David lived here for a year.
And finally … he agreed with God. He came out from hiding and repented of his sin with Bathsheba.
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Verses 1-2
David had followed God for many years. He knew God’s compassion was great. He knew God’s love was unfailing. He knew God would forgive him and cleanse him of his sin (Psalm 51:1). David moved from empty to filled with joy when he confessed his sin to God. Sometimes I wonder why he waited so long! Except I’ve done the same thing.
We have the same assurance that David had.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
When the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and we confess it with genuine repentance, God never brings it up again. In His mind—it is gone.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
We are forgiven, our hearts are cleansed, and joy is restored (Psalm 51:10-12)!
There is nothing better than having a clear conscience with someone you love. Especially if you’ve been hiding something. A clear conscious is necessary for intimacy to thrive.
If you’ve been feeling empty and distant from God, remember: God is full of compassion, full of mercy, ready and eager to forgive you. He wants your relationship restored. Move from empty to filled with joy.
Go ahead. Tell Him everything. You’re safe with Him.
Image: Pixabay (Jill Wellington)
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