When we pray, most of us are able to take our problems to Christ, but what about our sin?
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
– Isaiah 1:18
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
– Isaiah 55:7
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
– 1 Peter 1:18-19
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “The Lord has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done” (53:6 NCV). Isaiah did not know the name of God’s sin bearer.
If you are in Christ, your sin is gone. It was last seen on the back of your Sin Bearer as he headed out to Death Valley. When Jesus cried on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 NIV), he entered the wilderness on your behalf. He carried your sin away.
Jesus did his part. Now do yours.
Give God your guilt. Pray the Pocket Prayer. Father, you are good. I need help. Forgive me . . . Tell Jesus what you did. Place your guilt on the back of your Sin Bearer. Give it to Jesus with this request: “Will you take this away?” Do this as often as needed. One time, two times, ten times a day? By all means! Hold nothing back. No sin is too ancient or recent, too evil or insignificant. Be abundant in your confession, and . . .
Be concrete in your confession. Go into as much detail as you can. You’re tempted to say, Lord, forgive me. I am a louse. But that doesn’t work. For one thing you are not a louse; you are God’s chosen child, and he loves you. For another, healing happens when the wound is exposed to the atmosphere of grace.
Exactly what is it that you need forgiveness for? For being a bad person? That is too general. For losing your patience in the business meeting and calling your coworker a creep? There, you can confess that.
Confession, you see, is not a punishment for sin; it is an isolation of sin so it can be exposed and extracted.