Summary: The need of confession
We all have them, don’t we. Some days are worse than others, and some days are better than others. You know, it’s a lot like that in our spiritual lives as well. Some days we live victorious over sin, and other days, it seems that we yield time after time to temptation. We gather great encouragement from the Bible, for as we read of the great saints of old, we remember that they were human just like us, filled with days of victory and days of defeat. Remember David, the man after God’s own heart--he’s the one who sinned with Bathsheba, killing her husband Uriah so she could be his wife. Remember Solomon, the wisest man alive--he’s the one who started worshiping idols, letting his heart be turned from worshiping the true God. Remember Paul--in Romans he tells us about the battles he faces. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am!
We all have days like that! You understand Paul, don’t you? I know I do.
This morning, as we think about our failures spiritually, I want us to remember that God knows us perfectly, and he knows all about our sin. In fact, he knows even beforehand the sins we will commit. Turn with me to Deuteronomy 31: 14-22. Even before the Jews enter the promised land, God knows they will turn to idolatry. We can never hide our sin from God.
So many times we try to look good. We actually succeed sometimes in getting ourselves to believe that nobody will know. But God always sees, he always knows. Chronicles tells us the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth. In Psalm 139 these words are given: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Numbers 32:23 tells us you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
What is it that you think you are hiding from God today? It may be that someone here is struggling with living a double life. You come out to church and everyone thinks you’ve got your life together, but deep down inside, your life is a mess.
*Someone here may be thinking about leaving their husband or wife; not for unfaithfulness, but you just want a change.
*Someone here may have a problem with alcohol: you say it just loosens you up, but you know you get totally out of control.
*Maybe you are addicted to something: you say you can stop any time you want. But the truth of the matter is that there is no way you can stop outside of the direct help of God.
*Maybe you struggle with lust. You feed the lust through what you watch on TV or through the books and magazines that you hide so no one else will know. Maybe you look on the internet so there’s never a trace of what you’ve done.
*Maybe your problem is gambling. You say it’s only a harmless little dollar on a lottery ticket. But that was months ago. Now you’re up to $30 a week on tickets. And you’re spending more each week, hoping that any day now you’ll win the big one.
It doesn’t matter what the sin is. What matters is sin is wrong. It is an offense to a holy God who says “be holy, for I am holy.” And remember this morning that God sees you. He knows what you’re doing. He hates the sin! But he loves you. He wants you to admit what you’re doing. He wants you to admit the sin, and let him give you the help to gain the victory.