Tag Archives: unconfessed sin

April 24; Expect God’s Silence

Psalms 69, 86, 131; I Samuel 28:3-25

Sometimes we humans hurt so badly we might get to the point we’d try anything to make it stop. David cries out, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my  neck.”

Have you ever felt like you are drowning in debt, in depression, in unfair treatment, jealousy, anger…? Been there. Done that.

Saul was out of his mind with fear, and he did what David always did: He went to God about it. How often do we read where David, in the midst of suffering, went to God and received forgiveness, strength, shelter. When Saul goes to God, though, he is met with silence.

Saul does not give up easily. So we read that he goes to a medium who will conjure up the dead prophet Samuel. If God won’t talk to Saul willingly, Saul will try to force God to give him answers.

Not a good idea. This sin is going to cost Saul his life.

Now here is where I think God is pointing me today: Saul, instead of asking why God was silent, instead of dealing with the sin that separated him from God, Saul tried to manipulate God. He tried to get to God through a back door.

Dear one, if you are feeling God is silent, don’t blame God. The only thing that separates you from God is sin. The only thing.

And the only thing that can bridge that gap is the cross. If you have unconfessed sin in your life, don’t expect God to jump when you say “jump.” (don’t expect that anyway). I think I can confidently say, if you have unconfessed sin in your life – you can expect God’s silence.

I know sometimes we don’t get the answers we are looking for. I know God doesn’t snap His fingers every time we ask Him to, even if we stand before Him wearing Jesus’ righteousness. But I believe with all my heart, that at those times when the answers aren’t coming, God is anything but silent.

It’s during those times that God speaks His love in other ways. He gives us the strength we need to wait with confidence. He gives us the chance to bless someone else. He reminds us that He does all things well, and we can trust Him. He gives us Himself.

If you are where David was in the psalm we read today, if you feel like you are drowning, go to God. Tell Him what is on your heart, share your hurt and frustration, ask for His help. But first, confess your sin. Because I believe Scripture tells us if you don’t…

expect God’s silence.

Genesis 33:16-34:31 A Measure Of Obedience

Often when I’m reading this portion of Scripture, I notice that at the end of chapter 33, Jacob does something different than what he’d said he would do. He told his brother he was coming home. Instead, he got as far as Succoth, about a day’s journey short of going home, and settled there. Not quite the Promised Land. But close. I find myself wondering about this change of plans.

But then chapter 34 starts and I get caught up in Dinah’s tragic story. Jacob forgotten.

It occurred to me that just because a chapter ends and another begins doesn’t mean they’re not connected. So I pulled out some commentaries to see what others think about it. Here is a synopsis of my study:

To begin with, the Lord, in 31:3 told Jacob to go “back to the land of your father and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” Jacob kind of did that. He got just inside Canaan, like a kid who puts his toe on the line he’s told not to cross. Then, and this is what hit me, he had the audacity to buy land, makes shelters, and build an altar to God, naming it “The God of Israel.” Did he think if he named the altar after God, God would be appeased and overlook the disobedience Jacob was committing?

I’m wondering if a person can sort of obey God.  Can  someone ask Jesus into their heart, yet hold on to a sin or two? Can a Christian go to church, give generously, yet harbor hatred toward a brother, and still be considered obedient? Is God ok with our outward display of partial obedience?

Let’s look at the result of Jacob’s actions. His daughter was violated, his sons committed mass murder and theft. And in the end, God told him to keep moving and do what He’d told him to do in the first place. All of that heartache could have been avoided if Jacob had obeyed from the start.

As I read this portion of Scripture I am challenged to check my level of obedience. I believe God is telling me that having a measure of obedience is disobedience. And there are serious consequences for holding back on God.

And I am reminded that God doesn’t demand total obedience because He is a buzz-kill, or some control freak. God knows that there are blessings that come with total obedience, and He is anxious to pour those blessings over His children. God knows that when we obey Him we are spared from the heartaches that come from disobedience. And He wants us to live lives free from those heartaches.

Just obey Me, He tells us. Then see what life can really be.

August 2 – When God’s Not Listening

Isaiah 59-63

Have you ever felt your prayers aren’t getting any higher than the ceiling, that God is too busy to hear your requests, or that God was unable to give you the desires of your heart? There might be a reason for that.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. (59:1-2)

If you think God is ignoring you, you may be right.

Your unconfessed sin drives a wedge between you and God, it produces a distance caused by you. God doesn’t owe you anything. You, on the other hand, owe Him everything.

If God seems far away, or uncaring, remember “YOUR iniquities have made a separation… YOUR sins have hidden His face…”

I know that God delights in fellowship with His children. He’s there. He’s waiting. He’s eager to forgive. If you are feeling the distance between you, ask yourself if there is something you need to confess.

I promise you, He’ll be listening.

March 9 – Clear The Land

Numbers 33&34

Be honest. Do you have a secret sin you are holding on to? An ungodly TV show that makes you laugh? An internet site that you find interesting although it dishonors God? Someone you refuse to forgive? Drinking alcohol to excess even if its just within your home? Anger? Jealousy? An obsession with a loved one?

When we become Christians, God demands that we confess our sins – all of them – and repent. That means we lay it all out there, drop those sins at Jesus’ feet, and walk away clean.

God told Israel that, when they went into the Promised Land to take it for themselves, they needed to drive out the inhabitants. He warned them not to let anyone stay because if they did, those who remained would end up being “pricks in (their) eyes and thorns in (their) sides.” He said those people would trouble the Jews in the land God had promised to them.

That same God is saying to us today to get rid of all sin. All of it. If you insist on holding on to something – even if you think no one on the earth knows what you are doing – it will end up biting you.

God doesn’t demand we be holy to prevent us from enjoying this life, our own Promised Land of fellowship with Him. He demands holiness of us so that we can enjoy life to the fullest!

No thorns in our sides to take away our joy. No pricks in our eyes to distract us and cause us pain.

There is no sin I can think of worth holding on to if it prevents me from receiving all God intends for me in this life while I wait to join Him in the next.

The Sin of Prayer

I was reading Psalm 109 this morning and was struck by something in verse 7:

When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer become sin. (NKJV)

The NIV translates it like this: …and may his prayer condemn him.

Can a prayer be a sin? Can whispering a prayer condemn us? It must be so or it wouldn’t be written here in this psalm.

David is talking about being treated unfairly. Remember, Saul wanted to kill David. And Saul’s followers pursued David relentlessly. David asks God to be their judge. Then he said what he did about prayer.

That got me to thinking. How can a prayer be sin? Certainly in these days after the cross, when Jesus told us to love one another, including our enemies, praying that harm might come to someone is probably a sin. I can see how praying for a selfish gain would be considered a sin. Praying that God would honor or ignore or, worse, bless a sin in my life is most assuredly a sin.

Maybe God is saying through David that praying in order to tell God what His will is is a sin. Saul’s men probably thought they were obeying God by trying to protect King Saul from David’s overthrow of the kingdom. Maybe they even prayed to God to help them kill David. Praying to Allah, or a higher power, or some dear departed loved one, isn’t a prayer that honors God. And what doesn’t honor God is sin.

Then the thought came to mind that a person who rejects God’s grace and lives in opposition to God’s demands, yet prays a quick prayer when their car slips on ice, or a family member receives a frightening diagnosis sins. A person who leaves God out of their life, yet prays to win the lottery, or get a promotion at work also sins.

Prayer is a privilege. But it’s serious business to go barging into the throne room. In the Old Testament we read where a king could only be approached by invitation. Going otherwise to talk to the king resulted in death. Unless the king granted audience, you died.

We who have accepted Jesus as our Savior are invited to come boldly before the throne of grace. (Heb 4:16) We have that ongoing invitation to talk to the King any time of the day or night. But it seems to me from what I read in the Bible, if you haven’t come to God through His Son, you have no business in the throne room.

And, if I go barging into the throne room with unconfessed sin in my heart, my prayer just might condemn me. This morning I am impressed with the importance of prayer. And the seriousness of having audience with a God who is Holy, Holy, Holy. I don’t want to take this privilege for granted. And I don’t want to sin in my prayer.

Holy God, Please forgive me for sin in my life. Help me to recognize those sins and be quick to confess them. Thank you for inviting me into your throne room where I can talk to you about the things on my heart. May I never take this privilege for granted. May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, my Lord and my Savior.