Tag Archives: unconfessed sin

What About Today? (2 Chronicles 26)

I don’t care who you are, or how kind and giving you’ve been, or even if you have done great things in the name of the Lord. Sin is sin. And all sin comes with consequences. My sin. Your sin.

We see King Uzziah, a good king who obeyed God. During his reign Judah was blessed because of their obedience as they followed the king. People had jobs, the building industry was booming, the army was strong and well equipped, and Uzziah’s fame spread far and wide.

But as so often happens with us humans, Uzziah’s pride led to his downfall. Instead of being humbled by God’s blessings, the king became proud. And his sin led him to be unfaithful to God. I hope you’ll read God’s Word today and see what happened to him.

God didn’t give Uzziah a free pass just because he had obeyed God in the past. Uzziah sinned. And God punished the sin.

I was at a friend’s house yesterday and she had a plate of fresh fruit for us to nibble on. Colorful melons, plump, juicy grapes, tangy apples, berries that popped with flavor in my mouth. It was so refreshing on a 92 degree day in Pennsylvania.

Today I thought about that fresh fruit. It came at the hard work of farmers who planted and nourished and weeded and then harvested each melon, each bunch of grapes, each berry. Someone washed, then pealed, and cut the fruit she’d bought and displayed them on a serving platter. The end result of all that work was not only beautiful, it was so good!

But if you hid one rotten grape in the midst, one imperfect apple, one molded berry, it wouldn’t take long for that fresh fruit to rot, too. All the good work of those farmers wouldn’t prevent the fresh fruit from being ruined by just one rotten grape.

It’s interesting that if you put a healthy apple in a barrel of rotten ones, the barrel doesn’t become healthy. But if you put a rotten apple in a barrel of healthy ones, you’ll have a barrel of rotten apples in no time.

That’s like sin. The good things we did in our past, the times we were obedient to the Lord, brought us blessings at that time. Those blessings might still be felt years later. That’s how God works. But if you sin today, if you don’t obey God today, July 8, 2020, you will have put a rotten apple in your barrel of blessings.

The good king, Uzziah, died a leper. He was excluded from worshiping in God’s House toward the rest of his life, and couldn’t even be buried with the other kings because he’d been unclean. God did not give him a free pass just because he had been obedient in the past. Uzziah sinned that day, and didn’t deal with his sin.

So God did.

The same is true for each of us. My prayer is that all of us will deal with our sin problem today. Every time God brings a sin to our awareness, I pray we will fall on our knees and ask Him to forgive us. I pray that we will never be satisfied living with a sin, even just one.  Because one sin not confessed is a rotten apple that cannot help but spread.

You’ve been obedient in the past? Good! What about today?

When Bad Things Happen (Jonah)

Most of us have had bad news told us, or have gone through really hard times and have asked, “Why me?” If you’ve been with me very long you know I believe the correct question to ask is, “Why NOT me?”

But here we have  a boatload of men facing death at sea for no real fault of their own. Jonah was disobeying God. Jonah was receiving God’s hand of punishment. The sailors were merely caught in the middle. They were caught in the same storm Jonah was facing as a direct result of his sin.

So let me ask you: Are there people caught in the crosshairs of God’s judgment on you because there is sin you haven’t dealt with in your own life? Is your family facing difficulty because you are running from God?

When Jonah’s sin was dealt with, God calmed the sea. The sailors were saved, both physically and spiritually. Read the book of Jonah today. It is an amazing account of God’s grace.

I wonder, on a larger scale, if our nation is facing God’s punishment on Christians who are not dealing with sin in our own lives. Is the USA going through this awful unrest because the Church is trying to exist with Satan instead of fighting him?

I think the book of Jonah tells us when bad things happen, we need to first look at whether they are God’s punishment on us for tolerating sin in our lives. Then if God points out the sin we need to confess it, repent of it, ask God to wash it away and then live in obedience. If we don’t, that stormy sea will not calm. And we just might go down with the ship.

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.