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Day Four
Pastor Ken Vance
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." James 5:16 (NLT)

We need to embrace the truth; we are only as sick as our secrets. Guilt and shame cause us to hide. Our failures are an embarrassment to us that we work so hard to hide from others. We fear the sting of rejection. But because we hide, we can’t be ourselves, and we can’t get the help we need to be healed. We think that confessing our sins to God is all we need to do, but there is more we need, according to the above scripture. We can go to God and confess our sins and receive forgiveness, but God tells us we need to be able to confess our sins to others so they can pray for us so we can be healed. So there it is, we go to God to confess and find forgiveness, and we go to others and confess to find healing.

The sad truth is many of us come to Christ because we are sinners and then spend the rest of our lives trying to prove we are not! We try to hide who we really are. Confession brings things to light. It is when we stop hiding and come “clean” that we experience freedom and healing. Secrets lose their power when exposed to light. God intended that the fellowship of his people together would provide a safe environment to heal.

When grace and truth come together, it invites us to be ourselves as we are, warts and all, and brings us into a relationship of intimacy where we can be known and accepted. Real intimacy always comes in the company of grace and truth. In that place, we are connected to God and others, and it becomes the place of healing and change. We can’t change ourselves no matter how hard we try. That is the danger of religion, thinking we have the power to do it on our own. No, Jesus came to do what we are incapable of doing ourselves. When we confess our failures and our helplessness to change on our own, it is in that place God does His best work. Healing is a process, and God works through our humility to begin the healing our heart needs and surrounds us with a community to support us through the process. He never believed it was good for us to be alone. But until we open up, confess our need, confess our weakness, and confess our sins, we will rob ourselves of the healing we need and the community of love God intended to provide us strength and a place to grow.

The Bible speaks of confession in terms of change and not guilt relief. Problems occur when the real self, the one God created, is hiding from God and others. Confession opens our hearts to God and others. God provides forgiveness, and others provide the community God heals our hearts in. The Church cannot preach grace but then expect people to change on their own. No, the Church needs to be a place that accepts us for who we are and helps us realize we can’t change ourselves. We need to be free to confess our brokenness and helplessness because it is in that place that God brings us the healing and change we so desperately need. Healing begins when we step out of the dark area of hiding and into the light of grace and truth. It all starts with confession because we are only as sick as our secrets!

PRAYER: Father, today I confess I’ve been hiding. I’ve been acting like I can change things on my own. I admit my sins and ask you for forgiveness but find myself right back, giving in to the sins that so easily trip me up. I need to confess my sins to others so they can pray for my healing and be a support and shelter for me. Give me the courage to face my fears and resist them so I will be willing to confess my failures and faults to others who will love me and support me. I confess I can’t, but I believe you can in me and that you bring healing through my connection in the Body. You said if I walk in the light as you are in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses me, and I have fellowship with others. I’m willing to let my secrets be exposed to the light and end the enemy’s control in my life. I’m ready to begin your healing process in Jesus’ name. Amen!