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It's Confession Time

Monday, December 27, 2010

Category: Attitudes, Change, Forgiveness, Problems, Sin / Suffering / Satan

God is 100% committed to changing you.  Romans 8:29 says that God is conforming every believer “to the image of His Son.” But this transformation can only happen if you invite Him to get specific about the areas of your life that need to change.

We have spent the last few weeks looking at the steps in this significant process:
(1) Ask God for wisdom to know exactly what He wants to change in you;
(2) Review the biblical lists of attitudes and behaviors to change; and
(3) Isolate your own areas of need.

Now here’s the fourth step: Confess your sin to a friend. Perhaps you’re saying, “Wait a minute, James.  I thought we were only to confess our sins to God.”  True, we confess our sins to God for forgiveness through the Mediator, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).  But we go to our brothers and sisters in Christ for support in the process of change.  As James 5:16 says, “Confess your sins to one another.” That’s where some churches have it wrong.  It’s not about a whole bunch of people confessing their sins to one superior person, but rather all Christians on equal footing acknowledging their weaknesses to one another.

Each of us needs to experience the power of confessing our sins to a trusted friend.  If you have never done it before, you might find it very hard to even say to one person, “I’m failing the Lord in this area.” It’s difficult to say, “I’m not the woman that God wants me to be,” or, “I’m not the man that God is asking me to be in this area.”  Let me give you some helpful suggestions in this matter of confession:

  • Choose someone who also wants to change, so the confession can be mutual.
  • Choose someone of the same sex.  If married, try not to choose your spouse, as your mate may struggle to be objective with someone so close.
  • Ask for and promise total confidentiality with the person.
  • After sharing, pray together, confessing your sin to God.  If in the future you doubt your sincerity, your friend can reassure you.

Finally, the fifth step in the process of lasting life change: Express to the Lord your willingness to change.  The Scriptures include a phenomenal promise to every child of God who wants to change: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14-15).  Knowing that God will do whatever we ask if it is His will, and knowing that transformation is God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 4:3), we can be fully confident that God will change us if we ask.  If you go to Him in faith and say, “God, I am willing for You to change me, and I want You to work on this specific area of my life; I know it’s Your heart,” you can be confident that He will do that.

In fact, why don’t you lift a prayer to the Lord right now? Tell Him that you are ready and willing to change.  Give Him free reign in your life, and prepare yourself to experience lasting life change.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank You for Your persistent pursuit of my transformation.  I believe that You love me and have my best interest at heart, so I come to You by faith, completely willing to get specific.  Please reveal to me the things that You want to change in me next. Nothing is off limits. Lord, I want to be everything that You would have me be, and I’m ready to go to work now. Please be specific with me by Your Holy Spirit.  I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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