We are hearing much these days about picking “one word” to focus on for a year in your life. I am pretty sure it was Jon Gordon who came up with this concept. His word for 2012 was “think.” After I watched his Youtube video several years ago, I agreed with his idea and started picking a word.
Last year it was “gratitude” and I have thought about picking that word again but I have changed my mind. As I reflect on this past year, gratitude was such a great part of my life but….…this year my word is going to be “repent.”
Now, allow me to elaborate…..
This past year I spent more time than I ever have praying for our country. Yes, I was concerned about the state of our nation and wanted desperately for God to be glorified and turn people’s hearts to Himself. God led me to a book by Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter), ”The Daniel Prayer”. I was led to buy and read this one!
It was so good that I read it twice and bought many copies to give to friends. God used multiple things in the book to speak to me. One stood out more than all the others….it was this simple statement by Anne:
”We commit our sins one at a time…we should confess one at a time!”
It was as if those words jumped off the page at me, literally, and were magnified like a neon flashing light. She elaborated on the IMPORTANCE of repentance and recognition of sin in our lives in order to lead an effective and holy life. BOOM………..
I will have to get REAL here…I do confess my sins…but more often than not…I have been very guilty of just gliding through and being general in my confession.
After I read her words, I became a heck of a lot more serious about Sherry’s sin. Yes, and I started to name them one by one. A great thing happened…when I became intentional about naming them one by one, it was a “wake-up call” but also very REVIVING and ENCOURAGING.
I will have to admit that at first it was hard to look at and acknowledge all sin “one by one”…very humbling. I found as I did this, the enemy would whisper to me, ”See, you are NO good!! You are not worthy! What good is your witness?“ I wanted to run and hide, literally.
But then God spoke to me in my spirit and said, “Go to my word and read what it says about confession of sin!” I am so glad I have learned to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit in my life. It is the voice that can override the enemy’s whispers. As I obeyed, I found great encouragement that I want to share with you. I trust it will help you as it has helped me with “confession and REPENTING.”
Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sins DOES NOT PROSPER but the one who CONFESSES and RENOUNCES them finds mercy” [emphasis added].
Acts 3:19, “REPENT, then, and turn to God so that your sins may be WIPED OUT and that TIMES OF REFRESHING may come from the Lord” [emphasis added].
I could give you many more scriptures but these two alone are so POWERFUL. Just stop and think for a minute. Does the enemy want you to be REFRESHED? or Prosperous? No. Scripture says the enemy comes to “steal, kill and destroy!” No wonder that I have been attacked by the soft whispers of the enemy. He doesn’t want us to “name our sins one by one.” He wants us to be embarrassed and want to hide so that he can entrap us in quicksand and repetitive sin.
You may not battle this but allow me to teach you: acknowledging your sin and confessing is the first step in becoming more holy and in tune with the Holy Spirit’s voice in your life. It allows God’s voice to override the enemy’s so that you DO NOT REMAIN dead in sin.
God wants to REFRESH US…to PROSPER US. So I highly encourage you–do not be ashamed to run to GOD…the One who convicts but also forgives…and gives the POWER to overcome and most importantly, REFRESHES you.
This year, in 2017, I want my word to be “repent” so that I can lead a “REFRESHED” life. I love the way that sounds but even more, I have experienced refreshment by allowing God to speak through Anne directly to me about “naming my sins one by one.” I will leave you with this promise found in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Here’s to a year of refreshment stemming from time spent in confession and repentance.
“Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves. Joy-based repentance makes us hate the sin.” ~Tim Keller