Forgiveness comes from God's examination of us, not from our opinion of ourselves.
I recently went to my dermatologist. The nurse came in and began mindlessly reciting her litany of questions. Mr. Branam, do you smoke? Any recent surgeries? Any medications?
Never raising her eyes from the paperwork, she then handed me a paper gown and said, "Mr. Branam. Take off everything but your underwear and bra and put this on."
I replied, "Well, I forgot my bra today, so we won't have to fool with that."
Realizing what she said, she turned three shades of red, and we both had a good laugh. Perhaps it was some needed comedic relief because we both knew that when the examination began, it was going to get awkward again.
The healing God brings from confession comes from an awkward and revealing examination.
And Jesus entered a village; he met ten lepers. They cried out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."Luke 17:12
What a way for them to begin the conversation. "Jesus!" Their address of him was significant because a leper who entered public space in this time period was to call out, "Leper!"
But they did not cry out, "Leper!" They called on the name of Jesus.
They wanted Him.
Your physician will not issue you a prescription based on a conversation over the phone. The doctor wants a face to face meeting for an examination.
When it comes to our spiritual healing, we need an encounter with Christ. We can't be casual with confession.
They did not just call Jesus' name; they called Him Master. Master is a statement of surrender.
A physician can bring healing only when he or she knows what is there. My dermatologist could not do her job if everything that is wrong with me is covered up.
The difference in God and your dermatologist is that God knows what is there despite our cover-up. But like your dermatologist, God doesn't deal with it until you uncover it. And that's when things get awkward.
Master means that He's in charge. Not you. Master means that He sets the standard. Not me. Master means it's no longer about what I think, but what He sees.
When it comes to sin, God is the standard. Not me.
The lepers were not there to express their opinion of lepresy. They just asked for mercy.
At some point with sin, we've got to get to the place where we are not trying to make excuses or have discussions. We just need mercy.
Mercy is vital because it means that you're no longer holding on to your opinion, but that you are open to God's examination.
And it is at the place of, "Jesus, Master, have mercy" that our sin is fully exposed and the examination begins. There are no more excuses. We are uncovered in our confession. It is here that our holy God begins to heal us.
Read Psalm 32.
- What does this passage teach us about confession?
- Make a list of promises in the passage?
- What are the commands to be obeyed?
Recall a time in your life that called for confession. Go through that story and notice how it lines up with Psalm 32. Is there currently something that is causing you pain in the cover-up that needs to be confessed? If so, confess it to God in prayer. Repent and seek His forgiveness.
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