I was grumbling about that to God as I brushed my teeth, and when I finally paused for a breath I heard that still voice.
He wasn't talking about brushing my teeth, but my heart. I felt like I'd been sucker punched. How many times have I done a ten second brush job—on my teeth and on my heart—hoping a blanket prayer would do the trick. 'Dear Lord, please forgive today's sins, amen.' --when what I really needed to do was a comprehensive brush, complete with a thorough flossing.
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. ~Proverbs 28: 13Just like we need to use floss to get the grungies out from the crevices between our teeth, we need to use floss to reach into the hidden and secret crevices of our heart. Those are the places we like to tuck away—hide--the sin we don't want others to see. We all have those places, and we all need to stop concealing our transgressions there. If we continue to ignore them, the hidden sin will do to our lives the same thing that mouth grungies will do to our teeth: rot them. At the very least—give us bad breath. That tucked away sin will give us bad spiritual breath and will cause rot and decay in our lives.
Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips.”Blanket prayers are not what God wants. He wants us, His beloved children, to sit and talk with Him, to tell Him what we've done. It's that open communication that's so important. When we take words with us, we're confessing, which leads to true repentance. Confession removes the sin that will cause rottenness.
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. ~Psalm 32:5
Confessed sin leads to forgiveness.
“Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” ~Isaiah 1:18bThe redemption price, and the consequence of our sin, has been paid in full already by the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God: Jesus. We don't have to carry around a heart full of nooks-and-crannies stuffed with sin. We just need to acknowledge and confess our sin to God, and He will forgive it. There's no reason for us to have spiritually bad breath when we can floss with the Word of God and spend time confessing.
When was the last time you not only brushed your soul, but flossed your heart, too?
Dear Heavenly Father, I confess to You my tendency to hurry through this matter of confession. It's not nice to see my sin, but Lord, You already see it and know all about it. Thank You for loving me in spite of it all, and please help me to bring words with me as I enter Your presence. I want to remove all that separates me from closeness to You, and that means digging into those out-of-the-way places and confessing that sin. I love You, Lord. In Your name I pray, amen.