Well, here we are at the end of our time together! There is no way I can cover all I have learned from Dr. Bisagno on prayer. His book has made such an impact on my life and I hope it has yours as well. For our last lesson we are going to deal with confession. I know this doesn’t seem like a high point on which to end but you see, if we don’t get the sin confessed our prayers can be hindered. More importantly, our fellowship with the Lord is affected as well.
Confession must be a daily thing. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice the word “if”. Confession doesn’t happen automatically. We have to confess and repent. God has promised us that when we confess He will forgive us.
The bad news is that as long as we are alive we will sin. The presence of sin will not be removed until we are in Heaven. I do want to offer you a bit of encouragement though. While we are not sinless, it is possible to sin less. This happens as we grow and mature in our relationship with God. When we become a Christian we are saved from the guilt and punishment of our sin. Jesus made this possible. Without His sacrifice we would be in a tremendous amount of debt we could never ever repay.
Psalm 51:5 says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Don’t get confused about what this means. What David the Psalmist is saying is that sin is preset in us. From conception it is present. Sin is in our inmost being, it is in our nature. Becoming a Christian brings in another nature, our new nature in Christ. We are now in the process of becoming more like Him everyday. We must choose not to feed our sin nature. My mentor, Miss Nan Thompson, taught me well in this area. She said we have our old nature and our new nature and they fight all day. We have to choose which one we are going to listen to.
Our home in Heaven is not based on victory over our sin nature. We can’t lose our salvation or our place in Heaven. When we choose to listen to our sin nature, our fellowship is affected. God knows our sin, He doesn’t really need us to tell Him what they are. What He desires is that we change our attitude about our sin. We agree with Him that it is sin and then with the help of the Spirit, we change directions.
We are to hate sin because of what it did to Jesus, NOT because of what sin has done to us or made us feel. Feeling bad about our sin is good, conviction is good, but we must never lose sight of how our sin made Jesus feel on the Cross.
Dr. Bisagno says we sin because we enjoy it. I agree with him up to a point. We can all recall a time that we were living in sin and we enjoyed it. I would like to suggest that the more we walk humbly with our God, the more we know His Word, the less we will like sin. We may entertain it for a moment but we quickly dismiss it because we know it is wrong and it breaks God’s heart. As we grow in our walk with God we want to be more like Jesus and the desire to sin is not as strong. In other words, we aren’t “regarding iniquity in our heart.”
We don’t always feel forgiven but we can’t operate on feelings. God doesn’t operate based on our feelings. God said these verses: 1 John 1:9, John 3:16, Romans 8:1, Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 2:4-6 and 10, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and many more. God said these things so we must believe them! Take some time and look these verses up. Read some truth for yourself.
When you are tempted by the slightest wrong there are some things you can and should do. Here are six things that will help you:
- Forsake it– 1 John 4:4 says greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world.
- Confess it–Just as we have discussed today, remember 1 John 1:9.
- Repent of it– Acts 3:19 speaks of repentance. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.”
- Kill it– Colossians 3:5 says we are to “put to death therefore what is earthly in you.”
- Despise it– Psalm 97:10 says, “O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Romans 12:9 says we are to abhor sin!
- Destroy it–2 Corinthians 10:5 says we “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Dr. Bisagno says that if conviction of sin remains in your life there are 2 things that could be the cause. The first is that your confession was not a true confession. You weren’t sorry for your sin, you are just sorry you got caught. The second reason is that satan is accusing you. The enemy takes great and I do mean great, pleasure in troubling our hearts and our minds over our past sin. Trust me on this, I know what I am talking about. I let the enemy accuse me of something that I knew without a doubt I had confessed genuinely before the Lord. Dear friend, DO NOT let him do this to you! Don’t let him win one more second in your life! James 4:7 says, “RESIST THE devil AND he WILL FLEE.”
How do we resist?
We resist in the name of JESUS.
We resist when we confess when necessary.
We resist with praise.
We resist with thanksgiving.
We resist with the Sword of the Spirit. (the Word of God)
We resist with our service to others.
We resist with random acts of kindness.
We resist by choosing to act the way Jesus would act.
We resist with prayer!
Oh how I have enjoyed our time together these past two weeks and personally, I have enjoyed the refresher course on prayer. Next week you will hear from one of our new writers, Elissa Roberts. I can’t wait for you to get to know this precious woman! She is even going to show you how to make a prayer notebook. From there our series on prayer will end with one of the Godliest women I have ever and will ever know, Libby Williams. She has been writing for us since day one of Interior Inspirations. She is a mighty prayer warrior and I could think of no one better to tie up this series than Libby. You will be richly blessed by these two ladies.
Until next time….
For more on prayer and fasting you can read my personal blog, www.renecollins66.wordpress.com