For after I had turned away, I relented, and after I was instructed, I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was confounded, because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
When we trust in Jesus we are unplugged from our sinful nature and plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit. But the sinful nature is not deleted from our lives. The old master, that familiar and inviting voice, calls out to us. And there are times when we accept the invitation. The Apostle John wrote, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” But when “we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9 NIV).
So, what does confession look like? Our verse today gives us great insight into this important spiritual discipline.
- After I had turned away, I relented. A flippant “I’m sorry,” or “I’m sorry I got caught” doesn’t cut it with God. Repentance involves an understanding that I am heading in the wrong direction and have a sincere desire to stop and turn around.
- After I was instructed, I struck my thigh. To strike one’s thigh was a figurative expression of mourning and grief. True repentance involves sorrow for sinning against God. He does not take sin lightly; neither should we.
- I was ashamed and confounded…. Repentance starts with conviction—the Holy Spirit confronts our sin. True repentance experiences the guilt of disobeying God and the desire for his forgiveness.
- Ask God to show you any area of your life where you are living in disobedience.
- Tell God that you are sorry for your sin and ask him to forgive you.
- Ask God for his strength to resist sin in your life.
Father, help us turn from our sin, grieve our rebellion, and be ashamed of what we have done. May we be those who never glory in our sin, but glory only in the Savior who continues to deliver us from it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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