I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Yodit Kifle Smith
It’s never easy to admit when we are wrong. From the inception of sin, our natural proclivity is to run, hide and cover. Adam and Eve are our first examples. What they didn’t know was that while they ran to hide because of their disobedience, God would provide covering so they wouldn’t feel ashamed. What a loving Father!
You see, on the other side of confessing our sin, the forgiveness and covering of God awaits. However, because of unbelief, we run, hide and cover out of fear and pride.
This is where the power of the gospel comes in- it regenerates our hearts to see the beauty of confession. It dismantles the walls that we hide behind because of shame. God has made the way for us to know the goodness of confession through the atonement of Christ.
In Psalm 38, we see in David - whom God called a man after His own heart - the beauty of confession rooted in the hope of salvation. Repentance was a natural part of his relationship with God. He understood that to withhold confession from God is to withhold his healing.
We often treat repentance like it’s a nice-to-have, not a requirement. Perhaps we think repentance is a one time thing that happens when the pastor invites us for an altar call, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Bible is full of connections between the path of our faith and the continual act of repentance on that path (Matthew 3:8).
Repentance is what shows our reverence to a Holy God whose presence can not overlook sin. Our daily obedience to Christ’s command to repent reflects God’s good plan for humanity - that even in the fallenness of our humanity, our hearts can rest in His redemption. Repentance is what displays our faith in God--believing that He is who He says He is and does what He says He will do in lavishing His mercy and forgiveness on us.
While the effects of sin displayed in Psalm 38 are strong, the forgiveness of God is stronger. And it is the act of repentance which opens the door for us to know that truly and deeply.
Like David, may we know the heart of our Father, who finds great joy in forgiving our repentant heart and in that, may we see the fruit of our repentant heart.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Psalm 38 (read whole chapter)
1 John 1:8-9
Questions to Reflect on:
1. Why do you feel ashamed to go to God when you sin?
2. How does rehearsing the gospel daily empower you to make repentance a habit?
3. How can you make repentance a natural part of your relationship with the Lord?