Monday, December 5, 2011

I Fall On My Face

As I was singing Create In Me A Clean Heart, last night in church, such a heavy burden came over me that someone needed to really repent of something. I delayed and delayed, singing it over and over again all the while praying in my spirit that the person, whoever it was, would come forward for prayer and forgiveness. But it didn't happen. Maybe they repented while sitting in their seat and that's okay too, but I think that sometimes more is expected of us than the easy way out. 

We have become so seeker sensitive in our services, in most churches, that we don't want to call someone out or embarrass them by asking them to publicly repent of their sins and walk to the altar as a public declaration that they are sorry for their sins and want to turn away from them. I personally think that sometimes it makes it easier for a person to either continue in their sin or to fall back into their sinful lifestyle if there isn't a public show of repentance. 

This is just my opinion but I believe that opinion is soundly based on Scriptural precedence. Consider, if you will, how Nathan, the prophet, confronted David with his sin, in 2 Samuel 12. He went to the king and told him plainly that he had sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba. David could have used the excuse that his sin was between him and God and for Nathan to mind his own business, but he didn't. He knew that Nathan was God's spokesman, just like our pastors are for us nowadays. 

I love David's response! He immediately confessed his sin, publicly. Even though he confessed his sin he still had to live with the consequences of that sin. His son would die. Scripture says that David laid on the ground in sackcloth praying for the baby and pleading with God, but he knew he had to pay for his sin. When the child died, David rose up, washed and anointed himself and went to the house of the Lord to worship God. He knew that God gave him a fresh start. I wonder what the outcome would have been had David, like many people in churches today, just said 'oops, I'll try not to do that again.' 

If, when we sin, we would only fall on our face before the Lord and show true repentance, I believe it would eliminate much of our heartache. When we repent, truly repent, God will restore us and give us a fresh start. Yes, it's uncomfortable to humble ourselves and walk to an altar to repent in front of everyone. But shouldn't there be some discomfort considering that we have sinned? David had to lose a baby, a son, for his sin surely we can pay the price of making a public declaration of our sin by going forward at the end of a church service and repenting so everyone can see that we not only acknowledge our sin but are truly sorry for it. 

Even though David had committed adultery and murder, he was still called 'a man after God's own heart'. You may ask why, when he was obviously so sinful. We know God hates sin. I believe the key to that puzzle is his humility. David was humble. He laid on the ground before the Lord. He fell on His face before God and he praised God even when God had to discipline him. Humility, not a trait that we as a society seek to aspire to much any more, goes a long way in our restoration process. 

The burden of unrepented sin gets pretty heavy to bear after awhile. Why not get rid of it today? Confess your sins and be free from them. God will restore you and He will love you and He will give you a fresh start just like He did for David. 

Take a minute and read Psalm 51 and see the humility and remorse David showed. He just didn't write the words to make up a new song, he really meant them. You can hear the conviction in his words. When we come broken before the Lord, He will forgive us of our sins and heal our brokenness. 

   For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
 1 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
   blot out my transgressions. 

2 Wash away all my iniquity
   and cleanse me from my sin.

 3 For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is always before me. 

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
   and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
   and justified when you judge. 

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,
   sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 

6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
   you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
   wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 

9 Hide your face from my sins
   and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
   and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

11 Do not cast me from your presence
   or take your Holy Spirit from me. 

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
   and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   so that sinners will turn back to you.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
   you who are God my Savior,
   and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. 

15 Open my lips, Lord,
   and my mouth will declare your praise. 

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
   you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 

17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart
   you, God, will not despise.

 18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
   to build up the walls of Jerusalem. 

19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
   in burnt offerings offered whole;
   then bulls will be offered on your altar.

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