"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" (Psalm 139:23-24 TLB).
Confession of sin is necessary for fellowship with God and revival among God's people. The word 'confess' has as its root meaning, 'to say the same as.' Confession, then, is agreeing with God about your sin.Below you will find a series of questions to help you think through areas of your life that may need cleansing. On reading these questions, as you are convicted of sin, confess it at once to God. Be willing to make it right. Then you can claim cleansing and forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says:
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (NIV).
Be sure to name your sin to God: "Lord, I have not put You first in my plans," or, "I have neglected Your Word and prayer." Do not make the least excuse for sin of any kind in your life. Proverbs 28:13 says:
"He [or she] who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (NIV).
You may wish to write down the specific sins that come to mind as you read the questions. Then, when you're finished confessing, tear the paper into bits and throw it away as a reminder that God does indeed cleanse you from "all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9b). Embrace the promise of Psalm 103:12:
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
Personal revival from the presence of the Lord begins today - if you desire it:
Is there anyone against whom you hold a grudge? Anyone you haven't forgiven? Anyone you hate? Anyone you do not love? Are there misunderstandings that you are unwilling to forget? Is there any person against whom you are harboring bitterness, resentment or jealousy? Anyone you dislike to hear praised or well spoken of? Do you allow anything to justify a wrong attitude toward another?
Is there anything in which you have failed to put God first? Have your decisions been made after your own wisdom and desires, rather than seeking and following God's will? Do any of the following, in any way, interfere with your surrender and service to God: ambition, pleasures, loved ones, friendships, desire for recognition, money or your plans?
Have you failed to seek the lost for Christ? Have you failed to witness consistently with your mouth for the Lord Jesus Christ? Has your life not shown the Lord Jesus to the lost?
Are you secretly pleased over the misfortunes of another? Are you secretly annoyed over the accomplishments or advancements of another? Are you guilty of any contention or strife? Do you quarrel, argue or engage in heated discussions? Are you a partaker in any division or party spirit? Are there people whom you deliberately slight?
Have you robbed God by withholding His due of your time, talents and treasure? Have you failed to support Kingdom work either by service, prayer or giving?
1 Corinthians 4:2
Are you undependable so that you cannot be trusted with responsibilities in the Lord's work? Are you allowing your emotions to be stirred for things of the Lord, but doing nothing about it?
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
Are you careless in any way with your body? Do you fail to care for it as the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are you guilty of intemperance in eating or drinking? Do you have any habits which defile the body?
1 Corinthians 10:31
Do you take the slightest credit for anything good about yourself, rather than give all the glory to God? Do you talk of what you have done rather than of what Christ has done? Do your statements begin mostly with 'I'? Are your feelings easily hurt? Have you made a pretense of being something that you are not?
Are you self-conscious rather than Christ-conscious? Do you allow feelings of inferiority to keep you from attempting things you should in serving God?
Do you underpay? Do you do very little in your work? Have you been careless in the payment of your debts? Have you sought to evade payment of debts? Do you waste time? Do you waste time for others?
Do you complain? Do you find fault? Do you have a critical attitude towards any person or thing? Are you irritable or cranky? Do you ever carry hidden anger? Do you become impatient with others? Are you ever harsh or unkind?
Do you listen to unedifying radio or TV programs? Do you read unworthy magazines or websites? Do you find it necessary to seek satisfaction from any questionable source? Are you doing certain things that show you are not satisfied in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Have you neglected to thank Him for all things: the seemingly bad as well as the good? Have you virtually called God a liar by doubting His Word? Do you worry? Is your spiritual temperature based on your feelings instead of on the facts of God's Word?
Are you taken up with the cares of this life? Is your conversation or heart joy over 'things' rather than the Lord and His Word? Does anything mean more to you than living for and pleasing Christ?
Do you ever, by word or deed, seek to hurt someone? Do you gossip? Do you speak unkindly concerning people when they are not present? Do you carry prejudice against true Christians because they are of some different group than yours or because they do not see everything exactly as you do?
Have you neglected to seek to be pleasing to Him in all things? Do you carry any bitterness toward God? Have you complained against Him in any way? Have you been dissatisfied with His provision for you? Is there any unwillingness in your heart to obey God fully? Do you have any reservations as to what you would or would not do concerning anything that might be His will? Have you disobeyed some direct leading from Him?
Do you engage in empty and unprofitable conversation? Do you ever lie? Do you ever exaggerate? Cheat? Steal? Do you overcharge?
2 Timothy 2:22
Do you have any personal habits that are not pure? Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind? Do you read that which is impure or suggests unholy things? Do you indulge in any entertainment that is unclean? Are you guilty of the lustful look?
If you are looking for a deeply satisfying relationship with God, I encourage you to pray by faith and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has given you His Holy Spirit to help you live life according to His perfect plan. Why not pray this simple prayer and by faith invite Him to fill you with His Spirit:
Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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