Free from wrong rhythms and self-reliance
Psalm 38:18 (ESV)
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am sorry for my sin.
Romans 10:9–10 (ESV)
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
1 John 1:9 (ESV)
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
James 5:16 (ESV)
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
“Confession is a difficult Discipline for us because we all too often view the believing community as a fellowship of saints before we see it as a fellowship of sinners. We feel that everyone else has advanced so far into holiness that we are isolated and alone in our sin. We cannot bear to reveal our failures and shortcomings to others. We imagine that we are the only ones who have not stepped onto the high road to heaven. Therefore, we hide ourselves from one another and live in veiled lies and hypocrisy.
But if we know that the people of God are first a fellowship of sinners, we are freed to hear the unconditional call of God's love and to confess our needs openly before our brothers and sisters. We know we are not alone in our sin. The fear and pride that cling to us like barnacles cling to others also. We are sinners together. In acts of mutual confession we release the power that heals. Our humanity is no longer denied, but transformed.”
Richard J. Foster
The way to cover our sin is to uncover it by confession. The way for God to spare us is not to spare ourselves.
“Private confession to a brother ‘is useful, even necessary, and I would not have it abolished. Indeed, I rejoice that it exists in the church of Christ, for it is a cure without equal for distressed consciences. For when we have laid bare our conscience to our brother and privately made known to him the evil that lurked within, we receive from our brother’s lips the word of comfort spoken by God himself. And, if we accept this in faith, we find peace in the mercy of God speaking to us through our brother.’ ”
We read of Brother Lawrence “that as he knew his obligation to love God in all things, and as he endeavoured so to do, he had no need of a director to advise him, but that he needed much a confessor to absolve him.”
You might want to ask each other some of the following questions:
- Where have you seen God at work in your life in the past week/month?
- How did you experience God’s presence through your rhythms?
- How have you been shaped by the rhythms?
- What differences did the rhythms make to those around you?
- What is the Spirit stirring and wanting to grow in you in this season?
- What unhealthy rhythms or habits have you adopted and what practices will help you refocus on Jesus?
- What is one thing you like about the Rhythm of Confession and why?
- What has been an obstacle to confession?
- How can confession free you and from what?
- What is one thing you learned about confession this week? After listening to the rhythm podcast what was new to you or what changed your view?
- How do you think practicing confession will help you follow Jesus?
- What is a small way this week you can incorporate this rhythm in your life?
- What way can the group help you practice this rhythm?