There’s a story in the Old Testament about Nehemiah, a great man of God. He was an Israelite living in exile, serving King Artaxerxes as cupbearer. One day, God called him back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. Nehemiah asked permission from the king and was granted not only leave to go, but resources to accomplish the work.
Once he arrived, he surveyed the damage. Nehemiah knew that the first step to rebuilding was clearing the rubble of the destroyed walls and buildings. He needed a solid foundation on which to build the new walls and structures that would keep Jerusalem safe from her enemies.
Confession is a little like this. God has called us to obedience, but we often choose to go our own way. Soon, we find ourselves surrounded by rubble and debris, most of our own making. As we confess our sin, we invite God to come clear the rubble from our hearts so that He can build something new—something pure and good.
True confession is rarely fun or easy as we acknowledge how deeply sin has taken root in our hearts. It’s painful as we ask God to purge our sinful ways. But there’s a beautiful promise to hold onto in the midst of our confession:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)
God is eager to hear our confession. He’s ready to get to work clearing the debris and rubble from our hearts—erasing all traces of it—and building something beautiful and pure in its place!