In the post entitled "Why It's Important to Confess Sin (Practicing Real, Authentic Confession)," I discussed the importance of confessing our sins to GOD.
Confession is really a form of agreeing with GOD. It's saying to Him, "You know what I did. I sinned by ____ . I need your forgiveness. Please forgive me Father."
But how does someone develop an open, intimate relationship with GOD?
This sounds easy, but to some people, it can be really challenging.
I believe there are three keys to developing an openness with GOD:
- You must see GOD as He truly is—you must know His character.
- You must see yourself as GOD sees you.
- You must be willing to accept His invitation to father you.
The Psalms are a great place to learn GOD's heart and character.
For example, let's use Psalm 139 to learn some key truths about GOD.
1. GOD knows you completely and perfectly. In fact, He knows you better than you know you.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
(Psalm 139:1-6 NIV)
2. GOD is everywhere at the same time, which is great because He is able to watch over, bless and protect you no matter where you are.
Human limitations do not apply to GOD.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
(Psalm 139:7-12 NIV)
3. GOD has already foreseen your entire life before you were born.
He gives us freedom of choice, to be sure, but He knows what our choices will be. To Him, our future is like a memory, because He exists outside of time and space.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
(Psalm 139:13-18 NIV)
When we get a glimpse into how GOD thinks, based on what He tells us, and we learn that His thoughts toward us are "precious" and too numerous to count, that should create a strong sense of value within our heart, and that should cause us to love Him in return.
The apostle John wrote that we love because GOD first loved us (see 1 John 4:19).
When we study the Scriptures, it becomes clear that GOD wants a family. And not just any family, but a family of people who want Him just as He wants them.
He wants children with whom to share His gifts of love, life and blessings.
GOD wants that for you.
GOD traded in His place in heaven to become one of us and die in our place in order to make it possible and attainable for us to live with Him forever.
Hebrews says that Jesus entered into the Most Holy place—the very presence of GOD—on our behalf.
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
(Heb. 10:19-22 NKJV)
Jesus came to give us life that is overflowing.
And this gift doesn't apply only to the afterlife.
All it takes is deciding to open our heart to GOD and let Him in.
He already knows it all anyway.
Just tell Him the truth.
If that's hard, start by telling Him your desire to be open with Him.
He'll help you, if you let Him.
Lastly, recognize that spiritual growth is a process—it takes time. Allow GOD to father you along the way.
Be patient and watch Him work.