This business of sin. More importantly your list of sins.
You know them. I don't have to try and pull them out of you or get you to see what ones are the big ones the bad ones or the not so bad ones. You know. You've been dogged by them for years, I'm sure. They come at you when you least expect it, taking your thoughts captive, robbing you of joy, belittling you. They tell you those sins are the reasons your faith is weak, God couldn't love you/forgive you/trust you.
Today is the day you will put them to rest.
This is how.
Make your list of the above things I just mentioned. If it helps to write them down and you have enough paper do so. (wink, wink) As they come to mind, imagine them being placed in a suitcase. Each sin gets its own suitcase. Don't worry, you won't have to carry them too far.
As you put each sin that comes to mind in its own suitcase, take that suitcase and place it at the foot of the cross. Then, look up. Jesus is there. You may see him as he is being crucified or you may see him sitting on top of it, in all his glory. Whatever way you see him though, He's there. Leave those suitcases filled with your specific sins there.
When you get all your sins packed in their suitcases (each sin gets its own bag for this exercise) and you set them at the foot of that cross, turn around and walk away. You can look back at Jesus and wave, blow Him a kiss too, but don't look at your luggage. It's not yours to worry about anymore.
Now, after you've got today's list written, the suitcases packed and left at the cross and you're walking away, waving back at Jesus, whistling a tune, feeling RELIEF, some of those sins are going to try and jump out of their suitcases and back on you. Be ready for it. It will happen. But that's ok. When it does happen you stop, don't look at the suitcase or the sin as it is trying to push itself out, but instead say this, "Jesus, I left that bag with you. Please make it leave me alone."
This will be a battle you'll have for awhile, but a short while if you remember what I'm telling you to do. As long as you realize it's going to happen, you're ahead of the game.
Those bags you left today have no business torturing you tomorrow. Once they are left at the foot of that cross, that is where they stay. You have no business picking them up and carrying them with you.
Many will try and get you to pick them back up. Be prepared for this too. Those you sinned against. Those you hurt by the lies you packed in the bags. Those who know the "real" you won't like to see you with peace. But you don't let yourself get overcome by those, you just keep telling Jesus, "Keep my baggage. Keep my baggage. Keep my baggage."
In a little while, today's baggage rack will be a memory that becomes more and more distant in the rearview mirror.
Now, here's truth. I hate to tell you this, but....you will sin again. You will. It's in our fleshy nature,
Because you know where to put those sins, immediately when the Holy Spirit convicts you you have sinned, pack that sin up in a suitcase and repeat the exercise. You no longer need to waste time on thoughts that deny or deceive you into thinking you have to wait till Sunday or when you're alone or after you've prayed real hard to pack up the sin and lay it at the cross. Do it as soon as you can! It only takes a spit second.
Once you get this practice down and deep in your mind and in your heart, the deeper understandings of God will begin to come. I have found the deeper things are revealed when I keep my sin list short.
what I am not saying:
1. Unless you confess every single sin you are not saved. No. The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us from all sin. This is the way you keep the communication channels open between you and him. If you have unconfessed sin, like a blocked artery not able to get oxygenated blood to the body, unconfessed sin blocks clear communication between you and him. If the Bible is too hard to understand for you, it may become easier if you practice doing this.
2. I have to list every single sin. Are you kidding me? Do you know how long that would take and how defeated one would feel? No, God will reveal things to you little by little. He's a good dad, a gentle dad, overflowing with compassion for you. He knows how much your heart can take. I still have sins from years ago that surface from time to time, that I haven't confessed. But when Jesus brings them to mind I confess them quickly and trust that if that past sin was keeping me from hearing him now, in the present, that he clear clear the blockage and quickly.
3. You have to do this with a priest, a pastor, a congregation, or two or three. No. Absolutely 100% NO! Not just no, but HELL NO! This is between you and Jesus. It ain't no one else's business for now and forevermore!
Are you ready to give it a try? Are you ready to start tasting real freedom? Today's your day.
Remember, just because those bags try to jump back into your hands after you lay them at the foot of the cross, it doesn't mean they have to be confessed again and again and again. Just call Jesus, he'll come and get them.
Don't do anything else but these four things and you will be waking up refreshed and renewed.
1. Confess individual sins as they come to mind.
2. Pack them up in individual suitcases.
3. Drop them at the foot of the cross. (don't forget to blow Jesus a kiss and wave)
4. Run! Run free!
Soon you'll be ready to learn about all those things that before were blocked. I'm rooting for you!
1 John 1:9