Everyone appreciates new things. Whether it’s a new outfit, school supplies for the upcoming academic year or the latest electronic gadget, new things give us a sense of excitement. It should be the same way in our spiritual lives. When we open our heart to God, He can open our eyes to new possibilities that bless us and others. Isaiah 43:19 says “ See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
The prerequisite to receiving any new thing in the natural or spiritual realm is to clear the existing space to prepare for your new blessing. In the natural realm, this may mean cleaning your garage before buying a new car. In the spiritual realm, this means confessing your sins and asking God to cleanse your heart before petitioning Him about anything else. Psalm 51:10 says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
God is all-powerful so He can work with us, even if our heart isn’t exactly clean or our spirit isn’t exactly right, right? Actually yes, God is sovereign. The Bible is full of examples of God using imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will. We are no different. However, there is a difference between being minimally and passively used by God versus having a rich, righteous, intimate, and joyous fellowship with God – one where you see Him actively working in every area your life. Sometimes we think that being “a good person” is good enough. We figure as long as we aren’t doing anything that will land us in jail, we are doing ok. But that is not what God wants for our lives. John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” God wants us to worship Him, which means living a life filled with purpose and inspiration. In order to live our best lives, we must operate with a clean heart which means confessing our sins before God often. Our lives become an act of worship – what we say and do, how we speak and serve, who we support and encourage. Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Your heart is like a window that God can always see. The end of 1 Samuel 16:7 says “…People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Sin clouds up that window – making our outlook dark and distant, and blocking the light that God wants to shine in our lives. Confessing our sins is like using a spiritual pressure washer. Confession invites God to clean away the filth of guilt, shame, bitterness, resentment, pride, envy, lust, unforgiveness, and so many other sins off of our hearts, allowing us to see and hear from God clearly.
When God does a spiritual sweep, our hearts are sparkling clean! Isaiah 1:18 says “Come now, and let us reason together,” saith the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
We cannot cleanse our own hearts. Our hearts are cleansed by grace from our Heavenly Father. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”