I remember the first time I ever sat down with someone to confess stuff from my past that I was ashamed off. I remember it so well because of the sheer terror I felt in talking about stuff that I felt sure would mean I'd be rejected and ridiculed. It took me about an hour to get the words out and the feelings of shame and guilt were almost unbearable. What was totally mind blowing was the way in which my friend Lucy listened with such love and acceptance. The grace that she showed me that day was like the grace that God shows us every day and it brought freedom in my life like I'd never experienced before. I can now, hand on heart, say that there's nothing from my past or present that I'm ashamed of that I haven't confessed to at least one person... and it's so liberating!
My first talk at the Supernatual conference was all about identity; getting to grips with and living in the good of who God says we are now that we're in Christ. I talked about the importance of confessing hidden stuff to break shame so that the enemy can't use our pasts against us to call into question our identity. I encouraged all at the conference to find trusted friends to open up to and talked about my own personal experience of knowing incredible freedom off the back of confession.
During the ministry time a very dear lady came up to me and with her head hung low told me there was something she needed to confess. I took her to one side and sat her down with my arm around her (I knew how this felt!) She went on to tell me something from her past that she'd never told anyone else before. As she confessed this hidden sin she was overcome with guilt and shame as she wept openly expressing pain and regret. I sat with her and held her communicating, in the best way I knew how, the unwavering love and acceptance of her heavenly Father. After repenting out loud I spoke truth over this precious daughter to break the shame:
- Jesus has removed your sin as far as the east is from the west
- When we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness
- There is now no condemnation for those who believe
After I'd finished praying I asked the lady how she was feeling. 'Lighter' was her repsonse. We hugged for a bit, she returned to her seat and I went on to pray for someone else.
What was amazing to watch over the rest of the conference was how different this precious woman looked as she came into God's presence. For much of the rest of the weekend you would see this woman with the biggest grin on her face receiving overflowing joy from the Lord. She became the loudest laugher at the conference! In a 10 minute encounter shame was broken and joy was restored and this woman left the conference looking physically different! What an incredible miracle.
There's incredible power in confession...who are you talking to?