Open your mouth, say, "God help me!" and mean it. Not as a figure of speech. With everything you've got, look up and cry out. Bring heaven to a standstill. Cry out to the one and only God who can deliver you.
Though it is absolutely vital, confessing sin is not the only way we practice confession. In its widest sense, confession is our means of baring our hearts and souls before God. It is a way we agree with what God says about Himself and what He says about us.
Confession takes place every time you tell God how much you need Him. What kind of mess you're in. What's on your heart. Who's broken your heart, even if your first impulse is to think it's Him.
As long as you can feel it, spill it. Psalm 145:18 says, "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."
All these things are confession, but don't overlook the unparalleled benefit of confessing sin. Let the light of God shine all over your sin so the two of you can sort it out, and He can heal you. We will never get so spiritual that we can go days without anything to confess, especially considering that God places our attitudes, thoughts and motives on a level with our actions.
Don't forget the sins of pride. Pride is the number one reason why a person remains reluctant to cry out to God. Confess every sin of your own actions, words or thoughts that you believe contributed to your defeat.
Remember, God's pursuit is relationship. Confession clears the path so the King of glory can come in. In order to get out of a pit and stay out, you and I need the unhindered power of the Holy Spirit. Unconfessed sin clogs the pipeline between God's throne and your vessel. If you hold nothing back, neither will God.
Confession is incomplete until we actively accept God's certain forgiveness. Take a fresh look at 1 John 1:8-9: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
We will never stay out of that pit until we believe all the way to the marrow of our bones that God has forgiven us. Read King Hezekiah's words in Isaiah 38:17: "In your love You kept me from the pit of destruction; You have put all my sins behind Your back."
Our tendency to return over and over to the pit is driven by our deep conviction that we'll never be anything but defeated. Almost always, those who jump back into the pit never really believed God had put their sins behind His back.
I love this step. Consent is the most beautiful part of the process of getting out of a pit. There is no ambiguity about this step: It is definitely God's will.
God wants you out of that pit. He wants you in victory, out of defeat. So all you have to do is consent to what He already wants.
First John 5:14-15 says: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him."
Beloved, God's will is for you to get out of that pit. If you will consent to the process, waiting upon God as He begins rearranging things for your release, you can go ahead and start getting excited, because it will happen.
When I first introduced the three steps to you—cry out, confess and consent—I told you that each of them involved your mouth. The ironic part of the process will be that you will most likely use your mouth before you use your faith.
For most of us who have failed over and over, our faith nearly disintegrated because somewhere along the way we confused faith in God with faith in ourselves. We've let ourselves down so many times that now we're nearly hopeless.
We think the strength of our personal draw into the abyss exceeds the strength of God's draw to pull us out. Hence, the process can't begin with our faith, because our faithlessness is our biggest problem. It's got to begin somewhere else—like with our mouths.
I want you to learn to cry out, confess and consent using God's Word. And to do so, when possible, out loud. Listen, beloved, "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17, NASB). Your faith will be built by hearing your own voice speak the words of Christ.
I have never come up with a more powerful way to pray than using Scripture. I will teach this method in appropriate contexts as long as I live, because I've seen such results from it. When a serious situation arises, and particularly if it persists, I turn to God's Word every single time.