If you want to be used by God, you need to purify your heart.
You don't have to be a perfect person, but you do have to have a pure heart. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:21, "One who cleanses himself from these things will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, fit for the Master's use, and prepared for every good work" (MEV).
God uses all kinds of people. He uses shy people. He uses outgoing people. He uses all different races, ages, stages of life and backgrounds. He uses men and women. God will use plain vessels, and He'll use ornate vessels. He'll use big vessels and small vessels. But there is one thing that God will not use: He will not use a dirty vessel. You have to be clean on the inside.
How do you do that? How do you purify yourself? You do it through a simple word: confession. Augustine said, "The confession of bad works is the beginning of good works." The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, " If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (MEV).
The word "confess" in Greek is the word homologeo. Homo means "same," and logeo means "to speak." So homologeo literally means "to speak the same about my sin that God does." It means you agree with him: "God, you're right. It wasn't a faux pas. It wasn't a mistake. It was a sin. It was wrong." It doesn't mean you bargain with God ("I'll never do it again"). It doesn't mean you bribe God ("I promise to read my Bible every day if you'll forgive me").
You just admit it.
That may seem too simple to you. You may say, "All I've got to do is admit it, and God will forgive me?" Yes! It's called grace!
Here's what I'd suggest you do if you really want to be used by God: Take time this week to sit down with a pad of paper, and say, "God, what's wrong in my life? Show me. I'm going to write it down, and I'm going to admit it. I'm going to confess it to you." Then, when God gives you an idea, you write it down.
The first time I did this, I thought I was going to write a book! And I've done this many times since. Make a list, and then write 1 John 1:9 over it and say, "God, I admit these to you. These are wrong. I don't want them in my life." Ask God to cleanse your life. God will forgive you!
This is the starting point to being used by God. You must purify your heart.
Talk It Over
- What will you need to change about your schedule so that you can take time each day this week to write down your confession?
- You may not be able to write down your confession to God every day of your life, but what healthy patterns will doing this help you establish?
- What is the difference between a mistake and a sin?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
For the original article, visit pastorrick.org.
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