"When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone." (Psalms 32:3-5 NLT) In my former job, I traveled every week. Usually I wasn't gone more than a night, but sometimes trips were longer. Over time, airports, hotels and rental cars begin to wear you down. I remember people crowded in seats on a packed plane, angry people frustrated by their circumstances changing (sometimes being that angry person), cancelled appointments, appointments lasting longer than scheduled, taking important phone calls in loud airport gates while that lady screamed the announcement of flights around you boarding and a hundred other challenges from the road.
Coming home was always the highlight of my week. It spoke rest to my soul, after being away from my house, traveling. I remember the smell of our house when I walked in, the sight of my wife, the embrace, our kids stopping what they were doing and running up to hug me. Home. When I came home, I felt like I had arrived in the place I was made to be.
Repentance carries the same feeling. We were made for relationship with the King of Kings, the Creator, the One who merely spoke and the heavens came to be (Psalm 33). Having unconfessed sin between us and the Lord is like being gone. The phone call home is never the same as walking through the door. In the same way, when we hold onto something we haven't confessed, it's like a experiencing a phone call with God rather than walking into His Presence.
While the idea of confession brings on steamer trunks of church baggage for many, Psalm 32 highlights the best part of confession. We are forgiven and we get free of guilt! When we're not following the Lord, pressure and tension mount on us. We're carrying more with us than the Lord ever intended for us to carry. When we confess, we get to leave behind and get loose of the things that keep us from being in a sweet relationship with Jesus.
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him." (Luke 15:20 NLT)
One of the best confession stories in the Bible is the story of the Lost Son from Luke 15. My favorite part is the Father looking for him, after all that time, the Father was still looking for him. And when he sees his lost son, the Father takes off and runs to His son. Friend, if you've been thinking your load is heavy and you're not sure what to do, please know it makes no difference where you've been or what you've done. Your Father is looking for you...and He's ready to run. Go home!