1. This Lesson is Based on Principle 4 & Step 5:
a. Principle 4: “Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.”
b. Step 5: “Admit to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs.”
2. ASK: I have told the story of “Jessica McClure” here in the past. It fits so well with this lesson that it really should always be a part of this lesson.
a. Jessica, at the time, was an18 month old girl / Texas / fell into abandoned well-pipe hole quite few years back
b. 400 people took part in her rescue
c. Took 2 ½ days to get her out
d. Remember they played back tape of rescuers hearing her cries for help / anguish / frustration / pain.
e. In order to rescue little Jessica the rescuers decided quickly on 2 phases of the rescue:
1. Phase 1: Get someone down there next to her – ASAP
2. Phase 2: Actually extracting her from the well
f. ASK: Why do you think Phase 1 was so important? – to get someone down there ASAP?
i. Later, after being interviewed, Rescuers said: “They were Driven by knowledge that people tend to do and think strange things when they are trapped alone in a dark scary place for long periods of time.”
ii. They get “disoriented” & fears get blown out of proportion
iii. Minds play tricks on them
iv. AND, sometimes they start to do “self-destructive” things.
v. AND, sometimes they just “give up”
g. ASK: Does any of this sound familiar to any of you?
i. Jessica McClure’s rescuers knew they needed to get someone down there to be with her ASAP
ii. Only then – could they turn their attention on how they were going to get her out of the well.
iii. The plan worked for Jessica – she was saved and is now a happy healthy young woman.
3. SO - How does this story relate to Step 5? : “Admit to God, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your wrongs.” ?
a. Well, - When you admit to God, yourself & Another - your wrongs - you are basically admitting that :
i. you are “Out Of Control”
ii. that you need help w/ your problems
iii. that you can’t live your life the way you used to live it
iv. that your old ways just don’t work anymore.
b. To make matters worse: You realize that the issue you are struggling with (HHH) is really being DRIVEN by a whole set of “Character Defects”.
c. SO What are you to do? Well, God wants to “Chisel Away” at those character defects. (remember the God’s Chisel video by skit guys?)
i. He wants to Free you of the bondage of those defects in your life.
ii. Good news is : “You’ve already started letting Him / by:
1. Admitting your problems / sins
2. Making an “Inventory” of the problems / sins
a. Literally LISTING them, Admitting them, OWNING them – Letting God “CHISEL” THEM OUT OF YOU.
b. Basically – taking responsibility for the “Big 7 Deadly Sins”
i. ASK: Can you list them?
ii. Pride – anger – envy – lust – greed – gluttony – sloth
c. ASK: Do you know why there are “7”?
i. NOT because #7 is perfect number in scripture – no
ii. The #7 in Hebrew means: “To Be Complete”
1. From Solomon in Proverbs 6:16-19
2. SO, IF you have all 7 of the “Deadly Sins”, then you are “completely” or totally sinful.
d. OK, If you have been honest these past few months AND you HONESTLY did your inventory – you might be feeling like you are trapped at bottom of a big dark well.
i. Like our example with the little girl (Jessica) in the well, you can get disoriented – frightened, discouraged.
ii. You might be asking yourself tonight: “Why did I ever take this recovery journey in the first place?” You might be wanting to Bail Out as some others have already done when it got too uncomfortable.
1. I know some of you are thinking things like:
a. “I am royally messed up and I don’t think anything can straighten me out”
b. OR “If anyone ever found out what is really going on in my head, they wouldn’t have anything to do with me.”
c. OR “ This is too hard to stay committed to this program. I am just going to go back to pretending that everything is OK, and just let time work all this out.”
2. IT’S AT THIS CRITICAL JUNCTURE in the process that we need to get another human being to come alongside of us as soon as possible.
3. AS God is “Chiseling Away” at your HHH & the surrounding “junk” – you need to get someone along side of you so you do NOT slip back into denial
4. We are at the point (right now in this program) where you need to come clean by telling another human being the truth about who you really are. But How?
Take out your bulletin and we will begin to see through the acrostic: CONFESS
OK, Let’s get started:
1. C in confess is “CONFESS” OR “Come Clean” - what else?
a. God wants us to come clean and admit that wrong is wrong, that we are guilty as charged. We need to “own up” or God cannot begin to Chisel away at these issues.
b. Once “confessed”:
i. Shame is OVER
ii. Truth (& it’s healing power) take over
c. Proverbs 28:13 says: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
i. Point: Confession is necessary for fellowship w/God. Sin creates a barrier before God, but Confession removes that barrier & restores fellowship with God.
2. O in confess is “OBEY” God’s directions: (remember that principle #4 sums up HOW to OBEY)
a. Basically – “Confession” means we agree w/God regarding our sins.
b. He can try and try to “chisel” away at our sins, but unless we agree w/Him, we are not on the same page.
c. (OK, First) Romans 14:12: “…everyone will have to give an account of himself to God.”
d. Then this is HOW to obey: James 5:16 brings it on home: “Confess your sins TO EACH OTHER and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
3. N – next letter is N: Means: NO MORE GUILT !!!
a. You need to toss out your “Rear View Mirror” way of looking at your life.
b. There’s NO point in second guessing yourself OR others.
c. Romans 8:1 says: “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.”
i. Verdict is in: “ALL HAVE SINNED” BUT God declares us “Not Guilty!!” by reason of no accusation in Christ.
4. So that’s the “C,O,N” of confess. - The “con” is over NOW we need to ‘FESS” up & we will have 4 positive changes in our lives.
5. F – in confess stands for: “FACE the truth” .
a. It’s been said: “Man occasionally stumbles over the truth in his life.” Most of time he will pick himself up and continue on.”
i. Recovery does NOT work like that.
ii. Recovery REQUIRES / DEMANDS honesty in order to be effective.
iii. Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
iv. Have you ever noticed that people who always seem to speak the truth seem to always be “at ease” with themselves and everyone else around them.? Well, that’s the next positive change that comes from confession:
1. People who are not honest are NOT at ease with themselves, and they open themselves up to every arrow the enemy shoots – even physical issues CAN come from a lack of being “at ease”. This is where the word: Disease comes from: Dis – ease.!
2. Dishonesty / Lying requires a perfect memory which no one has.
a. Honesty (speaking the truth) never has that pressure.
b. Even exaggeration requires a perfect memory
3. Eventually it makes us sick ! - which eases us into the next letter in our acrostic:
6. E – Confession eases the pain.
a. “we are only as sick as our secrets!” Whew!
b. When we share our deepest secrets, we begin to divide the pain from the shame.
c. A healthy self worth begins to surface
d. Listen: “pain is inevitable for all of us, but Misery is optional.”
i. Psalm 32:3-5 says: “there was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration…My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, I will confess them to the Lord. And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”
7. S – The first S in Confess reminds us that we can now STOP the blame game.
a. Been said : “people who can smile when something goes wrong probably just thought of somebody they can blame it on.”
b. Truth: We can’t find peace if we continue to blame ourselves OR others.
i. Our secrets only isolate us from each other.
c. In Matthew 7:3 Jesus drives the point home: “…why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and fail to see the plank in your own… Take the plank out of your own eye first – only then will you be able to see clearly enough to be helpful with others.”
8. S – Finally, the last letter – S – stands for: START
a. Start accepting God’s forgiveness.
b. Start letting him Chisel out of you the lies and affects of sin on your life.
c. Start allowing his unconditional love to flow over you.
d. 1st John 1:9 puts it all in perspective: “…if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will (chisel away) all the impacts of the sin and cleanse us from all the wrongs we have committed.”