Well, I had every intention of writing about Summer Sanity #7 this morning, but the Lord had other plans. Last night, I kept having a dream about a Bible verse. It was so crazy. When does that ever happen? So I thought it best to investigate.
This was the verse…
James 5:16 says, Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Here we go…
Contextually, James is writing to Jewish Christians. He is encouraging them not to be tempted to allow intellect or knowledge pass for faith. His letter is written to remind them that genuine faith transforms lives.
Fast forward to chapter 5….speaking of Prayer. James says “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy…let him sing songs of praise. Is anyone sick?…..He should call the elders of the church to pray over him….” James 5:13,14.
James is setting a trend here. In other words, if you are feeling an emotion, pray. If you are breathing air, pray.
Pause that thought.
Rewind back now to coffee with a dear, dear friend last week. Girlfriend, is crazy in love with Jesus. She challenges me and I learn so much from her walk with the Lord. Well, to hear her tell it, lately she’s been hitting a wall in her relationship with God. It’s as if, she knows He has something deeper for her, but she doesn’t know how to get to it.
We continued talking and drinking our coffee, but before we left, she shared something very painful. A fact about her past that, for years, she has kept very private and for which she carries a lot of guilt. She said, “I’ve never shared this with anyone before.” As she continued, she started verbally processing what the Lord would have her do with this detail of her life. She said, “I don’t know… maybe I was just supposed to share and bring it out into the open.”
Feeling extremely honored that she trusted me, I proceed with my day, thinking of her very often – in prayer and giving great thanks for this amazing woman.
Later that night, I got a message from her. It went something like this….”You know, every time I think about what I shared this morning, I do not have that same guilt anymore. It’s gone. I really think I just needed to tell someone.” AHH. Freedom.
Now, had she confessed this to the Lord before? Of course. She had hashed it out with Him on many occasions, I’m sure. But for her, it was a public acknowledgement of the issue that brought healing. Oh, so powerful.
I called back and told her I envisioned her with a big, messy mullet….her face painted blue like William Wallace in Braveheart yelling…..FREEDOM!
She liked that.
So back to the verse in James –There is Biblical truth to what happened to my sweet friend.
Therefore confess you sins (v. 16a)…
To Confess (exomologeō) means “a public acknowledgement.”
May be healed (v.16a) means “to make whole. to free from errors!!!!!! Figuratively speaking of SPIRITUAL HEALING! (all emphasis mine!)
Do you see?!
Public acknowledgement of sin frees us and makes us whole. It brings spiritual healing to our souls.
Now, can God make us whole without public acknowledgement? Absolutely. Christ’s death on the Cross made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness. But confessing our sins to each other still has an important place. For example, if after confessing a private sin to God, we still don’t feel His forgiveness, we may wish to confess that sin to a another believer and hear him or her assure us of God’s grace and forgiveness. It brings encouragement, healing and confirmation.
Now, as a a new believer coming out with secrets of my past scared me to death. I still wanted to save a little face. I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to know how wretched I really was. Also, I didn’t trust anyone. The kind of people I had been “friends” with for so many years were far, far from trustworthy. They would have taken any dirt on me and rubbed my face in it. Without flinching.
So James makes it very clear that we confess our stuff with the righteous man. Who is that?
A righteous man (dikaios) observes divine laws. He is upright. His way of thinking is wholly conformed to the will of God.
The righteous man then has a responsibility….to pray. His prayer is effective and accomplishes much.
Effective and accomplish is the same word in the Greek – energeō (our root word for energy). This means bringing one into line with the will of God. He puts forth power.
So….we confess our sin to a righteous man, he prays and puts forth power to line us up with the will of God.
I AM JUMPING OUT OF MY CHAIR. This is too amazing. Do you see how profound and healing and important and life-changing this is?!
Jesus shared a cup of joe with us that morning. In faith – she shared and by grace – He healed. He was in the midst of us, healing and bringing freedom to my friend. Setting this captive free. Hallelujah.
This whole incident has really challenged me to search my own heart. What is lying dormant? Needing confession? I want to be fully in alignment with God’s will for my life. I do not want any sin hiding under the rug. I want no stone left unturned. I want all the Spiritual Healing that Christ died to give me. To give you.
When we make a public acknowledgement of any secrecy in our soul we are set free from our error. Prayers then accomplish much. The power of prayer puts our life in alignment with God’s will.
Oh, Lord…this is too good. I want it. Reveal my sin. Lay me bare and expose anything secret that is left uncovered. I want to be healed and completely free indeed. I want your will for my life…in full. Thank you for revealing this astounding truth to me. Thank you for setting us free.