Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Confessed My Sins to My Father

The more I tried to impress God, the sicker and more depressed I became. Weeping on the steps of our ministry offices, I got “low” with Jesus. I kept saying, “Lord, I don’t understand why I am so weak.” Everyone is weak. If we weren’t weak, we wouldn’t need Jesus! When we have Christ, we are strong; but it’s His strength, not ours. When I pondered this, I had the first glimmer of understanding about dying-to-the-flesh, and allowing Christ to live though me. I was too tired to play “catch-up” with the evangelical Joneses anymore. I was sick of being proud, arrogant and manipulative in my flesh. I had to get low with Jesus again.

When I did, Jesus softly spoke to my heart, and told me to do the last thing I would ever have dreamed. He said to go to my father and confess my sins to him and have him pray for me. I could hardly believe it. Why tell my sins to a cruel father who abused me all my life? I didn’t want to tell him I was a liar, proud, and sinful, even though I was in ministry. What would he think? He had little enough respect for ministers as it was!

For years I had tried to lead my father to Christ. I preached, prodded, and poked literature at him. I tried to get him into every service I could. I fought for his attention, then came away defeated when he paid none. It had become a source of embarrassment to me, that I could lead others to Christ, but not my own father. 

But I was desperate to get out of the depression I was in, so I tucked my tail between my legs, died to my flesh, and obeyed Christ. Every time I had done anything of any value for God, it was always following a state of total desperation, and this was no different.

I went to my father and said, “God told me to confess my sins to you and have you pray for me.” I told him my long litany of sins, then, I ducked my head as he laid his hands on me to pray. I had never wanted to feel those hands on me again. It was the hardest thing I could ever have done—to humble myself before that man, allowing him to touch me, and even pray for me.

What I didn’t know was that my father was” eaten up” with his own flesh. He was so full of his flesh, that it was easy to repel me when I came at him in the same spirit – full of my flesh. But when I came to him with the opposite spirit, not exalting, accommodating, or feeding my flesh, he had nothing with which to resist the love of God. He prayed for me, and then cried for one of the only times I’d seen him cry in my life.

“I can never be saved because of what I did to you,” he said with his head bowed.
“Yes you can Dad,” I said. Right there, I led my father in the sinner’s prayer and he was gloriously saved.

My father wasn’t going to get saved by my religiosity and flesh, preaching at him with all my doctrines. I had actually just been carrying out his heritage of fleshly living, but it was on a higher level of “sanctification.” Even though I was a minister, I was still walking after the flesh, just like him. Humility is the badge of courage held by all “God wrestlers.”


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