Recognizing and Removing Those Things that Inhibit Our Relationship with God
By John Moore
These questions are designed to lead Christians to claim the promise of 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Remember that the New Testament word “confess” means to “say the same thing,” so Biblical confession of sin is to agree with God…to say the same thing. This includes more than simply admitting its presence, but it involves hating sin (God’s attitude toward sin) enough to turn from it!
No matter what other people do, or don’t do, leave nothing undone on your part! Prayerfully consider the questions one-by-one, and answer them truthfully. Remember that every “yes” answer means sin in your life! Keep Proverbs 28:13 foremost in your mind, “He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whosoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy!”
Keep three things in mind when confessing your sin:
- Do not be morbidly introspective! Let the Holy Spirit deal with those sins that He determines need attention today. Consider the prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 139:23-24
- Do not concern yourself with “feeling” forgiven! Remember Jesus is Lord, and you need to surrender any “personal opinions” in this area to His rule. Let Him make the choice!
- In certain instances, restitution will have to be made! If, for example, you have borrowed and not returned something, you must return the item and ask forgiveness of the person as well as confessing it to God. You might need to pay an unpaid bill (even if the company has “marked it off” their books), restore another’s reputation you destroyed, etc…
How to Use This Guide:
- Read the Scripture listed.
- Read the questions related to that Scripture.
- Confess to God through prayer any sin He reveals through the Scripture and the questions
- Make any restitution necessary.
- Go on to the next Scripture.
Is there anyone against whom you hold a grudge? Have not forgiven? Are harboring bitterness, resentment, or jealousy? Are there any misunderstandings you are unwilling to forget? Is there anyone you dislike to hear praised? Do you allow anything to justify a wrong attitude toward another?
Is there anything in which you have failed to put God first? Have your decisions been based on your own wisdom/desires, rather than seeking and obeying God’s will? Do any of the following in any way interfere with your surrender and service to God: ambition, pleasures, money, loved ones, friendships, desire for recognition, own plans?
Have you failed to seek the lost for Christ? Have you failed to speak consistently with your mouth for the Lord Jesus? Has your life not shown Christ?
Are you secretly pleased over the misfortunes of another? Are you secretly annoyed over the accomplishments or advancements of another? Are you guilty of contention or strife? Are you a participant in any divisions or have a divisivie spirit? Are there people whom you deliberately slight? Is there anyone you do not love?
Have you robbed God by withholding His due of time, talents and/or money? Have you given less to the work of God than the Holy Spirit has prompted? Have you failed to support mission work, either in prayer or in offerings?
1 Corinthians 4:2
Are you undependable so that you cannot be trusted with responsibilities in the Lord’s work? Are you allowing your emotions to be stirred for the things of the Lord, but doing nothing about it?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Are you in any way careless with your body? Do you fail to care for the temple of the Holy Spirit? Are you guilty of the lack of self-discipline in eating or drinking? Do you have any habits that are defiling to the body?
1 Corinthians 10:31
Do you take the slightest credit for anything good about you, rather than giving all the glory to God? Do you talk of what you have done rather that what Christ has done? Are your statements mostly about “I?” Are your feelings easily hurt? Have you made a pretence of being something you are not?
Are you self-conscious rather than Christ-conscious? Do you allow feelings of inferiority to keep you from attempting things you should do in serving the Lord?
Do you underpay? Do you under work? Have you been careless in the payment of your debts? Have you sought to evade payment of your debts? Do you waste time? Do you waste time of other people?
Do you find fault? Do you have a critical attitude toward any person or things? Are you irritable or cranky? Do you get angry? Do you become impatient with others? Are you ever unkind or harsh?
Do you listen to unedifying radio or TV programs? Do you read unworthy books or magazines? Do you participate in worldly amusements? Do you find it necessary to seek satisfaction from any questionable source? Are you doing things that show you are not satisfied with Jesus?
Have you neglected to thank God for all things, the seemingly bad as well as the good? Have you held God out to be a liar by doubting His Word? Do you worry? Is your spiritual temperature based on how you feel instead of what God says?
Are you taken up with the cares of this life? Is your heart’s joy found in things, rather than the Lord? Does anything mean more to you than living for and pleasing God?
Do you ever, by word or deed, purposely try to hurt someone? Do you gossip? Do you speak unkindly concerning people when not present? Do you carry prejudice against true Christians because they are of some different group than yours? Because they do not see everything exactly as you do?
Have you neglected to seek to be pleasing to God in all things? Do you carry any bitterness toward God? Have you complained against God in any way? Have you been dissatisfied with His provisions for you? Is there any unwillingness in your heart to fully obey God? Are you uncertain what you would or would not do concerning anything that might be His will? Have you disobeyed some direct leading from God?
Do you ever lie? Exaggerate? Cheat? Steal? Carefully consider before you answer: Do you ever overcharge?
2 Timothy 2:22
Do you have any personal habits that are impure? Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind? Are you guilty of the lustful (second) look? Do you read that which is impure, or suggests unholy things? Do you indulge in any unclean entertainment?
Do you stay away from meetings where the gospel is preached? Do you whisper or think about other things while God’s Word is being read or preached? Are you irregular in attendance at services? Do you neglect to attend or participate in meetings for prayer? Have you neglected or slighted daily and/or private prayer? Have you neglected God’s Word? Do you find the Bible and prayer uninteresting? Have you neglected the giving of thanks to God at meals? Have you neglected daily family devotions?
Do you hesitate to submit to leaders in the church or elsewhere? Are you lazy? Do you rebel at requests made of you to help in the work of the gospel? Do you in any way have a stubborn or un-teachable spirit?
Have you allowed yourself to become “spotted” by the world? Is your manner of dress pleasing to the Lord? Do you spend beyond what is pleasing to the Lord on anything? Do you neglect to pray about things you buy?
Do you feel that you are doing quite well as a Christian? That you are good enough? That you are not so bad? Are you stubborn? Do you insist on having your own way? Do you insist on your “rights?”
Have you dishonored God and hindered His work by criticizing His servants? Have you failed to pray regularly for your pastor/spiritual leaders? Do you find it hard to be corrected? Is there rebellion towards one who wants to restore you? Are you more concerned with what people think than what will be pleasing to God?