Confessions are often associated with something negative. In the context of sin confession has to do with admitting guilt or admitting wrong.
Confessions are also associated with something positive.
For example, one confession that I frequently state for myself is that of three Hebrew young men who lived in the Babylonian empire of the 6th century BC. When refusing to compromise their faith and their commitment to God for the sake of appeasing King Nebuchadnezzar they were sentenced to die in a fiery furnace. You may remember that the king offered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego a second chance to compromise their faith and offered to change their sentence from death to life.
The 3 Hebrews replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need a second chance. Our God is well able to deliver us from your fiery furnace. But even if He does not we are not going to compromise our faith.” (Daniel 3:18)
I’ve had health challenges. I know that God is able to make me well. But even if He doesn’t I’ll not quit trusting Him.
I’ve had financial challenges. I know that God is able to meet every financial need I have. But even if He doesn’t I’ll not quit trusting Him.
I’ve had opportunistic challenges. I know that God is able to help me seize and succeed in the opportunity. But even if He doesn’t I’ll not quit trusting Him.
What’s the “fiery” ordeal in your life? Do you know that God can handle it? Do you know that in His wisdom He might not? Can you still trust Him even when God doesn’t come through for you in ways that you want Him to?
Another confession that has become a constant refrain for my life is from the ancient Queen Esther. Remarkably, miraculously, in the 5th century BC a Jewish peasant girl living in exile in Persia was elevated to queen of Persia. Was this a matter of just being the luckiest girl on earth or was there some divine purpose behind it?
Reading the story shows that God is at work because the entire Jewish race is threatened with total extinction. God has been at work so that Esther would become queen and intercede on the behalf of her people. However, even though God is at work that doesn’t mean that Esther is without risk.
At one point in the story Esther’s cousin Mordecai tells her that she must approach the king and plead the case of the Jews so that her people might be delivered. Mordecai says, “This is why God has made you queen.” Esther replies, “It’s not that easy Mordecai. I’ve not even seen the king in a month. He has hundreds of women in his harem. If I try to see the king without the king having summoned me then he can have me executed. Mordecai tells Esther it is a risk that she has to take.
Esther prays about it, senses that it is what God wants her to do and confesses, “If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16) Now there is a “happy ending” to her story. The king does receive her, hears her request and delivers the Jews from annihilation. But she doesn’t know how the story is going to finish. However, she was willing to take a life risk and trust God.
Have you felt God call upon you to take a stand at work that could cost you a promotion or even cost you your job and you pressed forward confessing, “If I perish, I perish”?
Have you felt God call upon you to take a stand in your social circle concerning a moral or ethical position that could result in ridicule or loss of friendship and you pressed forward confessing, “If I perish, I perish”?
Some of you have taken a stand about your faith within your extended family that had different beliefs and it resulted in you losing favor with your family or even being cut off from your family. You were confessing, “If I perish, I perish.”
As you deepen your connection and communication with God, prayer as confession to God will be key. What kind of confession are you impressed to make today?