As a young boy, I played daily in the wooded area near our home. In the midst of the woods was a small pond, better known to all the neighborhood boys as "the crayfish hole." We spent many an hour there fishing for crayfish, using nothing more than a stick, a length of Mama's crochet thread and a slice of bacon. Within a matter of seconds after lowering that bacon into the muddy water, you could pull it out and find several crawfish holding on with all their might!
But, as is often said, "Nothing good lasts forever," for by the end of summer the intense Texas heat had dried up our pond. A hard, cracked bed was all that was left, with no visible signs of life.
As I think of those days and our disappointment at what the drought of summer had done to us, I cannot help but be reminded of the psalmist David and his expression concerning how unconfessed sin had left him drained and parched.
In the opening verse of Psalm 32, David rejoices because of the joy he feels in knowing that his sin is forgiven. However, in verses 3 and 4 he shares how unconfessed sins burdened him and hindered his walk with God.
He wrote: "When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer."
Sin separates. Sin destroys fellowship. We are living in a day of grace and there is much controversy over whether or not we must, ever again, confess sin.
Though it is true that all our sin was in the future when Christ died for us, and Christ's substitutionary death atones for all sin - past, present and future - we still have a sinful nature that we must deal with.
Yielding to the flesh, rather than the Spirit, will cause us to fulfill the lust and deeds of the flesh. God does not stop loving us because of our sinful deeds. He accepts us unconditionally in His son, Jesus Christ. But, on the other hand, the guilt and shame we feel may cause us to turn from fellowshipping with God, because, like Adam, we are afraid.
In verse 5, David wrote: "I acknowledged my sin unto You, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and You forgave me the iniquity of my sin."
The matter of our sin has already been dealt with by Christ on the cross. We are forgiven; there is now no more condemnation. But when we yield to the sin from which Christ has saved us, we walk in a lie instead of the truth. To acknowledge our sin will restore fellowship with the Father. Fellowship restores the moisture that has been taken away by the drought of neglect.
So, let nothing stand between you and the Father; but let confession keep clear the pathway to fellowship with God.
Jerry L. Dunn can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.