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May 29, 2014

The Bridge of Freedom, Part 2

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

In the sixth Beatitude Jesus offers us another step in restoration. Restoration Step Six:

I let God examine my heart. I admit my sins and destructive habits to myself, God and someone I trust.

Just like the barrier of bitterness, the barrier of guilt keeps me stuck in the past. It causes me to relive my mistakes over and over again imprisoning me in shame. God never designed us to live in guilt and shame. Proverbs 28:13 tells us “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”  The way to be free of guilt and shame is to step on the bridge of grace that leads to freedom! When King David stepped on that bridge he said, “What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What joys when sins are covered over! What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.” (Psalm 32:1-2 LB) How do I take this step?

  1. I ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart. In AA they call this a fearless moral inventory. The psalmist put it like this. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)
  2. I ask Christ to forgive my sin. First John 1:9 offers us a reassuring promise when we do. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
  3. I admit my sin to someone I trust, not to be forgiven, but to be healed. You’re only as sick as your secrets. The Bible says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV)
  4. I accept God’s grace instead of guilt. In faith, I believe Jesus satisfied the just penalty for my sin and offers me grace and mercy. I’m no longer condemned! I am forgiven! I love the way the Living Bible paraphrases Romans 3:23-24. “Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal; yet now God declares us ‘not guilty’ of offending Him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in His kindness freely takes away our sins.”

Our view of God becomes so much clearer when we allow Him to purify our hearts.