A group of women from our church went to the Texas State Capital to walk the grounds and pray for our state and our country. Sitting on blankets under huge trees swaying in the breeze, clear blue skies and lots of sunshine–it was a pristine day.
Focusing on our own hearts first, we began by talking about how some words can become so common-place that we miss their true meaning. As Christians we speak words, familiar words, but they no longer have meaning to us personally. We call these words “Christianese” and I often ask myself, “What does that word mean?” Satan loves to twist the meaning of these words so that they lose their original intent and impact on our hearts.
Let’s see if we might straighten out our understanding of a few.
- Repentance—meta neh o (Hebrew). Even this has gotten twisted. It means change after being WITH God; our being with God will change or transform our thinking; a change of the inner self. God centered, not me centered. When we hear the word “repent” we have learned to behave like a child in trouble rather than like the Lord’s beloved.
Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, (but you would have none of it).
- Confession—agreeing with God that He is right. “You are right, Lord. That wasn’t such a good idea.” No self inflicted wounds necessary, just agreement with God.
So here is a challenge: What comes to mind when you hear the word SIN? In Scripture there are actually three very different words which we toss into the bag together with SIN. Let’s use Adam and Eve as the example for explaining the deeper meaning of these words.
- SIN-missing the mark (this part of the definition brings condemnation) of God’s best for us (this part of the definition brings hope); doubting God; not trusting Him; believing the lie of Satan. Adam and Eve believed that they could be like God.
James 1:5-7 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does.
- TRANSGRESSION—believing the lie and acting on it; rebellion. This is what we usually think of as sin. Adam and Eve ate the fruit.
- INIQUITY—twisted, bent, malformed thinking. Adam and Eve’s minds became darkened. They no longer saw God as loving, no longer saw themselves as God’s beloved children, and they turned on each other. We are all impacted by some form of iniquity. (mentioned over 300 times; eleven Hebrew words are translated into the single English word “iniquity”).
We tend to define God by our emotions and our circumstances rather than trusting in His goodness, faithfulness, love, mercy, generosity, truth, His character.
Psalm 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin (doubt) to you and did not cover up my iniquity (twisted beliefs). I said, “I will confess my transgressions (rebellion) to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin (doubt). (David)
So why not just leave it all three words under the label of SIN?
If we can untangle the roots of our iniquity (bent, twisted, malformed beliefs) then we can conquer the conscious choices of sin and transgression.
Because God is good and He loves you, sit quietly for a few moments and ask Him to show you one thing He sees in you that may be hindering your relationship with Him.
Romans 2:4 …or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
Think about it.
One thought on “Before the Prayer Walk”
I love this!