I read Psalm 51 and think of David- his prayer of utter desperation. He begged God for forgiveness of his horrible sins-sins of deceit, adultery, and murder. The words of pleading for God to remove the darkness of his sin are deep.
verse 2: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
verse 3: For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
As evangelical Christians, confessing our sins to the Heavenly Father is often overlooked once we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior. I can easily overlook my need for forgiveness as the starting point of expressing other needs.
Then again, some days the guilt of my sin hangs over my head, looming like a thunderstorm, threatening to crash on everything in its path. Strangely enough, I often continue to drag my guilt around with me, like the albatross described in The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The guilt dangles like a dead bird roped around my neck, weighing down my thoughts and hindering my abilities.
These are the days I know my trust in God must not fail. His presence gives restoration and restoration begins with keeping a short account with Him.
3 practical ideas for keeping a short account with God
Nothing fancy, no theological exposition…just 3 simple everyday ways that I’ve found drive me closer to the Lord when sin threatens to separate my relationship with Him.
1. Find something that you do on a regular basis for a few seconds throughout the day that does not consume your mind. During that time, whisper a prayer of confession to the Lord.
For me, when I’m washing my hands, which I do frequently throughout the day (7 kids!) , I often pray the verses I’ve listed above. (Psalm 51:2&3) Maybe for you, while you are driving in to work, you could open your day with these verses.
2. After confessing your sins to God, create a memory connection to help you remember His promise of forgiveness.
By “memory connection”, I mean a tangible action to relate to the intangible process. An example of this for me would be picking up bags or my purse. Whenever I pick up and carry a bag or box of items throughout the day, I might repeat Psalm 103:12:
“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
God is not carrying my sin around, consuming His thoughts with it. He takes it away- totally and completely, beyond our comprehension.
I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
3. Rinse and repeat.
Those words may be the shampoo directions (are they copyrighted?) but they completely apply to walking with God in a personal relationship! I often say you wouldn’t go for days without saying you are sorry to someone you love and to whom you hold the desire to be close. Well, you might, but it’s miserable. The same is true for our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today I’m encouraging you, and myself, to say goodbye to the albatross of sin and guilt.
Could you leave a comment today with a practical idea on how you keep a short account with God?
I’d love to hear from you!
PS: I know that’s not an albatross- took the pic with the kids at the zoo. But you get the idea.