We live in a world that likes to say exactly what we think, feel, and want. We post it, tweet it, share it, etc. We order steaks exactly how we want them grilled. If we don’t like onions on our burgers, we make sure we specify no onions.
We must be this way when it comes to our spiritual walk as well. We can be very general in our prayers at times by just asking God to forgive us of our sins, protect us, to help us be better people, etc. While these prayers are not bad, they can keep us from really dealing with things.
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9 NLT)
Notice the scripture doesn’t say confess that you have sinned, or pray for God to forgive your sins. It says to confess your sins. While it may take some time and thought to confess all our sins, He’s asked for us to do it for a reason. Why? I believe it’s so we face our sins. We have to be able to call them by name in order to know them; and when we know them, we can deal with them and will be more inclined not to commit them.
Cast all your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
God is once again asking for specifics! He wants us to cast all of our cares, not some of them nor a generalized prayer. He is our Heavenly Father and knows all of our needs, but when we know exactly what our burdens are and voice them to Him, our faith will be strengthened as we see Him get us through them.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)
It’s easy to get up in the morning and thank God for giving us another day of life, but not as easy to thank Him for running into traffic from an accident on our way to work or school that caused us to be late. It’s easy to quickly forget to thank Him for protecting us from being in the accident ourself. Storms may come and we may find ourself struggling with what we can thank Him for in our circumstance. His word in Deuteronomy says He will never leave us or forsake us, so there is our thanks in the storm. Thank Him for being there, with us, through it all.
God is a Lord of specifics, knowing everyone of us by name, the number of hairs on our head, and the number of stars in the sky because He cares enough to know, and cares enough to love. So we too should be specific in confessing our sins, in casting our cares, and in giving thanks to God. For it’s when we are specific in these areas that we can live in His will, be cleansed from all wickedness, and become unshakeable. Take some time to care. Take some time to love. Don’t brush God off with a generalized prayer or thanks. Give Him specifics. Give Him everything!
-Michelle Ruiz (HCC Worship Leader)