Have you ever wandered around your house minding nothing and all of a sudden you hear one line of a verse that is impressed in your heart? Oh well, I have just experienced one recently. I was in my kitchen opening the fridge door and a still small voice from deep within me said, “confess your sins to one another.” (James 5:16)
Oh yes, I was puzzled upon hearing such verse and it never left me until I inquired what it meant and how it could be applied in my own personal life. We may have different views, opinions and revelations, but SURELY His Word is living and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. It’s effect may be corporate or personal. It is timely at the same time timeless.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
It’s funny to think that when I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what it means for me, He just simply opened my eyes to see this … “confess YOUR sins to one another and not confess OTHER PEOPLE’S sins to one another.” Hmmmm … that conveys one thing, that we are to be mindful of what we talk about especially when we are with other people.
Do you know that when we see other people’s mistakes and judge them for what they’ve done to us, it does two things to us? One is that it keeps us bound and unable to see what is good in them. Two is that no matter how the person tries to do good to us after a wrong done, we tend to gravitate and be reminded of the negative one. We keep them bound according to how we see them. How much more when we talk about them with other people? Our normal default is to be with others who share the same sentiments towards the same individual. I believe the effect is also the same way when we are the ones who have done wrong to someone else. BUT GOD Who is rich in mercy and abounding in love is teaching, correcting, and disciplining us by the power of His revealed word that we may benefit from it.
When I checked the next line of that verse it says, “pray for one another.” (James 5:16) We are being trained today to go directly to the person we’ve wronged or who has done wrong to us, when we’re led by the Holy Spirit, if we know them, and settle the matter, forgive each other, seasoned with God’s grace and mercy, and empowered by God’s love that “we may be healed” (James 5:16), which is the next line to that same verse. It may not be easy but it’s not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God. This way we avoid talking about it among ourselves for when an issue is done and dealt with, it no longer has a room to be a subject to talk about.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Colossians 3:13-14 NIV)
When everything is done and hearts are healed, unity comes forth. It’s amazing how powerful we can be when we are united. No wonder the enemy is always on a lookout to bring strife and division because when we gather together as one, with one voice, with one heart, with one spirit, the whole body moving and functioning under one HEAD, Jesus Christ, we are unstoppable.
If you look at the Tower of Babel, see what the Lord has spoken. “The Lord said, ‘If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:6) Indeed there is power in unity.
The last line of James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We know that our righteousness is a gift and it cannot be earned. But we know, too, that our BEING righteous cannot just stay “BEING”. It will always result to DOING what is right and unity is always a fruit of doing what is right.
Picture with me how powerful we can be when we’re united with Christ. Whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in spirit. Then, when we agree in prayer in Jesus’ name, how powerful our prayers will be.
“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16 AMPC
Truly, apart from HIM, we are nothing. But IN HIM, we are everything we can be according to who He created us to be that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE in the ONE WHO MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for correcting us, teaching us, guiding us and disciplining us by the power of Your word. Open our hearts to receive what has been spoken that we may walk in it. The revelation of Your word always invites us to explore and experience the beauty of Jesus in our lives and postures us to live a victorious, nothing-missing, nothing-broken, nothing-lacking life for IN HIM ALL THINGS CONSIST. Holy Spirit, guide us into ALL truth for only in the knowledge of truth we are set free and whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Amen!
Photo Credit: Chona Montemayor Elabdouni