The blessing of being forgiven
Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:15-17 NIV
Genuine confession must spring out of inward reality under God’s searchlight. “Search me, 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). It is never true if permitted to be only an outward ritual of pacing oneself through insincere motions (Psalm 51:16, 17). God wants a broken spirit … a broken and contrite heart, that is, expressions of repentance and humility before the Almighty. A broken and contrite heart refers to a person who is genuinely sad and repentant for his sin. Real confession is not a gloomy, unhealthy dredging up of spiritual mire. It is not an unwholesome preoccupation with the sins, or a frightening that keeps digging them up again to engage in self-pity, remaining to doubt that God does forgive. Vital confession is completely health-dealing in exposing sins openly to God with a genuine desire to forsake them and gain mastery over them by God’s power. Confession of personal sins is best done in private with God, never as a kind of exhibitionism or glory-seeking. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). David pointed out about God’s displeasure with outward but insincere going through the motions in worship. “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.” The same is true with the Lord Jesus Christ. He made it clear that if one brings his offering to God but realizes a brother has something against him that needs to be dealt with, he should first go and get the matter resolved with the brother, then come and offer his gift (Matthew 5:23–24). Because of our submission to God, the act of worship could flow forth as the expression of a right and sincere spirit. David’s contrite and broken spirit was visible to God. He sees the attitude of our heart. His genuine worship has been restored to a God-pleasing nature, and his spirit is free, released to intercede in prayer for others. We can only appreciate God’s forgiveness when we understand the gravity of sin we have committed before Him. God’s forgiveness covers all our sin. “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit” (Psalm 32:1-2).