This morning I went to the early service at Trinity, as I was going to a friends Baptism in Cheltenham in the evening. Today the talk was on confession – confessing our sins to both God, and fellow men, as well as confessing the good stuff from God.
One of the things talked about was confession in relation to reconciling with your ‘neighbour’. The idea of admitting to them you have sinned against them, and asking them for forgiveness. This then set off a spiral in my head; there was someone last week that I thought I might have sinned against, but wasn’t entirely sure. It was nothing major, and nothing that I had really done on purpose, but as soon as I had realised what I had done, I immediately felt bad about it, and apologised to God… But the problem was that actually admitting it to this in this situation would have undoubtedly done more harm than good, because it would have just unsettled them, and opened up a whole new can of worms. What do you do in this situation? This confession thing is hard than you might first think!!!!
When I spoke to God about it, he seemed to say to ‘move forward’, which I interpreted as meaning ‘move on’, and in this case, not to tell them. I decided whilst walking home, that next time I saw the person, I would ask him to speak into the situation.
As soon as I got back from Church, it was time to quickly have some lunch, and then straight back out to do some drama workshops. This was a workshop that four of us had developed as part of our business project for our personal development module at Uni. I was running late, so when I got there I had the perfect opportunity to try out what we had learnt this morning about saying to people we have done wrong to ‘I’m sorry, forgive me’.
I remember on the way to this workshop really feeling God suddenly anointing me for it. I was on my way, preparing myself and praying, whilst listening to ‘King of Wonders’ (I don’t know about you, but I personally find it helps allot to focus myself on God, and get into the ‘God-zone’, by listening to worship music).
The workshop ended up going pretty well in the end, and we got out of it everything that we needed to. God seemed to give me a calmness and confidence that sometimes I can be lacking, especially when I feel under-prepared (we had only decided on exercises last night, and this was our first experience as a ‘company’, running our own workshops). I am very positive about this project, as I think God has been blessing it from the start; The whole idea came out of a prayer just under a year ago… Still, this is for another blog! Maybe in two weeks time….
After the workshops, It was off to a friend’s baptism. Whilst i was on the bus, I decided to test what I felt God had told me in the morning, by talking to one of my Christian friends about it. I confessed to her what I had done, and talked about the situation. We agreed that – like it had seemed God had been telling me, I shouldn’t tell her, because it could open up massive cans of worms and cause hurt rather than it being for the right reasons. What we decided, was that I should instead correct the sin (just a case of correcting a bit of information I had given somebody, without going into too much detail).
The baptism service was great. It was wonderful that they were all young people getting baptised! Me and my friend both agreed that Kendal Road Church was very nicely ‘Youth Orientated’, and the the Vicar and his wife were really nice; it was a nice touch that even though we had both only visited there once before, they both remembered our names.
It’s amazing what humbling experiences baptisms can be. I remember going in there and feeling almost quite cocky – holyer than thou’. When you start hearing people’s testimonies thou, and seeing how God has effected them, it really puts you back in your place, but in a good way. I had a ‘word’ for one of the people who got baptised. I wasn’t sure whether it was any kind of prophesy, but I wanted to keep to a deal made during the week that if I felt like God was telling me to say something, then I would say it, as long as it was scriptural true, and encouraging. It was ‘If God is for you, then who can stand against you’? I quickly realised that in this case, it was probably because one of the songs earlier had used that verse, but nonetheless I was pleased that I had taken the step of faith. It also, btw, marked the first time that I had actually spoken out in a church in a service.
Ended the evening with a friend of mine talking about how someone they know has died today. I am very slowly learning to apply the art of listening to God in my conversations with others, and without going into the details of the conversation, I cannot express how much it helps as a Christian to be listening to God through these moments. He just changes how you deal with it, right down to the smallest subtlety. By listening to him, you allow him to use you to speak into the specific situation. I am trying to make it habit to listen to what God wants me doing NOW, as well as in the future
Just as a final note, one of the things that was mentioned in the service this morning, was something Barack Obama said at a prayer breakfast a few weeks ago…
“When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, and I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and its people. And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord, and I ask him to forgive me my sins and look after my family and the American people and make me an instrument of his will.”
This seems like a great prayer for all of us (maybe changing the ‘country and it’s people’ bit). And I’m wondering if it’s something that anyone reading this blog could attempt to do over at least the next week. We all know how powerful prayer can be!