Dear Church of the Open Door Family,
For the next few months we are going on an exciting journey. We’re beginning a new series – Revive Us!
We’re going to start with Revive Us: Confession.
I know the very word “confession” elicits all kinds of emotions, thoughts and reactions. It certainly has done that in me in the months that I’ve been pondering the topic and preparing for this sermon series.
I have had several friends express to me their concern about this topic. “Anderson,” they said, “where are you going with this?!”
Let me tell you where we are going with this. The elders and the staff are eager to study the Scriptures with you and hear from the Holy Spirit on this fundamental topic. We trust that our loving God will lead us every step of the way.
As we prepare to move into this new series on Sunday, I want to suggest 5 ways that you can prepare:
- Pray for revival. We as a church all year have been praying, “Father, pour out your Spirit on us and move us forward together.” As I have studied the great revivals in the history of Christianity, I’ve noticed two things. First, there were a whole lot of people praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And second, it led to powerful confession.
- Ask God to reveal your heart. Our hearts break for those around us who need to confess and receive healing, but God has not appointed us Holy Spirit in their lives. It’s important that we worry about our own hearts during this series and continually pray David’s prayer in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know myheart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
- Be silent.It’s always important to practice silence, but especially during this series. If you have never practiced silence, commit to 3-5 minutes a day of silence. It could be on your commute to work or the moments before you get ready for the day or before you fall asleep. If God has things to reveal to you, it might be revealed during this time that you are alone with Him.
- Don’t control; release. The act of confession is an act of relinquishing control over my sin, hurt, anger and bitterness. Our efforts to manage and control have not helped and have done great harm. The reason many Christians avoid confession is because they no longer can be in charge. Instead, Jesus promises to give us rest. He promises that He is gentle and lowly in heart and in Him we can find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-29).
- Talk to others about what God is doing in you. Most of us are verbal processors who need to bounce our scattered thoughts off people to see if any of them stick. The Christian life is a group project and some of the Holy Spirit’s clearest directions will be through the lips of the saints.
Friends, I don’t know what God is going to do through this series. I certainly can’t control it. I certainly can’t coerce it. But I know that we can pray and open up our hearts to the Living God. That is my prayer for each of you.
With much love,
Pastor David Anderson
P.S. If there is a specific way I can be praying for you as you take one or more of these steps, I would love to know.