"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you." - Hosea 10:12
Do you feel a distance in your relationship with the Lord? Do you feel you are not where you should be with Him? Do you have difficulty praying? I would suggest you sit down and take a careful, prayerful look at your life. If you are in this condition, chance are you have sin in your life that you need to confess.
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:8-9
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" - 1 John 2:1
Do not allow unconfessed sin to build up in your life. Nothing destroys your relationship with the Lord faster than unconfessed sin. What does it mean to “break up fallow ground?” Fallow ground is hard ground that has not been plowed for several years. The hard ground must be plowed up and broken down into softer dirt so that plants can grow in it. As we allow unconfessed sin to build up in our lives, our hears become hardened toward the Lord.
Dear Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus I ask that you will, by your Holy Spirit, work in the lives of all the people reading this. Bring to their memories the unconfessed sins in their lives. Shine your light of purity and holiness down into their lives. Help us all to be willing to bear the pain of looking at our sins so that we may be clean for you. Work in each of us so that we may become vessels of honor in Your service. I thank you for it in the precious name of Jesus Christ.
Now you, reader, before you start reading the rest of this section, do you have a paper and pen in your hand so that you can write down the sins the Holy Spirit brings to your mind?
Sins of Commission
1. Material Possessions. What is your attitude towards your Earthly possessions? Do you put them before God and others? Do you think you can do with them what you want? Are you willing to lose everything for the Lord? If you are not, then you need to confess this as sin. So many Christians are completely unable to hear the Lord telling them to make a move, for example, because they are too locked into the security of their current living situations and jobs. Many Christians have been warned by the Lord to prepare for the time of coming hardship and persecution, but they are unwilling to reduce their standard of living to do so. They want to continue living as well as the can until the last possible moment. Are you one of these?
2. Pride. How many times have you been vain about how you look? How many times have you been hurt because others did not pay attention to you or compliment or thank you for something you did? How many times did you do something to become the center of attention? Do you look down on others as being less than yourself? This is sin.
3. Envy. How many times have you envied others, their looks, possessions, or even their positions and functions within the body of Christ? How many times have you talked about or dwelt on other people’s shortcoming to make yourself look better? Write down these instances of sin.
4. Criticalness. Being critical of others allows a root of bitterness and then hatred to spring up within you. Bitterness and hatred will destroy you. Take a hard look at your daily conversations and thoughts. Are you critical of others? You don’t think you have bitterness in your life? Remember, the heart is VERY deceitful. A good measure of bitterness is this: how easily do other people make you angry? How often do you have angry thoughts about someone? Anger is very often a symptom of bitterness.
5. Slander. Have you ever passed on gossip? The Lord hates slander and gossip! How many times have you spoken behind people’s backs about their faults, real or imagined, unnecessarily or without good reason? How often have you assumed you knew what was in someone’s heart? ONLY God knows our hearts! I have been amazed at the willingness of Christians to accept accusations against people without ever once contacting them to see if there is another side of the story. These Christians are also more than willing to pass on accusations against people without ever making an effort to validate them one way or another. What about the various “Christian research” organizations that give out information on people? Have you ever stopped to wonder if their information is accurate? If you pass on such “information” and it is really slander, you are sinning. You are, in fact, guilty of shedding innocent blood - murder.
6. Lack of appropriate seriousness. How many times have you treated God lightly or spoken about God lightly? Scripture admonishes us that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Do you lack proper respect for this God of ours? If so, that is sin!
7. Lying. Lying is ANY deliberate deception. Examine your daily life. How often do you lie, passing it off as “just a little white lie?” How often do you exaggerate? ALL lies are sin.
8. Cheating. Have you gone through the line at a grocery store and not said anything when the clerk mistakenly rang up less than the amount you owed? If so, you have cheated. Cheating is any time you have done to someone something you wouldn’t want done to you. Write down the instances where you have done this.
9. Hypocrisy. How many times have you confessed sin you really didn’t intend to quit? How many times have you pretended to be something you were not?
10. Robbing God. List all the times God wanted you to help someone or share the gospel with someone and you did not do it. Are you wasting time on “recreation” or other pursuits when God wants to send you out into the harvest to bring souls to Jesus? Do you have time to watch TV but not for a daily quite time with God?
11. Bad temper. Scripture tells us to “be angry and sin not.” We as Christians must discipline ourselves. If we are bad tempered, then we are sinning. We can choose not to take offense at what someone else does.
12. Keeping others from being useful. Have you weakened someone by criticizing him so that he is afraid to step out in faith and function as God wants? Are you a complainer? Are you wasting your pastor’s time by demanding endless counseling sessions with him? All this is sin.
13. Rebellion. How often have you refused to obey someone in authority over you? How often have you read God’s word with NO intention of obeying what you found in it? How often have you known something that you should do but have not done it? How often has the Lord told you to do something and you have not done it? Remember, God regards rebellion very seriously.
"These six things the LORD hates: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren." - Proverbs 6:16-19
Sins of Omission
Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin. - James 4:17
1. Ingratitude. How many times has God helped you and you have never thanked Him? The clothes on your back, the food on your table, your health, your family, your job, everything is given to you by the Lord. How often do you thank Him for these blessings? Do you eat without first stopping to sincerely thank God for His provision for you? If so, you are sinning. Do you travel to work and back without an accident? You should thank God for his protection. Write down every instance you can think of when you have not thanked God for His provisions for you.
2. Lack of love for God. If you love someone, you talk to him and spend time with him. Have you neglected to love God? This is sin.
3. Neglect of the Bible. Put down spans of time when, for days, or even weeks or months, you disdained God’s Word. When you do read God’s word, do you do it in a manner that is pleasing to Him? We MUST read the Bible with the attitude that we will immediately obey every commandment we find there!
4. Unbelief. How many times have you virtually charged God with lying? Do you believe His word? If not, this is sin.
5. Neglecting prayer. How many times have you skipped personal and/or family prater? We greatly offend God by not praying.
6. Neglecting the means of grace. We are commanded to fellowship with others. If you are not doing this, you are sinning.
7. The way you perform duties. Do you do everything unto the Lord? Or are you lazy and slipshod in your work and everyday life? This is sin. Do you do ONLY those things at work your boss demands? You are required by Jesus to “go the extra mile.” Are you lazy in doing the Lord’s work? How many times have you known things you should do and have not done them? How many times have you known you should do something like take out the trash or do the dishes and you have not done it? Write down these instances and confess them as sin.
8. Lack of love for you neighbors’ souls. It is YOUR responsibility to share the good news of Jesus Christ to everyone around you. How many people do you know and associate with that you have NOT shared the gospel with? Write them down. It is in. Every Christian is commanded by God to share the gospel with others. If you are not doing this, you are sinning.
As you make your list of sins, you should really make up three lists:
1. A list of all sins that have allowed demons to come into your life.
2. A list of all the rest of your sins.
3. A list of everyone that has hurt you or sinned against you in some way. You MUST forgive all of these people in order to receive forgiveness for your own sins.
After you have carefully gone through and confessed and repented for all your sins, forgiven everyone that has hurt you, kick all the demons that came into your life through those sins by saying a prayer such as “Father, in the name of Jesus, I humbly ask you to forgive me for participating in ____. Please cleanse me completely from this terrible sin. Thank you so much for cleansing me in the name of Jesus.” Then make a statement out loud saying “In the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, I now command every demon that came into me through ____ to leave me at once!”
Excerpt from: Becoming a Vessel of Honor by Rebecca Brown. Appendix A: Breaking Up Fallow Ground