‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’Isaiah 6:5
In our ACTS acronym for prayer, the C stands for confession. It is good to follow the opening adoring parts of prayer with heartfelt admission of sin and repentance. Confessing and asking for forgiveness is like clearing the air before speaking with someone you know you’ve wronged.
An old song says, “I can see clearly now the rain is gone.” It’s somewhat like that for Isaiah. When his character is displayed against the holiness of God, the veil of ignorance is torn down. Often we see ourselves as good when we look out on the world. When we see horrors in suffering, crime, slavery, and war, it is easy to compare ourselves and think we are clean. We say, “Sure I sin, but not like that.” Yet compared with Him who dwells in unapproachable light, we are utterly depraved.
Confession of sin is the proper response. We can’t take away our own sin; only God can do that through His Son. “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).
Confession of sins is the natural response to God’s holiness. Once our sinful blinders are removed, we can see our sin for what it is.