Day #5 of 31 Days to Fill Your Spiritual Jewelry Box. The A in peArl is for Acknowledge.
Have you ever been on a diet? I’ve been in several diet contests at work, and I tend to be on the competitive side. So when a diet contest comes around, I play to win. I’ve lost a lot of weight over the years, but my weight has never varied more than 25 or 30 pounds. How is that possible? Well, I lose the same weight over and over again.
During a diet contest I acknowledge every calorie I eat and every calorie I burn. When the contest is over, I begin ignoring the calories in that one cookie or two and ignoring the one morning I have donuts (each week). I ignore how many chips I eat, and I ignore my treadmill and other exercises I have consistently acknowledged before.
During the contests I acknowledge the truth of the food I put into my body and the exercise that burns the fat off of my body. When the contests are over, I ignore that truth, and by ignoring it I deny what is best for my body.
Acknowledging God is putting Him first instead of ignoring what is best. There are three parts to acknowledging God in prayer.
To acknowledge something is to admit, recognize, accept, and confess it. When we come to God in prayer, these are the four things we need to have acknowledged first.
- We must acknowledge (admit) we are sinners. (Romans 3:23)
- We must acknowledge (recognize) the consequences of sin. (Romans 6:23)
- We must acknowledge (accept) the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:8)
- We must acknowledge (confess) Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. (Romans 10:9-10)
Once we have acknowledged these things, then we can come boldly to the throne of grace, obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Acknowledging God and the truth of His word causes an appraisal of our daily relationship with Him. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is restoring our right relationship with God. Unfortunately, we all continue to sin, but God loves us and continually forgives us.
The hard part is acknowledging our need to forgive others. If someone has hurt us by their sin, they have also sinned against God. He offers them forgiveness in Christ, and He also gives us a way to forgive them because of what Christ did for us all.
Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance by David. After acknowledging his transgression (verse 3) and asking forgiveness, he asks God to create in him a clean heart (verse 10) and to restore the joy of His salvation (verse 12). But we can’t leave it there. Verse 13 says, “then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.”
As we acknowledge God through salvation (one time), confession (ongoing), and restoration, we can then bring others to Him.
God’s Promise: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5).