Take off the mask and "Do Work"

I got a chance to preach this past weekend and it was one of that hardest messages to get across. My text came out of James 5:13-16. James is probably one of my favorite books in the bible because he is an application guy. I think that too often we portray Christianity as a Faith thing and not a works thing. James says "I'll show you my faith by what I do." I love that.

This text was so difficult because it deals with people's inner most secrets. It touches their darkest moments. Those things that you have done and will never tell anyone; the things that have been done to you that you are to ashamed to share. This text offers the way of healing from our darkest moments in life and promises a God transformation. However, it is on us to take the step. It is on us to do the hard work. God allows us to make a choice on whether or not we will be healed. Healing is not easy, usually it is the hardest thing we could ever do. Here's what the text says.

James 5:13-16
13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

James is talking about being sick. As you can see in vs 15 he is not just speaking of just physical sickness; but physical, emotional, and most importantly spiritual sickness. You can see that when he says "If he has sinned, he will be forgiven." I think it is important that we all agree that we are sick, depraved, and broken from those moments that we weren't walking w/ God or when we experienced things in our life that deep down destroyed us. But here; it is so beautiful what James says. He offers the ingredient for healing. Nowhere else in scripture is such a clear ingredient of healing offered. Then he says it....."Confess it, tell someone, expose yourself, take off the mask"

My immediate reaction is no way, I'll confess to God, but definitely not to other people. But the text does not say to confess to God. Actually to confess to God is not really confession at all because it's not like God didn't already know.

Jesus says this, "he who the Son sets free is free". Paul says this, "It is for freedom that Christ has set you free" and James says this, "if you wanna be free, tell someone."

Pretty scary stuff.

Would you be willing to do this? Would you be willing to confess the things that are holding you back, the things that consume your thoughts when you are trying to worship, the things that you know you are not free from? Maybe its pornography, molestation, rape, hatred, pride, approval, drugs; whatever it is for you, will you expose it? Will you take the mask off and live in freedom?

"Confession enables healing and healing empowers freedom."

Lets get free!

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