BECOMING A CATALYST FOR THE PRESENCE OF GOD

There are different types of confession in Scripture.

I want to focus on a less recognized type of confession today. It involves when God has operated in someones life and they share it with another. It is this type of confession referred to in Romans regarding how salvation comes when it says:

Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

There is something powerfully released when we speak of what God has accomplished in general. It is especially powerful when we speak of what He is doing, or has done, in our personal lives. But we need to also note that there is power in complaining too. In the same way confessing the good things God has done and the hope we share in His promises has a positive faith building effect on ourselves as well as others, complaining sows doubt and calls into question the validity of a promise.

Never underestimate the power of what you speak out. There is something substantial about someone hearing a report through a person they have come to know, love, and trust. This is true when our confession is one of hope, and it is true when our confession is one of complaint.

When someone you respect validates something you have a much easier time accepting it to be true. The same holds true when they invalidate something. That is the power of what we speak to others. This power of confession to effect both us, and others, is revealed in the Scriptures for us.

Mark 5:18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

This is the conclusion to the story about a man who had many demons and as a result terrorized the town where he lived. Jesus freed the demon possessed man by commanding the demonic spirits to go into a herd of pigs who ran off a cliff and into the sea. As is reasonable in such a dramatic release from such a powerful oppression the man wished to go with Jesus. But, here we find Jesus counseling the man to go back to his town where his former friends and his family were and tell them what Jesus had done for him.

If this man, who before had broken chains that the towns people attempted to bind him with, was to show up in his right mind in town it would be obvious that he was no longer demon possessed. The whole town knew about him and were afraid of him before. One might think seeing a difference would be all that was necessary for others to know he was free.

So, why do you suppose Jesus told him to tell others? Don’t you find that to be a bit odd given the circumstances? Could it be possible that Jesus wanted him to tell others for his own benefit as well as theirs?

I believe there is a manifold establishing benefit when we engage in proper confession regarding the work of God in our lives. I believe our proper confession helps to solidify the work God has done in our lives and is used by the Holy Spirit as a catalyst for faith in others. More than all that, our proper confession gives glory to God!

I believe confession is a catalyst for the presence of God which can result in an exponential release of the work of God. A lack of confession is what dead religion is marked by. Dead religion is full of doubt and unbelief so

nothing ever really happens and as a result there is no confession occurring regarding the works of God. When God is at work in the lives of people there is something to talk about.

The man who formerly had legion was set free and it was most obvious, but Jesus wanted Him to go and talk about it to others. When we are set free from something it is important to proclaim it so it is solidified in us and others as well as our enemy that it was a real authentic work of Christ in us. It is a tool in our arsenal against the wiles of the enemy and it is a tool for the Holy Spirit to touch others. It is one of God’s ways of releasing the reality of His presence to others. It sets up others to accept and believe it is possible that God might make Himself known to them as well.

Whether we like it or not, our confession plays a major role in our walk with Jesus. Add to that fact that God uses our confession to activate a work in others and the idea of engaging in positive confession is highly appealing. Challenges can exist that seek to stop us from engaging in a good confession. The fear of man suggests we shouldn’t speak about what happened to us because others may think we are silly or ridiculous. One of the number one tactics of our enemy is to challenge us in this area of confession. But we should not give in to this seed of doubt. We need to overcome such ridiculous oppositions.

Think with me for just a moment about the many things we experience and do not hesitate to openly confess.

Boy meets girl, both boy and girl tell their current friends they are in a relationship face to face and announce it publicly on Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook. Boy proposes to girl and what does he do? He gives her a diamond ring to wear as an advertisement of their involvement and commitment to become married. Why? To express his love for her and to tell all other potential suitors she is taken. It is a means of confession on both his and her part. It is intended to speak loud and clear to all who see that ring something wonderful has happened. But it doesn’t stop at the ring. There’s usually an announcement that follows the act of asking her to marry him. Let’s fast forward to the day they are to take their vows. Many people are invited to participate as witnesses celebrate with the couple. We call it a wedding. It is at this ceremony that both the guy and the girl will make vows to each other in front of everyone present. Now they both will wear rings to proclaim they are taken and no longer on the market, so to speak. They will boast of having entered into a committed relationship journey together. This is a confession of their love and commitment to each other.

Today social media is filled with all kinds of confessions. That is what social media is, is it not? People go online and tell their story, they reveal their likes and dislikes. They reveal their priorities. We talk about what matters to us, we talk about the significant things that happen to us, we talk about exciting things that move us, and we generally avoid talking about things we are ashamed of, or are afraid will make us appear strange or unpopular with others.

I have witnessed people on social media sacrifice their reputations to support a political candidate or view, a social cause, a particular entertainer or famous person.

If the man with legion was alive today I wonder if he would have taken to social media to give glory to God for setting him free? One thing we do know is that he did as Jesus counseled him to and gave a report of what happened to him and his confession spread throughout Decapolis and beyond. That is the power of a God honoring confession.

You see the boat Jesus had gotten into arrived at the other side of the lake and the news of Jesus and the things he had done in other places for other people had already reached there. This was happening without the internet and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snap Chat. People were encountering the presence of Jesus because they were encountering Him and it was powerful. As a result confessions were made by both those who received it and those who witnessed it. Let’s see what impact these confessions had on others when Jesus reached the other side of the lake.

Mark 5:25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she

heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

Wait a minute! Did you just catch what was said here? This woman is proof of the power of a confession!

She heard a confession about Jesus and it led her to think something about Him. She began to think there was something so special about Jesus and so powerful about Him that if she just touched His clothes she would be healed! Confessions that circulated based on what Jesus had been doing for others reached this place where she lived and those confessions became a catalyst for the work of God in her life! Check it out!

Mark 5:29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”

This woman through what she heard became convinced herself and acted and now we are witnesses to her confession! Hearing a confession led to her own experience of Jesus by compelling her to draw near to His presence. Something happens when we come in contact with Jesus in a real way. His presence is powerful. That is why experiencing Him is of such great importance! But for many the starting point of experience is another person real confession of their experience. The power of a confession is the manner in which it is able to activate faith in another. Faith matters when wanting to experience the presence and power of Jesus.

We must learn an important lesson here. Multitudes were touching Jesus in this moment but only one person touching Him caused power to flow out from Him. Check it out with me.

Mark 5:31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”

Real faith is exciting to Jesus! He truly wanted to know who it was that touched Him in this way because He was pleased that someone had touched Him in a way that extracted power from Him! We should never look at this as if Jesus was in any way bothered by what this woman had done. I imagine Jesus desired that whoever benefitted not fail to acknowledge it. He is wanting to say something important to whoever touched Him in the manner that activates His power. His desire is for others to discover what it is that causes His power to flow.

Mark 5:32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

In this instant this woman reminds me of another situation in which something too good to be true had happened to a couple of unlikely people and the fear of God came on them about saying something about it.

What Jesus says here is uncomfortable to me whenever I am struggling with doubt. I want an excuse for my doubt, I want justification for it. But Jesus says something to this woman and to many others that is offensive to me whenever I am trapped in my doubt. He authoritatively said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Jesus reveals a key to experiencing His tangible and powerful presence in life. A multitude can throng Him, but those who truly believe draw out His power. Faith activates His presence and power and often the catalyst for faith is a confession made by someone who has experienced Jesus in a real way. Our confession is a catalyst for His presence to work in others.

Have you been confessing what God has done, and is doing, in your life? On who is the presence of God at work right now?

You may be sitting there trembling, or you could be feeling like there is a great weight on you, or maybe a bit woozy, or warm all over, or it could be you feel emotional all of a sudden. There are many ways the presence of God effects people, great peace, or joy, or powerful conviction. Usually someone knows when they’re being effected. If that’s you God is up to something and a gift of faith will often accompany it. 

Tim Atchley