Recently, I participated in a 24-hour prayer vigil at a local church. The sanctuary was set up in about 10 stations: Prayer for the lost, meditate on the cross, pray the names of God, prayer for missionaries, etc. Each station had Scriptures and ideas of how to make the most of that station. As I moved from station to station, I had the opportunity to focus on a particular need/truth. I asked God to keep me focused, not being distracted by others in the room.
With dimmed lights and soft music playing, it was a wonderfully serene and meditative environment.
The Heart Examination station was a table with small 8X10 white boards, dry erase markers and erasers. Pay attention here, because I suggest you do this exercise. Also at the table was a sheet with each of the 10 commandments and probing questions relative to each of those Scriptures. (There was a note that said, “Christians are no longer ‘under law’, but the 10 Commandments reveal God’s character and can still help us examine our hearts.”) The instructions read: “As you prayerfully consider these questions, write your answers (sins) on a whiteboard. Be specific (e.g., “idolatry” is less specific than, “I idolize my job.”) When you are finished, pray, confessing those sins and asking for forgiveness with a repentant heart. Then go back to the table and erase your board, symbolizing the clean heart God has created in you.”
My very first thought was –“Go back to the table and erase your board? Everyone will see what I wrote!!” But I chose to follow the instructions believing humility is part of the process.
I sat with a clean white board and marker in hand. I started praying and as my sins came to mind I wrote them on the whiteboard. In the corners, along the edges, squeezed in here and there. My whiteboard was covered top to bottom, side to side.
After confession and prayer, I took my full whiteboard back to the table – picked up the eraser and started to wipe the slate whiteboard clean. As I did so, I noticed the dry erase marker I used was red – like the blood of Christ that covered my sin. With each stroke of the eraser, the list of my sins was removed – as if Christ Himself was wiping my whiteboard clean. When all was said and done, my whiteboard was clean leaving no evidence or remnants of my sins.
I was very moved by this exercise. I realized that it is the clean whiteboard that God sees when He looks at me because He is seeing me through the blood of Jesus – forgiven. My sins were transferred to His account while His righteousness was transferred to my account.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
May I challenge you to do this exercise? Perhaps, you like me, have a difficult time with confession – this is a great tool to help with focus and to visually experience what Christ accomplished on the Cross. Powerful.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think About This: “We are the Bibles the world is reading; we are the creeds the world is needing; we are the sermons the world is heeding.” – Billy Graham