Our leadership is never revealed more clearly than when we are in a storm.

Many times we encounter difficulties in life that have no connection to something we’ve done (check out yesterday’s message on the northstar podcast page for more on that topic).

There are times however when my problem or difficulty is a direct result of my foolish choice or disobedience.

What if you’re not sure if the bad situation you are in is “your fault?” What do you do? Fortunately, God’s Word gives us some very clear direction:

1) Ask god to search your heart

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. – Psalm 139:23-24

God knows you better than you know yourself.  Ask Him to show you what is really in your heart.

2) Ask a trusted friend for advice

Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others. – Proverbs 12:15

3) Prayerfully read God’s word

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right.  – 2 Timothy 3:16

4) Trust the Holy Spirit to reveal your sin

And He [The Holy Spirit] , when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.
– John 16:8

If you’re sincere and seeking Him, The Holy Spirit will reveal any disobedience in your life.  That (among other things) is His job.  If the Holy Spirit does not point out foolishness or disobedience in your life, don’t feel like you need to make something up.

5) Confess any sin that the Spirit brings to mind

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. – 1 John 1:9

The word “confess” simply means “to agree with.” You need to agree with God that your sin was not a mistake or a reasonable response to your difficult circumstances. Don’t make excuses for your disobedience.  You may have been able to “get over” on your mom or your 5th grade teacher, but not God.

Remember that your forgiveness is not based on your faithfulness and strength to clean up your act, but on God’s faithfulness and strength to cleanse you.

If you have honestly followed the Biblical instructions above, there is no sin to hinder your experience of God’s presence in your life.

But you’re still in a storm, so go ahead and ask for God’s help.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:15

Please don’t forget that you’re going to the throne of GRACE for help.  You never get help from God because you deserve it, you get help from God because you recognize you need it.

When do you think God is more excited about helping you:

– after you confessed a sin that you’ve committed over and over
– when you’re in Africa feeding hungry orphans

The answer is… no difference.

To quote a guy who sold a lot of books…

“It’s not about you.