A title to a chapter in ‘Tramp For the Lord’ by Corrie Ten Boom. In the chapter she speaks of how even after 80 years of being a Christ follower she would still find herself being rude at times or allowing bad attitudes to control her. Such behaviors are not God honoring and when we give in to them we ‘break the circle of God’s perfect love.’
A concept which her nephew, Peter, had shared with her many years before when they encountered a troubled young man named Jan. Corrie recounts: “He (Jan) had a horrible demon of darkness in his life and although we had fasted and prayed to rebuke the demon in the Power of Jesus the darkness always returned.” Through that experience with Jan the Lord taught Peter a lesson through I John 1:7-9.
“But if we walk in the Light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin...IF we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from
Corrie recounts Peter’s words of his lesson learned: “God taught me that if a Christian walks in the light then the blood of Jesus cleanses him from all sin, making his life a closed circle and protects him from the outside dark powers. But, if there is unconfessed sin in that life, the circle has an opening in it – a gap and through this gap those dark powers are allowed access to again have influence over that person.”
He continued: “Tante Corrie, even though I was able to chase away the dark power through prayer it always crept back in.” Because Jan’s unconfessed sin left him vulnerable and exposed with a gap in his protection. Peter’s prayers could only do so much. There was something Jan needed to do for himself. It was only after Peter led Jan through this explanation that Jan realized the truth of it. There was sin in his life which he had ignored but needed to confess. Upon doing so the circle of love was closed back up and that dark power no longer returned.
Upon reading this the natural course of thinking was: ‘Do I have unconfessed sin in my life at this time creating a gap in God’s circle of love around me?’ today at this moment I can say, 'NO'. I do not. But it was not the case at the time I read this chapter.
(Please NOTE. This is not a question of my salvation - that is secured in Christ. I believed, He saved. (see Faith and Hope) Rather it is a question of broken fellowship that occurs when I, as a follower of Christ choose to embrace actions and attitudes that are contrary to Christ's teachings.)
At the time of my reading there was something in my attitude that created a gap through which the dark powers gained a foot hold. For me at that time it was the attitude of discontentment. It had been festering for a few months before I recognized it, then I just ignored it but finally I knew - I had to deal with it! I confessed, the circle was restored and the heaviness of carrying the guilt over it was lifted.
It is quite true, 'Confession is good for the soul.'
Corrie also tells of a woman who harbored hatred for her mother for years but did not acknowledge and confess it until she was presented with the idea of the broken circle. As she listened her realization was awakened and she blurted it out to the Lord and asked His forgiveness. Forgiveness was received, the circle was restored, the heaviness of guilt was lifted.
Today I was reading of another man who needed to restore the Circle of Love. In Psalm 32 we read of the heaviness of soul of David. He writes that as he kept silent, his bones grew old because of his groaning day and night. He says God's hand was heavy upon him and his vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Can you picture what he is saying? There was a heaviness upon him, a darkness of soul, all was not well within him. But then in verse 5 he says: "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess...and You forgave...'" Confession was made, the circle of love restored.
Every Christian is faced with the need to ‘check’ the circle, often. Are there gaps in it due to unconfessed sin? They will remain and the darkness of guilt will weigh down heavy until you stop ignoring it and take the step needed to close the circle again. Confession. The sooner the better.
I pray you rest in God's grace and peace to sustain you one day at a time.