Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Oswald J. Smith wrote of “Obstacles to Revival,” those iniquities we must confess and forsake if we want God’s “showers of blessing.” He gave some pointed questions.
1. Have we forgiven everyone, or do we cherish grudges?
2. Does wrath sometimes hold us in its grip?
3. Do we get impatient and irritated? Do little things vex and annoy us?
4. Do we get offended?
5. Are we puffed up? Do we think highly of our own attainments?
6. Have we been dishonest? Do we exaggerate and convey false impressions?
7. Do we gossip, act as busybodies or impugn the character of others?
8. Do we bear a critical spirit, often finding fault and looking for the flaws of others?
9. Do we rob God?
10. Are we worldly? Would the world, by our actions, consider us on its side?
11. Have we stolen? Do we take little things that don’t belong to us?
12. Do we harbor a spirit of bitterness toward others?
13. Are we worried and anxious? Do we fail to trust God completely?
14. Do we allow our minds to harbor impure and unholy imaginations?
15. Do we murmur and complain?
16. Are we guilty of the sin of prayerlessness? Have we crowded prayer out of our lives?
17. Have we been neglecting God’s Word?
18. Do we confess Christ openly? Are we sometimes ashamed of the gospel?
19. Is there compassion in our hearts for those who are perishing?
20. Have we left our first love?
I’m sure every honest one of us can find things on this list of sobering questions that we need to confess and forsake. Our prayer is for that to happen in each one of us this week, as we meet together for the preaching of the Word.