When we gather for worship, one of the things we do every week is kneel together to confess our sins. But one of the problems with doing something regularly is that you can come to believe that you are doing it. The Word of God tells us that we are to rend our hearts, not our garments.
When we kneel to confess, we want to make sure that we are not standing up in our hearts. Our external posture is one of the things that God gives us to discipline our hearts—it is not to serve as a substitute replacement for our hearts. Body and soul are supposed to be going together, they are supposed to be doing the same thing.
It begins with confession. If your heart is confessing when your body is, then there is a good chance that your heart will be singing when your body is singing, and your heart listening to the message when your body is, and your heart receiving and feeding on Christ when your body is, and so on.
To divide the two is the work of hypocrisy. The Scriptures rebuke this dualistic move repeatedly, and the Scriptures do so because the sin is such a common one. We must not dare to approach God with our lips while keeping our hearts far from Him.
If you receive this exhortation, and you examine yourself, this is proper so long as you don’t apply false and pietistic criteria in the examination. Check—with God as your witness—to see that your heart is being honest. Don’t check to see if your heart is three feet across, or if your heart is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. What the Spirit is working to accomplish in you is sincerity.
And this means we have gathered to confess our sins honestly.