Repentance is a deep Spirit-wrought change of mind that produces a change of direction in a person's life. It is coming to realize what you've lost and what you so desperately need. It is seeing the value once again of simple and pure devotion to Jesus Christ. Not only that, but repentance is taking your eyes off valueless gods and peering again into the face of Christ. It's nothing short of falling in love all over again. And when we begin to do that, then God draws near and begins to show Himself powerful in our lives and in the lives of others.
"Remember from where you have fallen, and repent ..." (Revelation 2:5, NASB).
If we need to repent, it is because we have turned. Once, our gaze was fixed on the face of Christ. We looked to Him, loved Him, and would do anything for Him. But somewhere along the way, something else captured our attention. It could be the material things of this world, or the love of comfort and pleasure, or the pursuit of prestige and reputation—the lust to have everyone like us. When our eyes shift, our direction changes. Often, before we even realize what has happened, the world has captured our attention and we have turned our backs toward Christ.
That is why remembering, looking back, is so important. When we remember from where we've fallen and the marvelous joy of intimacy with Christ, we are willing to repent. Real repentance is not driven as much by what we turn from as what we turn to. We long to come back home, and then we begin to turn in that direction by the grace of God.
Sometimes repentance happens in a moment. But for most of us, going home is a process. It can be sped along by spending concentrated, intentional time with Him. We may need to take deliberate time to listen to what He is saying through His precious Word. Maybe we need to sit with an open notebook and ask God to show us every false god that has garnered our attention and every sin that has flowed from that idol worship. Perhaps we need to fast to quiet the noise of other gods and humble our soul through this invaluable, forgotten exercise. Whatever it takes, we must pay the price to make the turn home to His heart.
Why not take the time now to voice your repentance? Wouldn't you like to slip your hand in His again... and come back home?
PRAY and Experience Scripture
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us ..." (Hebrews 12:1, NASB).
Pause quietly in an attitude of humble repentance before the Lord. Ask Him to show you the places in your life that are childish, immature, or weighing down your pursuit of Christlikeness.
Lord, show me the places in my life that are keeping me from being more like You. Show me the childish parts of my life that hinder me from Christlikeness. Reveal the sins that reflect my immaturity and lack of growth. Lord, I'm ready to hear You, repent of my wrongdoings, and walk in newness of life.
Be still and wait for the Lord to speak to you. Listen as the Holy Spirit reveals what He desires. We know that "he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for" (1 John 5:14-15). Therefore, take the next few moments to confess to the Lord and ask Him to change you.
Lord, I admit that there are parts of my life that are childish, immature, and sinful. I know that my_____________ is keeping me from becoming more like You. I know it must hurt Your heart to see this in my life, because You love me and want what's best for me. Please forgive me and cleanse me. Change me. Make me different. Help me put this out of my life so I can be pleasing in Your sight.
Reprinted with permission from © Awakening America.