Repentance signals an acknowledgement of:
- Needed Change.
- Commitment to a new direction.
- Awareness of the impact of past rebellion.
Genuine repentance not only signals a breakup with pride, but goes on to put (and keep) pride out of business. It breeds humility. It breeds total reliance. It acknowledges one’s limitations as a natural woman and unashamedly realizes one as flawed outside of the Almighty God.
You only arrive at the door of repentance when the heart is remorseful, sincere, desperate, and worn (as reflected in Psalm 51:17).
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite (regretful, sorrowful, very sorry) heart you, God, will not despise (scorn, strong dislike).” Psalms 51:17 (NIV)
In order for any main event to occur, there has to be preceding conditions. You can’t drive a car until the ignition is started. You can’t be hired for a job until you are interviewed. You can’t have surgery until a consultation or assessment is done. You can’t have that dress until you buy it and you can’t buy it until you have the money for it. You can’t marry a husband, until you meet and date someone. You can’t run, unless you’ve first learned how to walk.
One of the biggest truths I realized about God is that He is a God of covenant and conditions. He is so thorough and filled with integrity and truth, that He will NEVER do His part until His conditions have been met by us.
How does that translate to the brilliance of repentance? When you meet His conditions, He will meet you. It is just that simple! This brilliance says, “My ways aren’t error-proof God, I fail and will continue to fail without you. I’m tired of life this way, and I am ready to shed anything that You say needs to go in order to meet your conditions.”. It isn’t merely a change of mind or thinking. When genuine repentance takes place, there is fruit – evidence of a changed life.
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet (worthy of) for repentance.” Matthew 3:8 (KJV)
Until you realize that God’s ways are immensely further, deeper, and greater than any of your own ways, there will be a constant challenge to repent, trust, and shed. In the past, I’ve been guilty of thinking that somehow my way of doing life would yield more timely or desirable results. Even in moments where that seemed to be true, there was a price to pay down the road that I couldn’t see, and I still circled around to the dump I started in (with more pain and bruises than if I had just surrendered to begin with!).
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)
From the below verse, I’ve gathered the following truths:
- The Lord is available and near now, but will not always be. This calls for immediate action rather than “maybe someday”.
- We can change our ways (the excuse of “I can’t help myself” won’t do. We can change and shed the very thoughts that keep us from repenting).
- The Lord is merciful.
- He is ready to forgive you fully and completely (no condemnation, or wondering if you’re truly forgiven).
“Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for He will forgive generously.” Isaiah 55:6-7 (NLT)
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