RepentanceA Spiritual Shower
Like children, we'll do anything to avoid a shower, but there's no other way to make our souls clean and right with God.
(And it often feels great afterwards.)
Getting to the Water
Here are some insights to help get clean.
- Wash First. One can't receive spiritual blessings without repenting; out with the bad; in with the good. This message is a major Bible theme. John the Baptist's frequent call to "repent and believe" lists repentance first because it prepares the way.
- Inside Out. The Greek word for "repent" means "change your mind."; the Hebrew means "to turn" (e.g., military command for "about-face"). Together both give the fullness: inside you change your mind; outside you change your action.
- Decision Over Emotion. Judas remorse; Peter had repentance -- that is, change. Often we won't feel like turning to God, but we should simply make the decision and do it.
- Be Honest. Christianity is clear that we'll do anything to avoid this. It's not easy. We'll go kicking and screaming well-crafted rationalizations and excuses, when deep down we know what's best.
The Father Film
Christ vividly describes returning in the parable of The Loving Father.
But when he came to his senses he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I'm dying here with hunger. I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired men.'' And he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him. (Luke 15)
Note the son didn't have noble motives, returning merely for self-preservation. But the important thing to the Father is simply that we come back! He'll take us any way we comeand then He declares his favor by throwing a party.
Repentance is not merely the door to a clear conscience to rid you of guilt so you can feel worthy to be in My presence. No, repentance and forgiveness are My gifts to you to help maintain our relationship. For without true repentance, we cannot have a Spirit-led relationship. Repentance is not about feeling good again for you may not afterwards.
But know this in faithyou are My children and I will forgive anything from which your heart seeks a true repentance, with the deepest desire to clear the pathway to Me. Rememberyou serve a completely sinless and pure Lord. Without a pure heart, I cannot be free to declare My favor in your life.
Let your deepest desires be to yearn to be free of sin, to let it go, leave it behind, and run to me. 'Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.' Do not go back on your sin once repented. Condemnation will destroy you for though you are covered by My blood sacrifice, you will forsake this gift and believe a lie. My word on forgiveness was made final at the cross and this is the truth you must build your broken life upon. I have set you free to be as Jesus is.
This, My dear ones, is a miracle: sinful man in unison with
a glorified God. Together only can we stand in righteousness where you can
let Me take your bond of sin and know the power of redemption.