Thursday, July 10, 2014


I have thought a lot about repentance this week.  Then, I actually did it.  Repented.  Gosh, that word is hard to type.  It is so unpopular, even in church circles.  We children of God tell ourselves we are covered by grace, which is a beautiful truth, but we seem to take it to the extreme and say that our actions or hidden thoughts don't matter since we are redeemed.

I think that is a lie from the enemy!  If we are harboring sin, we are living in complete bondage....even if we are saved!

I've always had a passion for Believers to know their identity in Christ and to walk in freedom.  I think maybe the first step towards that is the "R" word.

REPENT (turn from all sin)

Repentance ushers us straight back into the Father's arms.  It thrusts open the front door and allows us to return to God.

It takes a whole lot of humble pie to ask the Spirit to search your heart and see if there is anything in there that might bring Him grief.  I should know, I stuffed my face with every last bite this week.

The shocking thing was the Spirit revealed areas where I didn't even know I was struggling.  Sin definitely likes to hide in darkness.

In Hebrew, the meaning of repentance is to return and to feel sorrow.  In Greek, it is to think differently about something.  We ask God to search our hearts, being willing to think differently about something inside of us.  We choose to call it what God calls it and to turn from it and feel sorrow over it.  Humble Pie.

I was reading in Zechariah this morning.  Not your typical go-to-Bible-book but really good!  He was a prophet.  It was 20 years after the return from Babylonian exile. The people were just plain tired and discouraged.  Their progress on the temple had been halted.  Taxes were out of control.  The people had concluded that theirs was a "day of small things"....they figured God had abandoned them.

Zechariah steps onto the stage and gives the word of the LORD:  "Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you...return from your evil ways and your evil deeds."  (Zech. 1:3-4)

Zechariah (his name means:  "Yahweh Remembered") wanted the people to know that God is indeed moving, in fact, Zechariah is even given a vision of angels who roam the earth on horses and report back to give God constant information.

To prepare their hearts for what God was about to do, God told the people to repent.  Turn. Run back into His arms.

He tells them that all the obstacles they have faced in the past in their attempts to rebuild will flee.  They will not rebuild with might or power.  They will now rebuild with the outpouring of God's spirit. 

Isn't that what we all secretly crave?  We want to see God move in a fresh way!  We simply want to behold Him!

It starts with repentance.  And it starts with me. You.  The believersThen the world.

So, back to my humble pie.  While going through Anne Graham Lotz's seven days of prayer, she had a section that defined certain sins.  Normally, I would have not associated myself with most of the ones listed, but some of the definitions did an uppercut straight to the gut. 

Ingratitude: Neglecting to thank God for an answered prayer or a blessing. I repent.

Neglect of Bible reading: Keeping the Bible closed, or reading it without focus. I repent.

Unbelief: Doubting who God is and what God has said. I repent.

Prayerlessness: Spiritually chattering, daydreaming, and fantasizing instead of fervently praying. I repent.

Unconcern for the lost: Leaving evangelism to the “professionals.” I repent.

Hypocrisy: Pretending to be more spiritual than I am, or anything I am not. I repent.

Pride: Impressed with my own reputation and accomplishments; offended and resentful when someone else receives more attention. I repent.

Envy: Jealousy of those more gifted and fruitful and recognizable than I am. I repent.

Critical spirit: Finding fault with someone because he or she doesn’t measure up to my standards. I repent.

Slander: Telling the truth about someone, with the intention of causing others to think less of him or her. I repent.

Lying: Making a statement, exaggerating, or inferring something that is contrary to the unvarnished truth. I repent.

Cheating: Not doing to others what I expect or demand them to do for me. I repent.

Robbing God: Exercising my gifts or spending my time, money or energy on things that have a selfish goal, without asking God first.  I repent.

Fear: For being so afraid of what others think and say that I remain silent, hiding the light of Your Gospel under the basket of intimidation.  I repent.

There is a beautiful oasis on the other side of repentance.  It is called freedom.  It tears off the scales of eyes and allows one to truly see.  It takes stony hearts and makes them soft again.  It allows one to dwell in true security, safe from all attack.

The end of Zechariah paints a beautiful mural.  God has set up His Kingship in Jerusalem to once again dwell among his people.  He sets up his throne on earth to tabernacle amongst us. 

Return to the Lord and He will return to you.

"...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place."  2 Chronicles 7:14-15
(italics mine)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow ....definitely will keep me on my knees and face to the dust on that one