THE WORD GOD’S CHILDREN FEAR MOST
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15
Oh, the power of repentance and how critical it is for any who wish to access the power of God in their lives. Without it, hearing will be dull.
The word repentance has become a ‘turn-off’ for many because it is associated with the red-faced pastors who have yelled about it over the years. Their tone has been angry. There was truth but no love. Shame was inflicted without an invitation to respond to the One who bore our shame. Repentance is my friend. God wants to bless me. He wants to watch me blossom under the umbrella of His affection. He wants to share His thoughts with me and make my soul quiver with wonder. What stands in the way is unconfessed sin because sin clouds His voice and distorts my thinking. The most powerful thing I can do at the end of any day is stand at the foot of the cross, review my thoughts and actions, and ask to be forgiven for anything that fails to resemble Jesus.
What was the message of John the Baptist, the one who was sent to prepare hearts for the coming of Christ? “Repent – for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Without repentance, people wouldn’t recognize Him. The same is true for me. Before Jesus can speak to me, the fertile soil that repentance produces must exist.
I think about the sacrament of communion. For years, I took communion by rote and all the while there was hidden anger in my heart. Grudges simmered beneath the surface. In all those years, I never took repentance seriously. I didn’t feel I could afford to. If I acknowledged my sin, I would be forced to confront the angry God my spiritual leaders portrayed. Not surprisingly, there was little communion with Christ.
The tender, yet holy, God who asks me to repent is the One who knows that when I do, I won’t be fearful to draw close, to be one in spirit. So, why would I ever want to be defensive? Pathetic self-defenses are my enemy.
I can, and will, run home to repent when You convict me. Amen