How often do you repent? I mean really pray for forgiveness, vow to do everything in you to stop, and ask the Lord to help you stop? How often are you completely turning away from your sin?
This concept evaded me as a new Christian. Wasn’t admitting I was a sinner and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for my sins enough? Wasn’t that the end of the road?
Well, that’s enough to be saved from hell. But I want more. I am ever so grateful to be pardoned for my past sins and accept Jesus as my Savior which affects my eternal existence.
But I want to be affected now. I want more than to stumble frustrated and lonely every day through this desperate and broken world waiting to be in His Glory. I want something now—a relationship that gives the joy I need to live the physical life I have been given now.
I want to walk with Jesus now. But as the saying goes, Jesus will not walk with you when you are holding the devil’s hand.
If I only repent once as a means of obtaining eternal salvation, then I have not dealt with my daily, hourly (minutely?) sins. Both sins that sneak up and dwell in my heart causing problems I may or may not be aware of and those that I am aware of and do not change are present always—because we all fall short. This puts me hand-in-hand with sin.
I cannot walk with Jesus when I am hand-in-hand with sin—even if my eternal salvation is secure.
This is not good enough for me. Is it good enough for you?
Repentance is an on-going heart issue for those who deeply desire to walk intimately with the Lord. But, sometimes we don’t know how to repent on an on-going basis.
I love this beautiful example found in the Psalms:
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:12-14
Yes Lord! Search my heart. I ask that you would bring all my sins to my attention, that I may realize them and repent. Cleanse me from sins I am unaware of, and let me dwell on them long enough to be rid of them.
Yes Lord! I want to conquer deliberate flagrant sins that are so obviously wrong in my life. Your strength can help me do this.
Yes Lord! The words of my mouth mean nothing if the meditation of my heart is not purified. Purify my heart, O Lord, that the words resulting from it would come from an honest place, and thus be pleasing to you.
Yes Lord! You alone are my rock which I can stand steady on, and you alone can forgive my sins and redeem our relationship.
Not just a day of repentance, but a life of repentance. I want a life-long relationship with Christ, not just a hug. He is love, and I need Him every hour of every day.
Less of me. More of Him. Less of my sins. More of His perfect love, perfect grace, perfect forgiveness.
Is it enough to simply accept Christ as our Savior? Yes. It is enough to secure your eternal destiny. But if we truly desire more of Him, then repentance needs to have a permanent place in our hearts.
If you’ve never thought about this, or you are simply looking for a how-to, then I’d encourage your to write down Psalm 19:12-14. Meditate on it’s words and meaning. Pray through it. Memorize it.
Do you have a verse (or two or three) that guide you through an on-going life of repentance? I would love to hear your encouragement today.