Saturday, February 22, 2014

Repentance Is A Good Thing

There are a lot of attractive things in this world. A lot of things that look and seem really good. There are a lot of things that give us a good feeling and when we are young we want to try them all. But as the apostle Paul said, we may think we have the right to do anything but "anything" is not always beneficial. Remember Eve and the temptation she faced when she considered that fruit. It looked good and she thought it would benefit her but it went against Yahweh's command. The fruit itself did not cause the damage as much as it was the act of disobedience.

Let's not lie to ourselves; there are consequences to sin. Some things look really good and beneficial but at the end of the day they destroy us, bringing shame and heartache. The apostle Paul wrote those words to the Corinthians who were trying to use the argument of Yahweh's grace as an excuse for sexual immorality. Today Christians use the excuse of Yahweh's love for the same purpose. They say because "God is love" that love is the basis for all things (which it is) so that if a relationship is based on love it is honouring and pleasing to Yahweh. This may be true if you want to ignore the hundreds of passages that deal with obedience. What comes out of a relationship of love with Yahweh? An overwhelming desire to obey. Jesus said, "If you love me obey my commands".

When we fail in our obedience (and we will), it is vital for us to grasp the importance of repentance. Repentance is more than just "I'm sorry" but a heart cry that comes with the conviction to turn away from that thing and have no part in it any more. It is a great desire to leave off rebellion and to walk in obedience, making obedience the great desire of our relationship because we love Yahweh with our entire heart. Obedience is a love response and it is in that love response that we begin to recognize good from evil, right from wrong.

Just picking out one of hundreds of examples in Scriptures of Yahweh's promise to respond to repentant hearts, look at 2 Chronicles 7. In this passage Yahweh is promising Solomon that when his nation responds to his correction with repentance, Yahweh will restore and bless them:

I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will 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. (vv. 12-14)

The unfortunate truth is that we are wrong sometimes. We get distracted. We move away from Jesus. We choose a wrong course. We get selfish. We are attracted to things that look good and seem beneficial but are set against the holiness of our God. We sin. Repentance is a good thing. Repentance is a restoring of things to their proper place. Repentance allows the Spirit to bring healing in the brokenness. Certainly we should know better. Yes we have failed. Yes, our failure has probably caused pain to others. But all we can do is trust that when Yahweh says he restores through repentance that he will do just that.

Consider the parable of the prodigal son that Jesus brought to this world. It is a story of hope. It is a parable of our relationship with the Father. The best thing the son did was consider his father. The best thing he did was come back in humbleness. The best thing he did was seek his father's face. Everything after that was the father. That is our Father. He will not deny a repentant heart and he will bring in restoration.

Have you made a mess of your life? Are things rough for you right now? Is there drought and pestilence in your "land"? This is simply the correction of the Father and the natural consequences of rebellion. There is nothing you can do to repair the damage but our Father has promised to bring healing. Run to him today. Repent and trust the Lord with all of it. Trust the Lord and be restored. Trust the Lord and see the healing flow. Repentance is a good thing.


No comments: