Growing up I was exposed to the words repent and repentance all of the time. I had this mental picture of someone always bowing before Jesus and never being able to do anything else. But the only time I heard anything about repentance was at church, so I thought that was just something we did on Sundays.
Today, we hardly hear any preachers or teachers talk about repentance and the good that goes with it. While it is wonderful to hear how much Jesus loves and enjoys us, we could experience more of that love by letting go of more and more of the junk in our lives that hinders us from going deeper into the things of God.
Many are now teaching a hyper-grace that says Jesus paid it all and you just come and accept what He did and that’s the end of it. Then there is the legalistic view that I grew up with where you come to Jesus, repent, and do some works like evangelism, ushering, feeding the poor, etc. Those things are needed but we should do it because we love Jesus.
Repentance That leads To Fruit
As John the Baptist comes on the scene we find him preaching ‘repent, the kingdom of God is at hand.’ In other words, since the Kingdom is near and the Messiah is near, at hand, the way to gain entrance is through repentance.
Later, he told the Pharisees to bear fruit that foes with a life of repentance.
They were the teachers of the Torah and the ones charged with instructing the people, but they had strayed away from the intent of the law and were bearing religious activities instead of fruit worthy of the kingdom of God.
As Christ-followers we are called to live a life worthy of the King. We represent Jesus everywhere we go. We encounter the stuff of the world daily so we need to come out of agreement with those things. Also, when we are saved, or enter the kingdom of God, we repent but our minds must continually be renewed.
In other words, we have to take every thought captive and pull down strongholds. When we don’t take thoughts captive we allow them to take hold in our spirit. Instead of thinking kingdom-minded, we think our thought or worldly thoughts. Regardless we must daily come out of agreement with old thoughts, old life choices, and past hurts, wounds, and where we have let our emotions rule our actions.
That is the power of repentance and as we move into maturity as kingdom-minded people we should be bearing fruit that reflects a life of repentance. What we did twenty years ago we should not be doing, and we shouldn’t let things affect us the same. Daily we are to come out of agreement or change our mind regarding choices, actions, and words.
Since we are a new creation, then we should act like it. New creatures aren’t the same. So why do we not act and look like new creations to the world? The Holy Spirit is the one that convicts us of sin and helps us to come out of agreement and enter into agreement with the ways of God.
As new creations, we are like a snake shedding its skin on a daily basis. Or we are peeling our onion layers back daily. We enter the kingdom with a lot of baggage and ten or twenty years later we are still holding on to our favorite ones.
Christ died for our freedom and He is worthy of us letting go of all of our hurts, wounds, traditions, lusts, addictions, pride, jealousy, and rebellion. When we give Him those strongholds they are placed under the blood and then He puts up a no fishing sign. The enemy tries to get us or our family and friends to go fishing and bring it back again.
Deliverance and inner healing are really repentance and coming out of agreement with things like anger, wounds from rejection, and all of the other junk. Repentance is a good thing. We need repentance so that we can recognize how much He loves us and enjoys us. He wants to fellowship with us and we need more of Him.
Repentance, inner healing, and forgiving those that have wounded and hurt us opens the path for more of Him and to go deeper in His love.
Do you want to experience more of Jesus’ love and power? Do you want revival in your home, family, or church? Then live a life of daily repentance. But I caution you not to keep reminding God of the same thing day after day. If you repented of being rude at Walmart yesterday then that was the end of it.
So we need a healthy view of repentance. It is necessary, but it is not works. We need to repent of previously unconfessed or unrepented sins.
That is when repentance becomes burdensome. Like everything else in the Kingdom of God, we need balance. We need to live a repentant lifestyle birthed from a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and not just going through the motions. When it is truly led by the Spirit of God we will experience more of Him, more freedom, and we will bear fruit of repentance.
That is true freedom in Christ. Enjoy life in the Kingdom!!