It is your Kindness Lord that leads me to repentance.
Truly, truly this is real to me right now.
What is is about repentance that frees your heart?
I am struggling to start this blog because it feels like my heart is too full, there is too much to let out.
It started last week with a daily devotional I read that was talking about repentance. I have heard many a sermon about this subject but something in the wording of the devotional just hit to the heart. It was based on these verses in Matthew, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!...therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance. (Matt 3:2,8)
I have heard the call to Repent from the first verse many times. It has previously felt like a command to say sorry for the bad thoughts, and wrongdoings I have committed since my last repentance! ["Forgive me Father for i have sinned, it has been about 3 months since my last repentance!"] I knew it should be something I should do more frequently, my lack of repentance was certainly not due to a lack of sin, just of a lack of habit.
If there was a big ugly sin or a harsh argument, I would seek forgiveness from God in the moment. But the every day jealousies, the fear, the gossip, did I mention fear were not affecting me in a way that made repentance feel necessary in such an urgent way. This led to a good ol' sin purge every once in awhile to clean the slate - generalized "I'm sorrys" for living in human strength in a fallen world. However, with the distance between these sins and my confessions my repentance was pretty empty.
I was not changed by my repentance, and it never really clicked that that was the point. Until the devotional the other day. The second verse..."bear fruits worthy of repentance."
I have been forgiven, I have direct access to the Son of God who is interceding on my behalf. He tells me he loves me, he sings songs over me, he is my strength and my deliverer. And yet, I had reduced repentance to saying sorry and carrying on with my life without being changed.
I have settled for wiping my sin slate clean but without making any changes to prevent said slate from getting dirtied again. I want to truly repent. I want to hate my sin enough to change my behavior. I want my repentance to change how I see God. To understand how it grieves him when my sin causes distance between us and I want to let that fill my heart and lead me to action.
I want my repentance to be leading me to become a better reflection of Christ. I want my life to be bearing the fruits worthy of the Kingdom. I am a daughter of the King and my life should reflect the blessing and honor of that position. I am called to be compassionate, generous, gentle, honest, loving, fearless. Are these the fruits that i am bearing? I am working on it but I know that there are huge areas where I am falling short of what is being asked of me. This is especially true in the area of fear, I still let fear define my actions way more than I should.
Praying for strength to change and be changed.
This week so far has been so full for me. I have been a diligent student, and made time to check off some 'to do's' that have been needing attention for sometime. It feels so good, and I need to seek forgiveness for all the wasted hours of the previous weeks and months. The reality of what I can do in the time I have is beyond what I limit myself to doing in my sloth. I pray that this time, my repentance will extend to me changing my behaviour. Here's hoping because that 'to do' list isn't getting any shorter! I am 100% sure that the life God has in mind for me is fuller and more wonderful that what I can make happen on my own and in true repentance I find the freedom to be a part of it.