The key to Christian living is not:
– Insisting upon ‘correct’, infallible doctrine;
– Knowing the call of God on our lives;
– Parroting the Bible word for word;
– Praying eloquently; or,
– Dutifully attending church meetings.
The key to Christian living is faith:
– That is, to turn back to God; to repent.
Repentance may be more than turning from our sin. It is turning back to God in faith. It is recognising our need is God, even in worship.
But repentance, perhaps most dearly, is the process for keeping us humble, spiritually available, and subject to God. Then the door to spiritual prosperity is opened to us.
SIX FACTORS HELPING US IN OUR REPENTANCE
The acronym, R.E.P.E.N.T., stands for:
Realise truth: to repent we must recognise the moral truth as it applies to our lives. We need to have a close enough relationship with the Spirit of God that we hear and heed this truth, in order that we have opportunities to respond. When we realise the truth, and we wish to please God, we will live for truth – not our truth, but God’s truth; the only truth.
Experience of rebuke: not all rebukes of the Holy Spirit are negative, but we invariably see them that way. No, rebukes of the Holy Spirit are intended for our growth. Momentary guilt and shame are intended as tools for our restoration.
Personal relationship with God: nothing is more important. There is no better investment of our time or effort. When we have a personal relationship with God we not only know when to repent, we have the strength to do it as well. In our relationship with God we are very quickly reaffirmed after having repented.
Entering the Presence of God: only when we turn back to God can we truly enter God. God’s Presence cannot abide in the deviant sinner. Having repented, entering the Presence of God is both the opportunity and a consummate privilege. Nothing will benefit us more.
Now: repentance has no value as a promise of what we plan to do. Repentance is a ‘now’ concept. We can always put things off, but that is to disobey God. God blesses the sacrificial courage in our decisions to turn back with immediacy to him who can help.
Thankfulness: for God’s mercy and empowering grace we ought to be ever thankful. We are forgiven. For every mistake we have made, and for every mistake we will make, we have a way back to the experience of God’s Presence because of repentance. For repentance, we should be thankful.
By faith we acknowledge truth, and we thereby repent of our sin. Having turned back to God, Heaven’s Gate of blessing and spiritual growth is opened to us. This is true prosperity. Repentance, through faith, leads to prosperity.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
by Steve Wickham