There is an eternal difference between regret and repentance. Regret feels bad about past sins. Repentance turns away from past sins. Regret looks to our own circumstances. Repentance looks to God. Most of us are content with regret. We just want to feel bad for awhile, have a good cry, enjoy the cathartic experience, bewail our sin, and talk about how sorry we are. But we don’t want to change. We don’t want to deal with God.
Satan will stop your destiny if you accept the power of disappointment into your life. Disappointment cuts us off from our vision, and without a vision people perish. Therefore, let me ask you: Are you carrying disappointment in your heart? Renounce it. Forgive those who have let you down. Have you personally or morally failed? Repent deeply and return to your Redeemer.
Repentance is a change of thinking that leads to a change in actions. It is not a one-time event, but a lifestyle.
I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality (unless I watch myself very carefully) asking Him to do something quite different. I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me. But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing. Forgiveness says “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology, I will never hold it against you and everything between us two will be exactly as it was before.” But excusing says “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it, you weren’t really to blame.” Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it.
I challenge you in the name of Jesus to commit to radical purity, honesty, uprightness. Examine your life, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any place where you’re stretching the truth, any place where you’re making excuses, any place that you’re flirting with sin and temptation. This is not about guilt; it’s about allowing the goodness of God to transform every place in your life into a place of joy, peace, and satisfaction in Him. Make a fresh commitment today to believe that God will use you to lead others to Jesus and that the power of God will accompany His work through you. By faith, let the shaking that’s happening in the earth today be a shaking in your own life. Let it blow away all that is not of God.
Take some time today to examine the grey areas in life. In what situations have we allowed pride, greed, rage, or any other litany of toxic behaviours to cloud our vision and bring us to places of compromise?
Decide in advance that you will do whatever it takes to get your heart right and then do it even if it will kill all previous versions of you. You need to ask yourself, what makes your heart beat in ways that make you stronger, more courageous, more giving and more loving? Figure out what makes your heart skip a beat with joy and what makes it miss a beat with dysfunction and distraction.