The most active search that leads people to this blog has to do with repentance. Every time I see that someone else has found me through that search I wonder what has occurred that led them to conduct that search.
I was raised in churches that emphasized grace, enjoyment, knowing Bible stories, memorizing facts, etc. They didn’t emphasize walking with God, in fact I don’t think the idea of a personal relationship with Christ was something I was even introduced to until college. Somewhere these churches are missing one of the most key components of the gospel. Christ’s call to his followers was to “Repent”. If we are not willing to recognize what separates us from Christ and our incredible need for him, then why do we need a savior and why would we accept him as our Lord?
I was taught something similar to this image where Christ fills the gap between us and God and therefore we have access to God. However it is missing the heart of our need for God, and the fact that we need to repent to be able to move toward God. Otherwise we are basically left standing on that other cliff still separated.
Repenting is turning from our sin and turning instead to God. It isn’t just walking away from our sin because ultimately we can’t do that without God. We need to turn from God and he will help us turn from our sin. Repenting includes a change of heart, view, feeling, and purpose. It acknowledges the vileness of our sin and accepts how awful it is in God’s sight. It is taking God’s perspective of our sin and living in obedience to his commands regarding how to live and change from our old ways.
The first and sometimes most difficult step is to recognize our sin. Until you see the sin in your life and acknowledge it is sin you will never reach a point of repentance. Often we think of sin as only the big issues that can be seen by others such as sexual immorality, stealing, abuse, addictions, hatred, etc. The reality is sin is anything that separates us from God, anything that we value more than God, anything that gets in the way of God or changes our view of him. For me, that was unbelief. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God, because I did, but I had created an image of him that was inaccurate and I didn’t believe he was who his word says he is, nor did I believe he could accomplish and complete the things he promised. Sin can also be idols, and those don’t have to be physical things or even negative things. An idol could be your friend, your spouse, your daily dessert, your job, your desire to get things done, your past, your need for love, or even your daily schedule.
It is my prayer that people who come by this little corner of the world begin to learn about God’s desire for right relationship with us, and he heart to have us as part of his life and his kingdom. He truly wants us with with him, and he loves us incredibly, however until we acknowledge our need for him, repent of our sin, and turn to him in pursuit of a new and different life we will never be free and healthy and we will never grow with him.