I had the opportunity to speak at an evening of worship which carried an overall theme of repentance. This is not the first time I have shared this revelation, but I find it at the core of my ministry on an on going basis. Of course every time I get ready to share it, the Lord deepens the message in me, and shows me a new area to work on. Sometimes it frustrates me that I am such a work in process, but then I read The Book, and find that I am not alone.
Anyway – all that as a way of introducing the basic message. I hope it blesses you, and sets you on the road to freedom.
Repentance – the Path to Victory!
When you think of repentance, what comes to mind?
Most would probably describe confession as an apology. It is often the way we use the word in church circles.
Some go to the actual definition of the word, changing your mind.
These are both fine, since language is what it is.
But today, I want to give you a new way of thinking about repentance.
Repentance is a personal war on sin.
It is a war that God calls you to.
You will know you have been given this ‘call to war’ when you sense a deep sorrow over your sin.
I am not talking about feeling guilty or getting depressed.
I am not talking about weeping at a altar and
Repentance is a War on sin in your life.
Let me make this plain to you. You will never have victory over any particular sin in your life until you take up arms against it.
And today I am going to arm you for this war.
The first thing to understand is:
A war requires a strategy.
Check out what Paul tells the Church in Corinth
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. - 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NASB
You see – sorrow brings you to the point of needing to change – repent. Sorrow is not repentance – repentance is War.
And here is the strategy that the Corinthians used
It’s time to get serious about getting the freedom God is offering. All repentance is a gift from God, and God would never give you a gift He did not want you to fully experience and embrace. But you will need to set you mind and heart on high alert if you ever want to lay hold on this marvelous freedom.
The Greek word here indicates a verbal response to an accusation – I like to think of it as your declaration of WAR.
I recommend that you do it out loud – Declare war on the object of your repentance. Jesus spoke to trees, you can speak to the sin in your life. Put it on notice. Gossip, you are not long for this world! Bitterness, you are going down.
One more recommendation here; You should recruit others, someone or some folks to whom you can be accountable. Someone you can call when you just need to hear the word “no” in a voice other than your own, especially when the only thing you voice wants to say is ‘yes.’
You have to get all your facilities on board – including your emotions – and it is appropriate to get angry here. No nation or people ever got free from the abomination of slavery without creating a public outcry of indignation – and that is what it is going to take in your life.
When you see how awesome a price God put on your freedom, how much he paid for you to be free from sin, there will rise up a fear – a concern for wasting the precious blood of Jesus.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. - Proverbs 1:7 NASB
Any true knowledge that makes a difference is experiential. True knowledge of another comes through intimacy, and this is a key component of this war on your sin. You must walk in intimacy with God.
It is in fact these besetting sins in our lives that undermine our relationship with the Lover or our souls.
How bad do you want to be free? Can you imagine life without the guilt and shame that always accompany this indulgence of yours? Do you have a deep desire within to be closer to Father?
Can you stir up passion – no life and death battle will be won without zealous, passionate, persistent effort.
If you look at wars that have been waged without zeal, you see defeat or détente, but you never see victory. Contrast the Americans in Viet Nam, fighting for something they really did not care about, verses the way the colonials defended their homes and families in the American Revolutionary War, against the highly trained and organized British.
Avenging of wrong
There is this Avenging of wrong. God’s sneaky little (well big) plan is to set you free and then send you out with keys to set others free. [Tweet This]
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. - 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 KJV
Our biggest problem in this regard is we want to do this (help others get free) before we have dealt with it in ourselves. We want to be helping folks to pick specks out of their eyes, while mindlessly slamming around with a plank shooting out above our nose.
In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. - 2 Corinthians 7:11
Repentance results in victory.
So today, has God placed on your heart a sin that gets the best of you on a regular basis? You can be free.
Declare war on that thing.
See yourself free in the future.
Start doing battle today.
Hey – by the way, if you are located in the north east in a not too unreasonable travel distance from North Jersey and would like me to come and speak to your gathering you can contact me via email: ben@AnotherRedLetterDay.com
Thanks for coming by today.
See you again soon