12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
13 and rend your hearts and not your garments." Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. - Joel 2:12-13
Return to me with all your heart. God is calling for our repentance in these verses. Repentance is when we recognize our sin, and we are so heartbroken over the sin, our behavior is transformed. Repentance is different from confession - when we confess our sins, we acknowledge them before the Lord. It is right to confess our sins - we are called to do just that in scripture. The problem is that many of us can confess sins without a heartfelt change in our behavior. We can say the words, but not change our actions. That’s because we really don’t see the problem with our behavior, or we really don’t want to let go of the stronghold. We know we’re caught in this trap if we continually confess the same sin over and over again, yet we continue to sin in the same way without and decreasing frequency. We’re not perfect, and for many sins, we will need to return to the Lord in confession before He completely irradiates the sin from our lives, but we should definitely be noticing a decreasing frequency.
Repentance begins with seeing the sin through God’s eyes. Until we recognize the sin as God sees the sin, we will never truly be broken over it. And until we’re broken over our sin, we’ll just keep on doing it. For that change, we need His eyes. We need to be spending time in prayer fervently asking for eyes to see as fervently as we pray for the things we want Him to do in our lives. That takes a lot of courage. Many of us don’t want to go there because it’s hard to look at ourselves in such a negative light. We don’t want to drop into the pit of despair at seeing ourselves for who we really are.
But God. He is abundant in grace and forgiveness, and He loves you with a steadfast love. If you have ever experience repentance, you know He rushes in the moments you truly see your sin with such an overwhelming sense of His presence that you don’t stay in that pit very long - just long enough to forever change you.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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