Repent or Repeat – Part I
119: 59 I have
considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes. 60
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands
week we start a new series in which we will discuss repentance. Many Christians know what repentance is but
a whole lot of them don’t actually know how to repent. For example, in the “sinner’s pray” we have
been taught to say and to teach others to say, “Lord, I repent of my sins” or
“Lord, save me from my sins.” Now is
this repentance? To some degree it is,
but this is not where the “rubber is really meeting the road,” and we will show
Consider Your Ways
word “repentance” from the Greek translation Metanoeo means, “To change one’s
mind from evil to good or from worse to better with regret and true change of
heart toward God.” If we look at our
text we see the Psalmist write, “I have considered my ways.” Here this person has truly taken the first
step to actually changing his ways – meditating on his current ways and
realizing how bad they really are. When
we say to the Lord in the sinner’s pray, “Lord save me of my sins,” just imagine
if He replied – “WHICH ONES!??” At this
point some folk would just fall over because admittance would be too great for
them. This is truly where the rubber
meets the road. You see beloved, we’ve
been trying to write God a “blank check” and say cover all my sins instead of
facing them and calling them, which is sometimes necessary to get your
some self-help groups, when the members meet, the first thing they train new
members to say is, “Hi, My name is Sue and I am a _____;” then they name their
addiction, problem or circumstance.
They won’t let Sue say, “Hi, I’m Sue and I have a problem.” Why?
Because it doesn’t allow Sue to come face to face with her demon, stare
that devil down, and then run slap over him.
So to overcome some things, we may actually have to say, “O.K. Lord,
right now I am a _____________, but by Your power and Your Spirit I can be what
You want me to be.”
Turn Toward God’s Ways And Away From Your Own
next part of repentance is the “action” of the change itself. I know that plenty of Christians might make
the decision to change, but it’s usually the start of the “action phase” that
stops them. The second part of the 59th verse states, “and have
turned my steps to your statutes.” Of
course we all know that the action is very important because without action all
we have is intention and resolution (like New Year’s Resolutions).
let’s go back to our definition for a moment which tells us that repentance is
also a true change of heart toward God.
Our change of heart helps us acknowledge that God’s ways are better than
our ways. If there is anything that is
the opposite of repentance it would have to be stubbornness which is defined in
Deuteronomy 9:16 as “turning aside quickly from the way of the Lord.” Too often we turn to our old ways and not to
God’s way. This is when we seek fleshy answers for deliverance and find
ourselves in a holding pattern of despair (REPEATING). We need to choose the HIGH WAY and turn from
the MY WAY. The difference you
ask? Well, the HIGH WAY is a straight
and narrow part “tilted upward.” Think
of it as a stairway to heaven. The MY
WAY is a perfect downward and spiral path.
Think of it as a toilet bowl being flushed. As Forrest Gump would say, “And that’s all I have to say about
our stubbornness that tells us, “my way is better than God’s way;” but it’s
God’s way that offers us abundant life.
(And you wondered why so many New Year’s Resolutions fail. It’s because the only thing backing that
resolution was that old weak flesh rather than God’s Spirit.)
60th verse states, “I will hasten and not delay to obey your
commands.” Some of us want to take the
Nike slogan, “Just Do It,” and modify it to fit our attitude on repentance: “Just
Do It – Tomorrow!” No, we’ve got to
mount up and fight that fight today.
Not too long ago Veronica and I started an all out attack on our debt. We finally decided to follow the Lord’s will
for our lives and then we acted on it without delay. Immediately after that decision, the debt began to fall – Thank
You Jesus!!! I once heard this
statement in a business seminar: “It’s the START that STOPS you!” Every delay, rationalization and excuse is
stopping you from your start. So right
now, whatever you want to change, take it to your High Priest Jesus and change
it. If you’ve got to stop reading this
message, then stop here and repent with no delay so that you can get your
of us have received the salvation of Jesus and we are still floundering in
areas of our lives simply because of a lack of repentance. Through Jesus’ salvation we have the
deliverance from hell, but we need to get the abundant life offered in John
10:10. So take a Holy Ghost timeout and
repent without delay to Jesus our Saviour.
Most important, don’t let the enemy tell you you can’t do it or you can
put it off. It’s not like Jesus doesn’t
know you are struggling with this issue.
He knows and He is waiting for you to turn toward Him so that He can be
all the help you’ve ever needed. Our
new life, Our abundant life could just as easily start today as it could
tomorrow. Therefore, Let’s choose