Repent. It sounds like such a harsh and negative word, doesn't it? One that conjures up images of a television pastor angrily shouting and pointing a finger in the face of a shame-filled congregation. The way many of us have come to understand repentance is one furious religious person demanding guilt and humiliation from another who has made a misstep in their journey with God.
But that is not what God intended when it comes to repentance. Sharing our struggles and our sins with Him was not meant to be an act of punishment, but rather one of love. Repentance brings out into the open everything He already knew was there. It gives Him the chance to shine a light on the dark crevices of our hearts, mind, and soul. It tells Him we trust Him with the worst parts of ourselves and it allows Him to do the work of transforming us from the inside, out.
Today, let’s take a moment to get real with God. He knows everything about us and in spite of it all, still loves us so deeply. But the more we allow shame and guilt to hide our struggles, the more we can see ourselves become less engaged in conversation with Him. Repentance clears the path between us that becomes blocked by sin.
So often, there are struggles we wrestle with over and over again. We lay them down at His feet, only to pick them up when life pushes us too far. Maybe it is a bad attitude with the people we love most. Maybe it is how we handle our finances or the gifts He has given us. Maybe it is our own selfishness that seeks to put ourselves first instead of others. Each one of us has areas in our lives that we need to keep being honest with God about.
God’s mercy is constant, an overwhelming flow into those places that get clogged up by our sin, our selfishness, and our pride. Let it wash over you today as you share with Him your ongoing struggles.
Prayer Prompt: Dear God, forgive me for the ways I stumble. Help me to turn from my sin and to live in light of Your salvation.
■ Share with the Lord any ongoing and chronic struggles with sin you are facing. Are you wrestling with a bad attitude in a certain area of your life? Do you lack self-control in a place you need to exercise it? Have you spoken harmful words to those around you? Have you kept doing a sinful action over and over again in spite of “knowing better”? Acknowledge where your struggle is sin. Confess that you don’t want to break fellowship with Him and ask him to help you walk in obedience.
■Is there someone you can entrust to pray with you over your struggles? Ask them to pray specifically for you to be released from that battle.