“First step towards redemption is repentance.”
I tweeted this quote the other day. In my mind, I could see an entire process of repentance and redemption taking place in my life, but on Twitter I only have 140 characters or less to explain a Biblical Truth: Repentance leads to Redemption. The first and most important example of this truth is salvation.
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3.19 NASB).
REPENT. RETURN. REFRESH.
When we realize that we are sinners and ask Jesus into our hearts, He’s able to redeem our entire lives supernaturally and reconcile us back to God. If Jesus can redeem us from hell, He can certainly redeem us from the symptoms of hell—defeat, depression, poverty, bitterness, heartache, pain, etc.
We can now host “the presence of the Lord” on earth because we have righteousness through Jesus Christ, and we enjoy a “refreshing” relationship with the Holy Spirit. The process of redemption starts when God replaces our eternity separated from Him (hell) with eternity reconciled to Him (heaven).
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1.23 NIV).
But that’s only the first step. The process of repent, return and refresh can be seen like a wellspring in our hearts. The Seed of Salvation springs to life when we receive salvation. It has supernaturally saved us, but now God wants to work that salvation into all the natural parts of our bodies, mind, hearts and lives. Every time we repent of sin, the Seed of Salvation can flow into more areas of our lives. The more we repent as the Holy Spirit convicts, the deeper and wider that wellspring spreads.
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death” (2 Corinthians 7.10 NLT).
If we feel defeated in a certain area, we may need to repent. Repentance is not bad at all. Repentance is learning to trade up. It’s giving God something mediocre and requesting something better. It’s confessing that we did it our way and the results weren’t good, so we give up control and are ready to trust God’s Best Plan.
God has a Kingdom Plan He is implementing on earth and in each of our lives. His Plan is for our peace, future and hope (Jeremiah 29.11), but we must let God have His way in our lives. As we repent of our stubborn will, He can move us further into His Kingdom Plan. Repentance will always be a huge part of a Spirit-filled person’s life who is transforming the external world as her internal world is being transformed.
“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4.17 NKJV).
Questions: Is there in area in your life that you know isn’t God’s best? How can repentance help redeem this area? Do you see God transforming your inner life?