I used to think this way…
“God, I repent….as sincerely as I know how, You know this! But how can I know that I’m actually really going to stop living this way that I want so desperately to turn from? I don’t know how to really change? I’ve been so stuck in these cycles…How can I promise to really change my ways like I want to right now? I feel so messed up…..it feels hopeless…”
You see, I thought “repentance” was pretty much supposed to be all “my part” and for many years, I felt almost hopeless because I had been trapped in cycles for so much of my life, and I didn’t know how to break free of them in order to change.
But so much of “repentance” means turning, and looking to Him! ….and looking to see Him! And He helps us to see accurately—He gives us sight, as we turn our eyes toward Him.
When we “repent”—yes, we are making a sincere decision to turn…but we are realizing, by the stirring of the Holy Spirit, that we are in need of making a 180—we are in need of HIM, we need to be able to see Him.
God has a part in repentance too!
He LEADS us in the way of repentance!
And this is our HOPE!
Because everything changes as “we turn our eyes upon Jesus.“
It’s not all up to us! We do not transform our own-selves, we do not give ourselves sight! He does!
We turn our eyes, and He gives us the sight to SEE!
As we turn and look to Him, we realize, we SEE, that He is the only One who can mend our broken hearts. ?
As we simply turn—as the Holy Spirit stirs us, and as we simply LOOK to Him, and realize how much we desperately NEED Him, we are giving way for God to do HIS part in our hearts that only HE can do!
God is the only One who can miraculously transform our hearts, our ways, our whole lives…HE does the transformative work that we CANNOT do for ourselves—He is the only One who can write upon our hearts, He’s the only one who knows what we need to have, so personally written upon our hearts.
Jesus has made a way for us to be forgiven, and the Holy Spirit so wonderfully “taps us on the shoulder” to reveal to us what we need to realize… He leads us in the way we should go…that we might simply turn and LOOK to the One who can transform us…the One who can mend our brokenness…
And as we turn, we must remember that it’s not by our own might that we change… but by HIS!
Oh, thank God for that! Otherwise, where would we really be?
We so desperately need Him.
We so desperately need His leading,
His writing upon our hearts.
We so desperately need Him.
As we “repent”—as we do our part of the process, God does His. As we open our eyes, as we look to see Him, He gives us sight. He mends our broken hearts. And He brings us into alignment with His will for our lives!
“I once was blind…. but now I see!”
“...the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.“—2 Timothy 2:24-26
God, thank You for what You do in our hearts, thank You for “tapping us on the shoulder” for “wooing” us, that we might turn and catch a glimpse of seeing You—we begin to see who You really are, we see how much we need You…. and then…
…You do the miracle that we cannot do in our own hearts. ?
How we so desperately need You!
“Repent, then, and turn to God (our part), so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (His part).”—Acts 3:19 (with my notes inserted)
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”—2 Peter 3:9
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”—James 4:8
He says, “Come”…. “Just come to Me. Look at Me, and I will give you eyes to see!”
But He does not make us “open up our eyes” and He does not make us turn… He invites us…
“For this people’s heart has grown callous; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.…”—Matthew 13:15-17
And you will be amazed at where He takes you…and you will be filled with joy and HOPE!
Trust His timing, trust His way. ?
Trust His process!
And He says,
“Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”—Matthew 4:19
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”—Mark 1:15
Thank You, Father. ? Thank you that we don’t have to do this thing all alone. You’ve called out to us, and You have made a way, and You lead us in Your way! You give us the sight that we need to see. And when we see You, everything changes…