The Path to Freedom & the Key to Change!
Repentance begins with the sudden revelation of our own complicity in the mess which we have come to call our “lives”. It begins with a realization that we are guilty, actually responsible for the mess in which we find ourselves. Whether the mess is physical, emotional or spiritual. And whether we could “help it” or not!
Repentance is the process which pries our desperate fingers off the helm of our own life, and yields the control up to God!
Repentance is the first step of a very long and messy transformation process from
fallen, sinful, human nature back to the image of a perfect and Holy God!
Repentance is the sudden clear realization that we can NOT “do it all by ourselves”!
Repentance is the first, and absolute necessity, in getting free of the strongholds caused by seemingly innocent “self-defense mechanisms” of early childhood – which DID have their rightful place THEN.
But as Scripture notes, “When I was a child I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things...” The words, “put away” denoting a forceful riddance of such thought processes, often accomplished only through a process of deliverance – which begins with Repentance.
One can not “turn from” anything which one does not first “face”, or own up to, or accept the full responsibility for! So, it is clear that the realization of one's sin is imperative for the overcoming of it! One can not hope to get out of jail, while furiously working at installing more bars!
In the Hebrew language the word for Repentance is Teshuvah – which simply means a completed Repentance. It not only involves the “turning away from sin”, but also the utter embracing of God and His way of doing and being righteous! Teshuvah leaves no void for the flesh, or the enemy which drives it, to fill! It closes the jail door behind us, leaving us no path to return to that particular incarceration – addiction or habit pattern.
All spiritual strongholds begin with “natural” or fallen though patterns, which do indeed come very “naturally” to those who have not endured the spiritual transformation process – and especially to those who have not been spiritually awakened, or resurrected. Those unrighteous, or Godless thought patterns are then reinforced until they become spoken belief patterns, and then actual habits or deeds that are lived out in the physical realm. All addictions are the result of spiritual strongholds, though they can be traced to “natural” sources or origins.
This is because we are spiritual people by design. And though the spirit of a man is dormant when he is born, awaiting God to resurrect it, it is to that end we are born, and to that which we best resonate. We begin to really LIVE to the full only when that spirit-being is awakened within us. Until then we only run on some sort of pre-elected pattern of behavior passed down in our natural, fallen, sin-altered DNA. At salvation our DNA begins the process of returning to perfection – sinless, pain-free, disease-free, fault-free, perfection. Until Salvation, however, we are sort of robotic, lifeless creatures who operate on a lower instinctive, animalistic level of being. Oh, we are intellectual, some of us. But it will never reach the heights it is capable of, and intended to reach, until it is spiritually enlivened. That is just how it is, whether we like the sound of that or not!
Repentance acknowledges that Truth and yields to the Higher Power in the universe. Repentance is the part of us that has the sense to bow the Knee to the King of Kings and Lord of LORDS! Repentance is the key which is able to unlock limitless worlds of possibility and wonder! Repentance is the path to the knowledge of the Holy, and the way out of the paths of the profane. It is, “The Road Least Traveled”.
Repentance is not for the faint of heart, for it requires that we “put our money where our mouth is”, and stand up to our word, for a change! Repentance is for those who have had a fill of their own way, and are ready for a real change of heart and direction! Repentance is for the hungry, the meek, and the desperate. Repentance will never visit the self-satisfied prigs, nor the self-righteous Pharisee, whose own imagined whiteness blinds them to their own sin, and who therefore shirk and avoid responsibility for it.
Repentance is for the finally honest. The brutally honest. Those who face what their choices have produced – taking the pain of remorse which usually accompanies that profoundly earth shaking confrontation!
Repentance is for the brave, who have no idea of their own bravery, but push in because the misery of their own choices has made it worth the risk of trying something different!
Repentance is a 180* turn from our own ways of thinking, doing and being, to GOD's ways of thinking, doing and being! It is a leaving of the low life, and a determined embracing of His High Life.
Repentance is the first step on the path to Life. If you haven't already, may you make such a step today! And if you have taken that first step, then never look back!
L'Chaim Chavarim! Happy Teshuvah!