SOME THOUGHTS ON REPENTANCE & SURRENDER.
I read a very simple but very profound statement today that has really made me think about the truths expressed in it.
We repent enough to be forgiven, but do we surrender enough to be changed?
Before we get to the question in the statement I have given a lot of thought to the first part of the statement, that I often search my heart about, that is true repentance.
My readers know that I was challenged some years ago by Psalm 66:20 NLT If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
So I seek to spend time in sincere repentance when I begin my prayer time. The sad reality is that the Bible says we sin in so many ways, and in my personal case, I cannot always remember all my sin. The Bible says we sin :
In thought, in word, in action, in reaction, there are the sins of omission, those sins that are “not of faith”, we sin in our motives and attitudes, the Psalmist speaks of presumptuous/wilful sins, we can violate God’s will, His way, & His Word, then there are our fears and doubts and unbelief.
So I ask the Lord to search my heart and on the basis that God is ALWAYS TRUE TO HIS NATURE, HIS WORD AND THROUGH THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS ON THE CROSS I accept my forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 AMP. O.T.
Maybe I am too sensitive but I sometimes feel I go through the list quickly and in a blasé ho hum manner, and not really repent, and seek to “turn around” and have that change of mind, change of attitude, change of affection, and change of direction (when it comes to sin). I want to make sure that I have the assurance that I am forgiven, and there is not of cloud of any kind between me and the Lord. By God’s grace I want to learn to live above sin and walk in the victory that has been purchased for me through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we come to the question “Do we surrender enough to be changed”? The Apostle Paul states in Romans 12:1 AMP N.T, I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your MEMBERS AND FACULTIES] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
So again I like to be very specific when I come to surrender, most of my readers know that Paul is writing in the present continuous tense, firstly it is something we need to do CONTINUOUSLY AND CONSTANTLY, Paul tells us it is a real sacrifice, and because of our sinful depraved nature as expressed in Jer. 17:9 AMP O.T. The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]? The reality is that any “living sacrifice” will not want to stay on the altar but roll off and do its own thing.
So, as we have just read in Rom 12:1 AMP. we need to present our members and faculties to the Lord, so I constantly present:
My drives of hunger, sex & survival
My senses, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling to the Lord.
I also present my mind, emotions and will to the Lord.
I ask the Lord to live His life out through me, that I want to be an instrument in His hand, to be a vessel, a channel and a reflector of His glory.
The question is AM I BEING CHANGED????? Without making any excuses it sure is a slow process, I sure want to be more like Jesus in every way, as I am sure you do too, so I also ask the to help me deepen my understanding and practice of surrender. Amen.
Only after I have done these two things do I then move on and spend time in:
I believe these are the 8 essential ingredients to daily prayer, it is not a formula but you can see a progression starting with REPENTANCE, THEN SURRENDER.
I trust this may help someone on their journey with the Lord.