Repentance must be something more than mere
remorse for sins; it comprehends a change of
nature befitting heaven.
The Cure for the Drought Brought by Sin
by Bayless Conley
In our last devotional, we talked about sin being the number one cause for spiritual drought. The natural question is, "What is the cure, how do I end that drought?"
One word: repentance.
In addition to the passage we read yesterday, 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 is clear and instructive,
"When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
True repentance literally means an inward change of heart resulting in an outward change of direction. If there is no outward change of direction, then it is not true repentance.
There is no real repentance even if you are feeling emotional and weeping over your sin. That is not repentance. Feeling sorry is not repentance.
Repentance is the change of heart that results in a change of lifestyle, a change of direction, a turning. So I have a word for you: If there is known sin in your life, repent.
King David gives us a great example in Psalm 32:4-5 when he said,
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD...."
If, because of sin, you are in a drought spiritually, repent. If you do, your drought can be broken and you can experience the blessings of God.
Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God.
One of the first things for which
we have to pray is a true insight
into our condition.
A Call to Repentance
Dr. Charles Stanley
How many times have you gotten caught in a "guilt cycle"? This involves confessing the same old sin, telling God you're sorry, and promising not to do it again—while suspecting that you probably will. Then around you go again. You've come clean dozens of times but still have no victory. Yet there is a biblical promise that states, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, emphasis added).
Friends, God is holding up His end of that promise. It's people who fall short—we have turned confession into a rote recitation of our shortcomings. The attitude is, I'm disappointed in myself, but I am weak and God knows that. True confession means agreeing with the Lord about sin, and it is inseparably linked with repentance; they're two sides of the same coin. To repent is to turn our back upon wrong. By looking at our sin from God's perspective, we will see a vile, wicked habit with terrible consequences, and we'll want to run from that as fast as possible!
In practical terms, to confess and repent requires the intentional decision to say, "By the Holy Spirit's power, I'm turning away." Satan will still tempt you, and failure remains a possibility. But God can break the chains of your sin, and He wants to set you free.
Victory can be immediate or a process of trading wrong choices for right ones. In some cases, temptation involving habitual sin never goes away. Then it becomes necessary to face each day in God's strength. When you forsake sin, the power of heaven is there to help you.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
To him who still remains in this world
no repentance is too late.
The approach to God's mercy is open,
and the access is easy to those who seek
and apprehend the truth.