Repentance is an act that has weighty implications in your spiritual life. It may seem like an ordinary word. But its very act is so powerful that it has real impact in the spirit realm and on your mind.
God says He only dwells with the one who has a contrite spirit. The word contrite means feeling or showing sorrow and remorse for a sin or shortcoming. To be contrite means to be repentant of a wrongdoing.
Isaiah 57:15 states, “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
How to Repent
The proper way to repent and be contrite is to talk to God by yourself. While it’s not a bad idea to talk to a friend, counselor or a loved one, that is not repentance. Confessing your faults to a friend is not repentance. Confessing your sins to a parish priest or pastor is not repentance. You don’t need an intermediary between you and God in order to repent!
Here’s what you need to do, and let it be from the depths of your heart. You reach out to the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. Tell Him you’re sorry for your sins, mistakes, disobedience and wrongdoings.
1 John 1:7 states, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
You ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you with His precious blood, then you ask Him to give you grace never to repeat that sin or mistake again. Yes, you also need to ask Him to give you strength to overcome whenever the enemy wants to tempt you in that area of sin or weakness from which you just repented. Jesus Himself is your Advocate, not your best friend, parish priest or pastor (See 1 John 2:1).
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When to Repent
Repentance is not an act you do only when you got saved and accepted Jesus into your heart and life. Rather, it is something you do as often as required. There are many snares and temptations that the enemy throws on the paths of God’s children, and at times, God’s children fall for it. That is one of the reasons why repentance is a continuous practice.
1) Repent every time you sin, err, or make a mistake.
You are prone to mistakes often. You know, the Bible commands you to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (See Galatians 5:16). There are times you’re not watchful and the flesh slips up on you. But at such times, the Lord expects you to repent, get up and move on!
2) Repent whenever you are disobedient to God.
Many times, God’s children disobey His instructions, either deliberately or because of the cares and busyness of life. The devil, who is the spirit of disobedience (see Ephesians 2:2) also causes God’s children to disobey Him at times, and he achieves this by offering them a ‘seemingly better way’ which always ends up in trouble and affliction. The way out of such a situation is repentance!
3) Repent every time the Holy Spirit convicts you.
There are times you’re wrong without knowing it. You miss it and you just don’t know that you’ve grieved the Spirit of God. He then begins to move in your heart and starts to stir your conscience. You begin to feel unrest in your heart. You seem to hear the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He is trying to get your attention on an issue. That is the Holy Spirit convicting you. Your proper response is to find out from Him where you’re wrong and then repent immediately!
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Two Fruits of Repentance
Matthew 3:8 ”Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.”
Repentance is humbling yourself before God, acknowledging His mercy and grace. That is why it is written that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (see James 4:6).
If you humble yourself before God, you will have His grace and mercy manifesting in your life, and these fruits of repentance will be yours!
1) Repentance brings emotional peace and rest.
This is a wonderful thing. Every time you turn away from sin, mistakes or disobedience, the Lord fills your heart and mind with His peace! A supernatural peace that improves your total wellbeing. Divine peace that protects your mind and emotions with a God-backed assurance. Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God is divine. It gives total rest and calmness to the mind and emotions. It kicks out troubles, anxiety, fear and emotional stress.
John 14:27 states, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
2) Repentance shuts the door against the enemy.
Yes, you might wonder how true this is. But I assure you, it is very true. Remember, God is always drawn to the humble and contrite of heart according to His word in Isaiah 57:15, “…I dwell with him who has a contrite and humble spirit.”
When you repent before God, the door through which the enemy has been coming in to cause emotional distress and troubles is shut against his face! Repentance brings God in and takes the devil out. It deprives Satan of any legal ground. In turn, it gives you the legal right to confront the devil and command him to take his hands off your mind and emotions!
Learn to do these things and experience the supernatural peace of God!
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Angela Lowe, MS. Ed., LPC
Angela Lowe is a licensed Professional Counselor, trained Biblical Counselor and certified Holistic Health Coach. Her kingdom mandate is to restore God’s counsel to transform lives, marriages, and churches worldwide.