“Repentance,” Stan began, “as we have talked about, is the choice I make to go in a different direction. It’s like making a U-Turn after I have stopped or at least slowed down enough to do it.”
“I know all about repentance,” I said. “I’ve done it lots of times. The problem is that I don’t stay turned around. I just keep going back and doing the same thing, over and over. Repenting over and over.”
“I know what you mean,” Stan replied. “That is a continual state of myself. It’s like when I am making the U-Turn, I don’t straighten out the steering wheel and I end up going right back in the direction I was heading before I tried to turn around.”
“Do you have any suggestions?” I asked.
“I do,” Stan responded. “For me, repentance works best if I deliberately surrender to God’s leading, rather than trying it on my own.”
Continuing, he said, “I have learned, sometimes through some very difficult lessons, that if I am relying on myself to stay turned around, the chances of true repentance are a whole lot less than if I rely on God’s leading my repentance through His Holy Spirit.”
“I just have to remember,” he added, “that the point is to ‘repent’, not to ‘repeat’. If I rely on myself, I am apt to repeat rather than repent. A good way for me to remember this is that it is an ’N’, not an ‘A’. Repent, not repeat!”
“Get self out of the way and allow the Holy Spirt to lead as only He can!”
“Repentance,” Stan concluded, “is a lot like discipleship. The first step is to deny self, then do what God has for me to do, and, finally, follow Him wherever He leads, whatever the cost.”
Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with your repentance. Luke 3:7.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of repentance so that I can turn around from going in the wrong direction to go in the direction you have for me. I confess that too often I may decide to turn around, but find myself not keeping with that repentance. Too often I go right back to where I was headed and repeat what I was trying to avoid. Please forgive me and please help me in truly repenting and keeping with that repentance by relying totally on the Holy Spirit you have so graciously provided. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.