The Repentant Heart
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.Acts 3:19
How would you describe a repentant heart, and how does a repentant heart view sin? The Biblical definition of repent is to turn away from our sinful ways and turn towards the ways of God. Turning away from our sinful ways depends on how we view sin in our hearts? There is so much sin in the world it is easy to become desensitized to the occurrence of sin. We may minimize sin by justifying it or by simple ignoring it, and continue on like sin never occurred. The Godly reaction to sin is to recognize sin by being sensitive to conviction by the Holy Spirit, mourn over our sin with Godly sorrow, and confess the sin and pray for forgiveness and the strength to overcome the sin. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5)
How does our attitude toward sin affect our lives? Joy comes from the Lord through the Spirit, and until we a have deep conviction and Godly sorrow for our sins we will never experience the joy the Lord intends for us. We must be convicted and learn to hate sin as if it were cancer to our soul before we can truly reap the peace and joy from God. Sin not only enslaves us, it destroys our soul and also impacts others.
God the Father considers sin so serious that it was only through the sacrifice of his Son that we can be forgiven, and forgiven only if we accept Christ as our Savior and walk with a repentant heart that hates sin. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.‘(Matthew 22:37) I believe we can only fulfill this verse if we hate sin with all our heart, soul, and mind. If we don’t hate sin and if we don’t fight sin through the power of God, then we are pleasing to Satan because he wants us view sin with a casual non-convicting attitude.
Ezra reveals a Godly attitude toward sin when the Israelites disobeyed God by marrying pagan women that worshiped false Gods. When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. (Ezra 9:3) Not that we are to tear our clothes of pull out our hair, but we are to have the same conviction and sorrow that Ezra reveals.
How do we get this strong conviction and hatred of sin? First it helps to consider sin and Satan as one, knowing all sin comes from Satan. The more love we receive from the Lord the more we learn to hate sin, because sin can separate us from God, if we are not strong spiritual warriors fighting sin. Sin comes from the hatred of Satan and it opposes the love from God. The more we hate sin the more we will experience God’s love.
Today let the Spirit convict you of any sin, and know Satan is trying to pull you away from the Lord. View sin as toxic and take it very seriously as a disease to your soul that only Christ can cure. The more you hate sin the more love and joy you will experience from the Lord. Also the more you hate sin the more power you will have to overcome temptations.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction so I can walk with a repentant heart. Help me to experience victory in overcoming sin and reap your love, peace, and joy, along with the satisfaction of defeating the enemy. Thank you for the Spirit who has given me power to overcome all sinful temptations and endure anything Satan puts in my path. In Jesus name, Amen