In our bible study we’ve been going through Oswald Chamber’s book ‘My Utmost For His Highest’. We’ve had some issues with it, but there have also been some fantastic things that have really challenged me. This week I was frustratingly gripped by the idea of admission vs confession.
I’m not sure confession is the best word for this battle; I think repentance is a better one.
Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a rather cerebral person. I like to think, analyse, understand, and dissect. I actually have no problem admitting to God when I sin. When I do the wrong thing I’m happy to talk to Him about it, even think about why and try to understand my own motivations and drivers. Admission is not the issue.
Repentance is a much more challenging concept.
Repentance requires a change of heart. It demands that we not only change our behaviour, but that we change it because we want to, because we see the need to, because we want to be different. It is only in right relationship with God that we can see with His eyes the true state of our lives, and the consequences of our behaviour. This brings with it the desire for change, not just a feeling of obligation or guilt.
I don’t always want to be different. Change is hard. It’s so much easier to live my life in the manner to which I am accustomed. Establishing new habits takes time and effort, and frankly I like some of my bad habits. Why else would I keep on doing them? I know they’re not good for me, or for those around me, but I’m human and stupid, and I do things that are bad for me in the full knowledge that they’re bad for me.
Repentance requires a real and intentional engagement with not only my own heart, but with the heart of God. I need to deeply comprehend God’s heart and why He doesn’t want me doing the things that are unhealthy in my life. When I understand why and what His heart for me is, that is when I can begin to let go of the things that hold me. When I shift my perspective and truly allow myself to see through God’s eyes, then I can begin to want to do things His way.
This is rarely a one-time thing; I need to constantly see my need for repentance, and at times, repent for the same things over and over. Even when I am honest in my desire for change I am inconsistent, and need to keep coming back to Jesus’ feet to repent.
Now I just need to muster the will to do this… Knowing is only half the battle…