Repentance: The Missing Link to Victory
Daily Devotional for September 18th
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
We can become very frustrated in bringing our sin or failure to God. We have adopted a spiritual philosophy in the churches that all we are required to do is ask God to forgive us and things will be different. The frustration comes in when we see the victory in others’ lives and wonder why we do not have the reality of the new birth working within us. The remedy for this is simpler than you may think.
Out of all the messages the Lord could have chosen to bring forth from the mouth of John the Baptist in the wilderness after about four hundred years with no voice of a prophet, the message was Repent. It amazingly was not Ask forgiveness. While most think that repentance is asking forgiveness, it clearly is not. Repentance could be understood better with the understanding that you turn in your citizenship to the world and enter into a new country all together. When repentance comes, a person literally forsakes their old lifestyle.
One of the greatest tragedies facing new converts today is the lack of repentance. Do you understand that a person cannot enter into the kingdom of God while remaining in the other? We cannot walk hand in hand with Jesus while walking hand in hand with the devil. Desiring forgiveness but not being willing to forsake a life of sin is like hugging a poison oak vine. You cannot bear the poison oak boils that have infected your skin, so you ask the Lord to heal the effects of the poison oak, but never desire to forsake the vine.
According to Paul, sorrow that we have over our sin will be revealed in the response we give. If we are sorrowful for our sin simply because we got caught in the act or because of what the sin did to us, it will never produce repentance. It will actually produce death. This is why people become suicidal when they fail. But if we are sorrowful after a godly manner, then that type of sorrow will always produce repentance. We will forsake our sinful lifestyle. There is a point in which repentance is the only thing that will bring freedom.
You may have desired to forsake a sinful lifestyle or something you knew was wrong such as pornography, drug addiction etc. but have not the power to break free. God may have to break these chains, but we must be willing to remain free. Once the chains are broken, you must forsake that life. Let us enter into the kingdom of God, where freedom from sin abides. If you are not walking in victory today, it could be that repentance is your missing link.