Saturday, January 7, 2006

Repentance is a Wonderful Thing

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD.
(Isaiah 1:18)
Repentance is a wonderful thing. Most people associate it with “sorrow for sin.” Now, sorrow for sin may lead to repentance, or it may even result from it. But that is not what repentance itself is. The Greek word behind it is metanoia and literally means to “change your mind.” In the Bible, it is an exchange of our thoughts and ways for God’s.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
   Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   So are My ways higher than our ways,
   And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)
God’s thoughts and ways are much higher than ours, but that does not mean we cannot know them. In fact, God invites us to come and know His thoughts. That is what He means when He says, “Come now, and let us reason together.” In other words, come and learn God’s ways, come and know His thoughts, come and get His wisdom. Proverbs 3:5-6 puts it this way:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
   And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
   And He shall direct your paths.
Many people believe that we cannot know God’s ways and thoughts. They often quote 1 Corinthians 2:9, where Paul says, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’” Most of them don’t go on to quote or even read the very next verse: “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).

So we do not have to be stuck with our own thoughts and ways. We can know God’s thoughts and walk in His ways. My ways are feeble and my thoughts limited, and I am more than ready to get rid of them and receive God’s thoughts and ways.

Thank God for repentance! Now I can wake up everyday and go the Father to learn what new thing He has for me. It is a joy when He shows me where my ways have been ineffective and my thinking has been off. Because then I get to repent, to change my mind and start thinking God’s thoughts about whatever issue I am facing. I look forward to repenting because I know that I am about to receive an upgrade in my life. My own understanding will always ultimately fail, but God’s thoughts and ways will always bring success.

Repentance is a wonderful thing, and a good way to begin every year, every month, every week, even every day. Have you repented today and experienced the delight of changing your thoughts for God’s? His thoughts are found in the Scriptures, and if you ask, the Holy Spirit will open them up to you.