One morning at church, my pastor was talking about repentance.
He said that repentance is a two step process-first a changing of the mind/heart, THEN a changing of the action.
Hmm. Two steps, hu?
When I am battling sin, I often try and convince myself that my sin isn’t a big deal. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit doesn’t let me believe my own lie-He doesn’t want ANYTHING separating me from God.
Pastor Keith’s his “definition” intrigued me. How many times have I tired to change my actions when fighting sin, but not so much change my heart or mind? I long to be a woman that God is pleased with. I want to think like Him! I want to be obsessed with Him! I want to bring Him joy! So I need to obey, and when finding indwelling sin-repent by first changing my mind/my heart. Then my actions.
Here’s where my mind and heart should go. God is amazing.
He is kind and sweet and brilliant. He is all-sufficient. He is a good father. He is joy. He is holy. He is love. He has given me himself. Himself-the provider of nourishment and wisdom. The giver of good gifts and of peace.
If He-this amazing God, ruler, king, friend, and papa-asks me to obey him in this, do I not trust his wisdom and best for me? And do not love Him and long to honor him with delightful obedience?
I love my God. My powerful, sin-loathing, righteous, perfect, omnipresent God. I love Him and want to obey Him. He is trustworthy-His ways are best even if they don’t FEEL like it. And even if it NEVER “feels” best-it matters not, because He asked it of me, and nothing He can ask of me will ever be too much in comparison to all He has done and gives to me.
In order for my heart to change I NEED to look to Christ-the pinnacle of God’s love and grace. I need to look to his perfection, his justice, his love and mercy. I need to see his goodness and let that melt my sinful desires-nay replace them-with a greater desire: the desire to know and love my great God.
Accountability is the greatest tool I have ever experienced in my Christian walk. My two best friends that I meet with weekly, have been amazing listening ears and wise hearts. We confess sin to each other point each other back to Christ. We encourage each other through the week, and equip each other with practical helpful steps in the fight against our particular sins. We help each other fuel our love for Christ so that my love of sin is never greater.
My encouragement to my readers today, is to think about the sin in your life that is distracting you from loving God with enormous joy, and attack it! First address your heart and mind, and take practical action steps! Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂
“Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God.” John Piper
“Avalanches of evil begin with a single pebble of sin.” John Piper
“Prayer and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin or sin will choke prayer.” J.C. Ryle
“You and your sins must separate or you and your God cannot come together.” C.H. Spurgeon
“He that hath slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of the Savior.” John Owen
“The more holy a man becomes, the more he will loathe and mourn over the remains of indwelling sin.” C.H. Spurgeon
“The custom of sinning takes away the sense of it, the course of the world takes away the shame of it.” John Owen
“Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” John Owen