Finding Christ Relevant to Every Area of Life

Choose Repentance Not Pretense

CONSIDER

Those who choose to receive God’s truth and enter into Christ’s redemptive process will move to repentance. Repentance is that place where we turn from our philosophy of self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. It is opting to live and do life God’s way and giving up our self-sufficiency.

BIBLE TRUTH

“Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. . . .” (Isa. 58:2–3 NLT)

HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO ME?

Those who continue in deception may attempt a ritual of repentance. With no true heart change, they may go through the motions commonly deemed consistent with repentance such as crying, revealing sinfulness, asking for forgiveness, going to the altar, making promises to be different, or even a renewed religious fervor. But these actions are merely playing “good” as these individuals attempt to feign something they do not possess. They are not actually seeking to be free from the domination of sin, but merely free from the consequences of their sin. Deceptive individuals hope to project the virtue of godly change while remaining in their philosophy of self-centeredness. Through an elaborate ruse they attempt to regain power and control so they can once again manipulate trust to exploit others. But as we give up our willfulness to God and relinquish ourselves unreservedly to Christ, submission to God’s authority, obedience to God’s design, and death to our selfish desires will result.

PRAYER

Lord,  I do not want to be one who humbles myself by going through the motions of penance, bowing my head like reeds bending in the wind. Convict me when I dress up and pretend to be spiritual. I know that does not please You. . . .

Isa. 58:5

(excerpts from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis)

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