“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? Joel 2:12-14
Herein lies the problem. We don’t want to repent. We want to avoid the consequences. We want God to be happy with us so that he will give us good things. But when it comes to our sin, we don’t want to give it up. We just want to manage it. We want to keep it, but keep it under control. Of course, God won’t cooperate with our foolish and offensive agenda. This hesitancy to repent is the reason we miss out on so much of God’s grace.
As I prepare for today and consider the sins to which I regularly return, I ask myself, “Am I willing to repent?” Will I choose to see sin for what it really is? Will I choose to return to God with all my heart? Will I fast and mourn? Have I reached the end of my rope? Will I tell my Lord, “Whatever it takes, let’s deal with my sin of ___”?
Father, thank you for confronting me – not just with my sin, but with my hesitancy to repent. I apologize for believing the lie that you have withheld something good from me and that sin was an acceptable means of obtaining that thing I desired. I apologize for the hardness of my heart and I humbly thank you for your mercy. Please forgive me for trying to manage my sin instead of walking with the Spirit. Please forgive me for resisting your call to repentance. I repent now and cry out to you for mercy.
Father, as I head out into your world today, you know the tests and temptations I will face. Please give me your grace to pass the tests and say no to the lies and temptations. Thank you for another day in which to walk with you and discover the beauty of holiness.