You Just Need to Repent
Taking time to be alone with God can be a dangerous thing to do! If you are not careful, solitude may just expose some things going on in your heart and life. You might have to face some hard facts and make some difficult yet life giving decisions.
It’s much safer (or so it seems) to keep the noise level loud of enough – so that we don’t have to face what’s really going on in our soul. Actually, its far more dangerous, in the long-run, to ignore the condition of your heart and just keep plowing ahead as though nothing is wrong.
What gets exposed when we get alone are our feelings and our thoughts. Up to the surface comes emotions and ideas that have gotten buried beneath the layers of pain and life. When these things surface, we may actually need to repent.
Often when we think of ‘repentance’ we think of outward traditionally scorned activities. But repentance by its very definition starts with a change of ‘mind’. We often act in ways that are influenced by our insidious thoughts and flawed beliefs.
#1 – UNBELIEF
Sometimes I forget who I am dealing with when I interact with God. He is the Almighty. He is the Creator of all. He is the Sustainer of the entire universe. He holds it all together with one word from his mouth.
Jesus has defeated all that stands against me. He has conquered death. He has destroyed the works of the devil. He is active in our world and is inviting me to join his work.
When I forget this – I act in my own strength. My vision shrinks. I tend to try to survive rather than conquer.
#2 – DISTRACTION
I wasn’t sure what word to use for this. John 15 teaches us that when we ABIDE in the vine, we bear much fruit. But apart from Him we can do nothing. There are times when I forget that my main priority in life is just to stay connected in a love relationship with God through Christ.
Ministry activity can often disconnect me from the ‘vine’ if I am not careful. Being busy can be a barrier to maintaining intimacy. Times of solitude and focus are required to bring me back into line.
When I forget this – I act out of my own emptiness. There is no power. I begin to go through the motions rather than be carried by his grace.
#3 – AMBITION
There is nothing wrong with ‘ambition’ as long as it is aimed in the right direction. If I am ambitious to please The Lord or advance His Kingdom – then it’s a good ambition. But it doesn’t take much for my ambitions to be more oriented around ‘ME’.
I start to work to please others, prove myself, or simply perform successfully in the accomplishment of my tasks and goals.
When I forget this – I lose my joy. Pressure mounts and pushes me away from peace. Frustration grows because I am not hitting the mark. It’s miserable.
#4 – FEAR
It’s sneaky isn’t it? We start out with our motives right. Then it happens. We find ourselves working too hard because we are afraid we might fail, or we are afraid others might disapprove? We take on too much. We overwork.
Soon our life feels like its spinning out of control. But we are afraid to trust God or let go of the wheel – because we think that success is totally up to us. We forget that every breath we take and every beat of our heart is a gift from God. ‘Unless The Lord builds the house – the laborers work in vain.’
When I forget this – I become frantic. Stress mounts. Fatigue swallows my life. But there is no rest because I am afraid to simply trust God.
#5 – INGRATITUDE
It’s a total loss of perspective. We forget so easily what God has done for us to bring us to where we are. Every new problem we treat as if it is our first. We fail to realize that continued ongoing provision of grace that even allows us to stand.
Small problems get magnified. Big blessings get minimized. Self-pity enters the room. Depression starts to mount. It’s awful.
When I forget this – I walk around feeling sorry for myself. There is no vision. There is no joy. Without even realizing it I lose influence because of my poor demeanor.
So it’s time to repent. Get your mind and heart right. Seek forgiveness and start acting out of a right perspective.
What hidden snares can you identify to add to this list?