The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come… 2 Peter 3:9-10a
Recently Beth Moore wrote about repentance. Her words were so compelling it seemed she was pouring out her heart and speaking directly to me. Imploring me to get this repentance thing right. I was convicted. She said,
A tidal wave of seduction looms over us. We are being taken down behind the scenes by the thousands, feeling alone and isolated and having no idea how many are enduring the same kinds of suffering and defeat. Let’s come back together and get brushed off, cleaned up and fortified by the Spirit. Let’s own our brokenness, our enormous temptations and weaknesses and go back to the practice of true repentance and commit ourselves to the pursuit of sanctification. Beth Moore, LPM Blog, 2/19/16.
Ow, I mean WOW!! Just WOW!! The practice of true repentance…the pursuit of sanctification. Hmmm… So, one morning I decided to ask God to search my heart and show me all I needed to repent of. Twenty minutes and half a journal page later, He was still downloading – selfishness, unforgiveness, disobedience. While there was no sin they would put me in jail for, sin is sin and it all grieves God. Honestly, I don’t think He was done that morning, but I had to get to work.
Then there was sanctification. Not being sure what it really meant or how to go about it, I looked it up. In his Grace to You post, pastor, author and Bible scholar John MacArthur wrote The Steps of Biblical Sanctification. In it he says,
True sanctification begins with renewing your mind. You must know the truth, plain and simple. There’s no premium on ignorance in sanctification. You’re not going to get there through some emotional or mystical experience. Spiritual growth won’t happen by osmosis—it requires the discipline of constantly putting God’s truth in your mind. John MacArthur, Grace to You, The Steps of Biblical Sanctification 9/13/12.
Then, while studying about patience as a fruit of the Spirit in preparation for this post, I ran across an article by Briarwood pastor Harry Reeder titled The Patience of God written in 2004. In it, he references the introductory scripture. The Lord is being patient for my sake, our sake. Giving us time to repent because He wants to leave no one behind.
The exercise of listing my sins, seeking Gods face as I repent, praying for His help and forgiveness was humbling. Yet it was also incredibly freeing. Confessed sin no longer weighs me down. With God’s help I can change my ways and I can breathe. And isn’t that what we do when we determine to be patient? Take a deep breathe.
When sin tempts, I purpose to fill my mind with God’s truth. Because of His strength I can do all things. Repentance isn’t a one and done. It’s a daily practice but, I can be patient with myself. He is not through with me yet. Breathe in. Breathe out. Selah…
Your Turn: Has God called you to a time of repentance? Share your experience with us in the comment section. ~ Breath on Paper