The Kind of Repentance We Need
June 26, 2017
If my people… turn from their wicked ways; then will I…forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chr 7:14)
Few would disagree that America is amid the worst moral and spiritual collapse of its history. While morals have certainly been bad before, most current conditions eclipse all previous spiritual downturns. As disturbing as are these sobering realities, two questions stand preeminent. First, how could today’s catastrophic collapse have occurred amid America’s most conspicuous thirty-year prayer movement? Second, why have so many calls to repentance produced little resembling genuine revival or sweeping evangelistic power? Though the answers to these questions have multiple elements, among the most crucial is our understanding of genuine God-seeking repentance. In my years of pastoral experience and research, I believe two elements are crucial for a profound move of God.
1) Genuine repentance involves a thorough surrender to Christ’s Lordship and kingdom purposes. Many modern emphases of repentance tend to lack a thorough biblical examination of one’s whole life. True revival and repentance is not just a brief event, it is a deep, grace-based covenant to walk in full surrender to Christ’s holiness.
2) Genuine repentance is motivated by profound sorrow that we have offended God’s holiness, grieved His heart and profaned His name. It is primarily driven by a desire to please and glorify God, not just to fix our economy or avoid more serious judgments and persecutions. If our repentance is mostly about avoiding harder times, it is somewhat self-seeking and inferior in its goal. (James 4:1-4)
Unfortunately, some parts of the modern prayer movement have been “a mile wide and a half-inch deep with little focus on God-seeking repentance.” However, some parts of today’s movement are definitely real and deepening! I believe a Call2Fall is a move in the direction of II Chronicles 7:14 type repentance.
- Lord help us not only to pray in this critical hour, but to repent, with all the elements of true, God-seeking repentance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Acts 17:29-31)