Friday, October 14, 2011

Repentance & Power

"Those who fear the Lord bear repentance in their hearts." - Proverbs

At first glance, I think most of us would get the wrong idea about this scripture. Somehow, for some reason, when I first think of a person who ''bears repentance in their heart", I get a mental image of a morose, "repentant" individual who is dogged by the awareness of his own failures - despite the fact that that is not how I would otherwise describe a "repentant" person.

What usually doesn't pop into my mind is the word power.

To 'repent' literally means to 'change your mind,' which causes you to change direction - to stop, turn, and retrace your steps. It's an easy thing to repent in words, and it's a grueling thing to repent in deed; in fact, I would go so far as to say that it is practically impossible to repent in deed - to repent for being cross and snappy towards your brother, and then never to do it again.

It would be impossible... were it not for the power of God. The Holy Spirit lives within those who accept the Lord, and He works to do the things that we can't, the things that we desperately need and desperately want (and desperately want to want). If we are living our lives mindful of the things of God, then we live in a continual mindset of repentance, "taking every thought captive to obey Christ." To do this, we must call upon and claim the Power of Yahweh for our help and salvation.

Yet, to my shame, I seldom find that I wake up in the morning and consciously say, "Today, I claim for myself the Power of Christ. I will not live in fear of Sin or the Devil, but I will walk in steadfastness of purpose and spirit, cleaving to the One who can do all things, and the Power that he gave to me when I received His Holy Spirit." And seldom, when I earnestly repent of a sin, do I call this same Power to mind, turn around and walk the opposite way with the Joy that the knowledge of this Power ought to bring.

George Macdonald said it best, "We are and remain such creeping Christians, because we look at ourselves and not at Christ; because we gaze at the marks of our own soiled feet, and the trail of our own defiled garments … having committed a petty fault, I mean a fault such as only a petty creature could commit, we mourn over the defilement to ourselves, and the shame of it before our friends, children, or servants, instead of hastening to make the due confession and amends to our fellow, and then, forgetting our own paltry self with its well-earned disgrace, lift our eyes up to the glory which alone will quicken the true man in us, and kill the peddling creature we so wrongly call our self."

I want to live every day in the Power of God, not the weakness of me. This is the only way to obey the Word and be steadfast in the Faith. For if we remain focused on our own base weaknesses and faults, the despairing knowledge of our frailty will swallow us alive. The Holiness of God is all-consuming. Keeping our eyes unwaveringly fixed upon His Power is the only way to be bearers of that Power ourselves, and to have the Joy that enables us to remain Steadfast.

"May the God of hope bring you such joy and peace in your faith that the power of the Holy Spirit will remove all bounds to hope." - Romans 15:13



Captain Starch said...

"...for my power is made perfect in weakness..."
- 2 Corinthians 12:9


Olivia said...

Gretchen this is exactly what I needed to hear right right now. Thank you for sharing what God put on your heart!!!

Katie Mahoney said...

Gretchen, I am so happy you have written again! I am sorry to say that I almost thought you had given up on your blog. :(
Thank you Gretchen for exhorting, encouraging, and reminding us of the Power of Christ that is within us.
I am so thankful for you, and Camille writing things of importance, and encouraging the daughters and sons of the King.
Hebrews 13:3-But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Christy Mahoney said...

This is a great post Gretchen.

I have been struggling in this area for a long time. I tend to look at myself and trust my own efforts. After failure, and more failure, I know that it can't be in my strength, but the power and the righteousness of God. (you can pray for me.)
Thank you for posting this, I will look forward to your upcoming posts.

Amy Barton said...

Wow ,Gretchen, this was so incredibly good. That REALLY just encouraged me. Thank you for sharing and keep writing!!!