What IS real repentance?

2 Kings 22-23:25
22:11 “When the king heard what was written in the book, God’s Revelation, he ripped his robes in dismay.” (Message) 

“The impressions which the reading of the law made upon Josiah were that he rent his clothes, as one ashamed of the sin of his people and afraid of the wrath of God; he had long thought his kingdom was in a bad state, by reason of the idolatries and impieties that had been found among them, but he never thought it so bad as he perceived it to be by the book of the law now read to him. The rending of his clothes signified the rending of his heart for the dishonour done to God, and the ruin he saw coming upon his people. The second impression was to enquire of the Lord (2 Kings 22:13). “What will we do; what course will we take to turn God’s wrath away and prevent the judgments which our sins have deserved.” In other words, “What will we do to be saved?” ” (Matthew Henry)

True repentance is something we rarely see or experience nowadays. When confronted by the Holy Spirit we are shaken to the very foundations of our soul – our belief systems! It causes us to fall to our knees because we have seen the very pit in which we are. We see our unrighteousness compared to Jesus’ holiness. This experiences hits us at our deepest core and we can never be the same again! We ‘rend’ our clothes and fall to our knees. This only comes about by the Holy Spirit. The Word says that, “…no one comes to Jesus unless the Father draws them…”

Someone suggest that this is no longer applicable for today and that talking this way brings on condemnation and exclusion. When talked about, shame and rebellion is exposed and that was not love. Yet when Christ went to the Cross the Word says He took our shame upon Himself – that WAS love!

Concise Oxford Dictionary –

  • Conviction:
    1 the act or process of proving or finding guilty.
    2 a. the action or resulting state of being convinced.
    b. a firm belief or opinion.
    c. an act of convincing.
  • Condemnation:
    1 express utter disapproval of; censure.
    2 a. find guilty; convict.
    b. to sentence to a punishment, esp. death.

Which of the two do you really feel? Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit to encourage one to see their guilt and convince them to change. Condemnation comes from the evil one who says ‘there is no hope’, you are sentenced already!

Why do we cover up our weaknesses and our rebellion that in reality is against God? We’ve learned it through generations starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden when they covered up their nakedness with fig leaves. When we, at our core, are exposed, found naked – we hide immediately behind our personal fig leaves.

There are many ‘voices’ all around us. What are they saying? Do they build and encourage us to conform to His image – what ever that takes? Do they suggest there is an ‘easier way’, one that says we don’t really have to be exposed or allow ourselves any discomfort by dealing with the real issues?

If we are in a place of isolation, hiddenness, denial and fear of exposure – may I suggest that we chose to trust and open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus says is the ‘other Comforter’ – and allow Him to bring us to the point of ‘comfort’ through the path of being exposed by His Light, the Truth that will set us free, through true repentance and a life changed forever! No more excuses; no more turning back!