How To Walk In Repentance

Repentance

What Is Repentance?

Dictionary.com defines repentance as  “deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like. 2. regret for any past action.”  

Biblical repentance is to acknowledge and turn away from a life of sin to walk in surrenderance to God. One of the best examples and explanations of repentance in the Bible is Galatians 2:20.

‘I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. ‘ GALATIANS 2:20 NASB

I’ve pasted the scripture and added some notes in parentheses to break down the scripture.

Galatians 2:20 reads “’I have been crucified with Christ; (Put to death) and it is no longer I who live (Repentance turning from a life of sin), but Christ lives in me (surrendering to and pursuing God); and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God (walking in surrenderance / repentance), who loved me and gave Himself up for me (acknowledging that Christ died to save us from sin)”

The beginning of the verse talks about being crucified. The word crucify means to “put to death” this scripture, mirrors repentance “turning from”.  Galatians 2:20  sums up how we are called to live as Christians and it shows us the blueprint of repentance. True repentance is a lifestyle and something we must walk in daily. It requires us to turn from sin and turn to God.

Share some practical ways you remain intentional about walking out your repentance daily and not turning back to a life of sin in the comments below!

What Defines You?

what-defines-you

What defines your worth?

It’s a real question, isn’t it? One I’ve been asking myself lately, as I learn more and more about who I am in Christ. I’ve chewed on it and rolled it around in my brain until I thought I couldn’t think on it anymore.

It led me to a second question:

Why do I assume I’m not likable/attractive?

Yeah, I’ve dealt with those feelings for a long time now. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I feel like anyone will ever find me pretty? You know what, that’s a great question! I puzzled over it again and again until God finally pulled up one specific memory. I’ll give you the basics.

I was 11, maybe 12 (a very impressionable age), and not the prettiest flower in the meadow. My other friends were. Anyway, I was sitting in the church foyer during a wedding reception, talking to these two guys who were supposed to be my friends. (Keep in mind, these are junior high boys.)

Basically, the air had broken and in the middle of July, that’s not the best scenario. So I may have mentioned something about my being hot. Being juvenile boys, they took it and ran, insisting that I wasn’t. Meaning they didn’t think I was even remotely pretty.

It’s taken a lot for me to get over the hurt of this memory. For years, those three little words haunted me. “No, you’re not.” I let them stew inside my head, and I let them define what I thought other people would think of me. Because of those juvenile boys, who probably didn’t even realize the damage they were doing, told me I wasn’t pretty, I chose to believe it for almost ten long years.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that they were being idiots, and I don’t need their confirmation of facts I already know. Neither do you.

Let me show me something.

“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had good plans for you…”

Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)

If God knew you before you were even born, don’t you think His plans are perfect? Don’t you think He knew what you would look like, how you would sound, what your style would become? He put those things in you. He has good plans for you! And that’s not all.

“Oh, yes, You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank You, High God-You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body…”

Psalm 139:13-15 (MSG)

He knows you, inside and out. He made you! He knows every bone in your body. He knew what you would look like when He formed you, and God doesn’t make mistakes. He made you perfect!

I know you may not believe it now (even I have a hard time believing it sometimes), but to someone out there, some day, you will be the very thing they’ve been searching for all their life. To God, you’re already perfect. To that future someone, you’ll be perfect too! Everyone has different ideas about perfection, and despite the fact that you might sometimes feel like a failure, you’re not.

Don’t let the mean girls of this world define you. There will always be a voice trying to tell you that you’re not good enough. Don’t listen! The Voice above all other voices says “you’re perfect.” He leans down and whispers, “I made you, and I won’t leave you. I’m not going anywhere, and I’ll always look after you. You. Are. Mine.”

Why do we feel we need to go anywhere else to find our true worth? The One who created worth wants to hold you. Forever.

To Be Seen, To Be Known

ToBeSeen

Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one can see you?  A few weeks ago, I sat with a woman who was lamenting about being overlooked.  Her heart wanted desperately to be seen as valuable, worthy, capable, and a blessing.  As we dug deeper through our conversation, she shared that she had been overlooked her whole life.  Then she said these words.

I think this is why I am fat.  I am making myself seen.  You can’t help but see me.

At first, I was stunned to hear this woman speak these words.  I have known her for years, and I would hardly consider her a woman who was invisible.  She was one of the first women I was drawn to at our church, because of her beautiful heart for God. Her infectious sense of humor and her wisdom.  I sought her out, and yet she feels invisible.

Then I began to reflect on women in my circle. Including myself.  There is the woman who incredibly loud, The woman who dresses over the top for all occasions.  There is the woman who is always up for anything, the life of the part.  The woman who posts a million photos on Facebook and Instagram.  The woman who always has something to say in every conversation.  The woman who is quick to raise her hand, volunteering on every committee and project.

I wondered, how many of these women were just trying to be seen, to be known.

I thought about all of the times when I have cried out to God, and it seemed like He didn’t hear me.  I thought about the number of occasions I was waving my arms at God saying “pick me, use me” and felt He had passed me by.

Have you ever felt invisible to God?

But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:3

His word tells us that He knew us as we were being stitched together in our mother’s womb, that he knows our voice, He knows those who belong to Him, he calls us by name.

Last week, I stood in line at the Deli section of the grocery store waiting for my number to cue.  I watched the people working behind the counter rushing to serve each customer efficiently but quickly.  When it was my turn, I used all the manners I had been raised with.  Please.  May I have…?  Then, as she handed me my last package, I glanced down at her name tag.  “Thank you, Linda.  Have a great weekend.”

I was no different than the customers before me, with one exception.  I called her by name.  I saw her.  She was known.  I watched the stress lift from her face, her eyes light up, and the corners of her lips turn up into a smile.  I made eye contact with her, smiled back, and went about my day.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

The Lord knows you, by name.  You are His, and the Lord is the Good Shepherd, who tends to the needs of His flock.  We may not always understand where our Shepherd is leading us, or why He asked us to wait.  But, he has not forgotten us.  He is the Shepherd, who seeks the one lost sheep.  The Creator who provides for the sparrows of the field.  The Lamb, who was slain for my sins, … your sins.  He gave His life for you that you would be covered by the blood and saved FOR eternity with Him.

When the road is weary, the wait is tiring, and your strength seems to fade, remember His promises.  Wait on Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

      29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

      30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

      31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

And He said GO, to the ends of the Earth.

and he said go

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

Do not be afraid.  Such simple words, strong words, peppered throughout the scriptures.  Do you know, sweet sister, that the Lord was speaking to YOU?  His Word assures us in no uncertain terms that we need not be afraid, because where ever the Lord sends us He goes before us and comes behind us.  He has commanded us to GO.

As a woman who married young, had her children young, it has been harder for me to get up and go.  We have finances to consider, but I also have to consider my husband’s schedule and make arrangements for my children’s schedules as well.  When I am gone, there is still a family that needs to eat at home.  When I leave for a period of time, I have a family who is begging me to come home.  There are so many opportunities that come up that I would love to be a part of, yet He has placed me in a family, and I am to be a good steward with that blessing.  My mission field begins with the children the Lord has entrusted into my care, that I bring them up in the way of the Lord so that when they are old they will not turn from it.

For our single women, however, the world is before you to go and serve your fellow man.  You are in a season of life where the Lord has gifted you a freedom to GO.  Whether you choose to go to your local community center and volunteer your time with the people who share the same neighborhood as you, or you decide to board a plane and fly across the globe to serve the “least of these.”  What stops you from taking on those adventures?

Are you afraid?    He says, fear not.

Are you imperfect?  You are made perfect in Him.

Are you unqualified?  He qualifies and equips those He calls.

Are you called?  If you are a believer, then the answer is yes.  Now, just pray for the Lord to reveal where that calling will lead you.

. 18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, am with you always, to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:18-20

The Holy Spirit grants us gifts, talents, and skills that we are to use for the Glory of God wherever we go.  Each day, as we walk out our front door, we are encountering the “least of these”.  Each day, we become keenly more aware of the hurt, pain, and suffering in this world.  Each day, we are presented with new opportunities to share the Healer, Comforter, and Rock with those who are pressed down by the weight of this fallen world.

Your mission field starts right where you are.

When the Lord asks, “Who will go?”

Will you say “Here I am Lord, send me.”?

Because you, sweet sister, are ready to go and make disciples of all the nations starting with the ones in your neighborhood and to the ends of the earth.  For you do not walk alone, but with the One, who redeems.