Struggling with Repentance
Most of us know what it means to struggle with sin. Here is a twist: what about the reality that we struggle with repentance? Remember David’s sin? At the height of his success as the king, he committed a major sin. One day while his army was out fighting the enemy, David stayed behind. He must have been bored so he went up to the roof top of his palace. While he was perusing (with delight and pride, I’m sure) the view, he noticed a woman taking a bath. It was Bathsheba. One thing led to another and David wound up having a baby with Bathsheba. Not only that, but David caused Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to be killed in the battle field.
This doesn’t sound like a man after God’s own heart, does it? Even for a man after God’s own heart, it took two years before David came to sense and sought God’s repentance. That means, he knew he had committed a major sin and then lived with it for two years without coming to God. It was only after God sent Nathan, a prophet, to confront David that David finally came to his knees asking for God’s forgiveness. David’s story shows how difficult it is for us to come to the place of repentance.
After David came to his senses, he repented. His repentance is captured in Ps. 51. In verses 7-12, David said, Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
Repentance means CHANGE OF MIND. It is the mighty change in mind, heart and life brought by the Spirit of God. It entails a fundamental change of mind, not just turning from sinful past but transforming our life plan, values, ethics and actions as we begin to see the real world through God’s eyes rather than our own.
The problem is that the conviction of sin and repentance are difficult. Oswald Chambers wrote, conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon and unnatural things that ever happens to a person. The very foundation of Christianity is repentance. There lies the struggle – it is unnatural for us to come to the place of repentance. We would rather ignore our sins, thinking that they will go away. It is natural for us to sweep sins under the rug, and pretend that nothing really happened. Yet, the very thing that God does is to convict us of our sins. Jn. 16.8 says, when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict the world of its sins and of God’s righteousness and of the coming judgment.
What must be done? As David prayed, we must pray as well … purify me … cleanse me … remove the stain of my guilt … create in me a clean heart ... Nothing less will allow us to live out His purposes.
Jason Cha, Esq.
CHA & NAM, APLC