Saturday, May 21, 2011

Repentance is Incomprehensible

Repentance is incomprehensible for the man who lives life on his own terms.  It defies logic.  It defies all notions of what is best for the individual.  Repentance is impossible for the man who will not give his life over into the sovereign will of God. Someone living in this country illegally and becoming a Christian, would think it imcomprehensible that God would demand that they return to their country's consolate and confess that they want to make it right with both our country and theirs and accept whatever the representive decreed they would have to do.  A man who has lived as a woman for 20 years would feel that it would be incomprehensible that he be asked to change back into the sex that he was born.  A man would think it incomprehensible that he should forsake all his dreams and goals for marriage and family and quietly submit to a life of uncertainty in a ministry that he was totally unequipped for.

These are all examples of incomprehensible situations.  Maybe they are very cut and dry for you the reader.  Maybe you could easily decide for someone else what they should do with their lives.  That is all your subjective reasoning.  But what happens when the tables are turned?  Are YOU willing to submit to God in what HE tells you to do even if it means you loose your life or that you are resigned to a life of abject solitude because of the choices you make removes you from all means of pursuing your own happiness with the people you so desire!  What would it take for you to surrender your life to God?  That is what I am talking about.  What if God's will were that you have no happiness and live the last two years of your life in obscurity with no way of being recognized?

I remember a situation of a man who was in this country illegally and receiving dialysis.  He was advised that he needed to return to his country to an uncertain situation there to keep from being a burden on other people in the church who had tried numerous times to help him, but for his own rebellion against the rules they set for their houses, he had to leave home after home until he had exhausted all options for habitations and help within the church.  Instead of submitting to the elders of the church, who were all unanimous in their counsel to him, he decided to leave the church and find some way to continue living in the country illegally so that he could receive his dialysis and retain his dreams of working again so that he can go back to his own way in life.  How sad.  He chose to keep his life rather than facing the risk of loosing it for the sake of Christ.  Why do I say this?  Because had he submitted, God would have been able to use this man.  But because he chose to continue in rebellion, he now lives his life like a godless man who has no testimony.

Anyone can repent.  The problem is that for each one of us, there is a challenge, a test that we may be unable to do because it goes against all that we think is logical and safe.  I remember the movie, "Luther", where Martin Luther said, "To go against conscience is neither right nor safe."  He was right.  If it violates your conscience, would you be willing to trust God or would you do what you think is right and safe? If so, you have not repented.

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