October 17

 

A Call to Repentance

 

Hebrews 4:13-16

How many times have you gotten caught in a "guilt cycle"? This involves confessing the same old sin, telling God you're sorry, and promising not to do it again—while suspecting that you probably will. Then around you go again. You've come clean dozens of times but still have no victory. Yet there is a biblical promise that states, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, emphasis added).

Friends, God is holding up His end of that promise. It's people who fall short—we have turned confession into a rote recitation of our shortcomings. The attitude is, I'm disappointed in myself, but I am weak and God knows that. True confession means agreeing with the Lord about sin, and it is inseparably linked with repentance; they're two sides of the same coin. To repent is to turn our back upon wrong. By looking at our sin from God's perspective, we will see a vile, wicked habit with terrible consequences, and we'll want to run from that as fast as possible!

In practical terms, to confess and repent requires the intentional decision to say, "By the Holy Spirit's power, I'm turning away." Satan will still tempt you, and failure remains a possibility. But God can break the chains of your sin, and He wants to set you free.

Victory can be immediate or a process of trading wrong choices for right ones. In some cases, temptation involving habitual sin never goes away. Then it becomes necessary to face each day in God's strength. When you forsake sin, the power of heaven is there to help you.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.