Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the LORD...~ Acts 3:19
This may very well be the most important message I have ever relayed. In recent weeks I have been contemplating and studying the literal meaning of Biblical repentance. It is not simply mouthing the words ‘I’m sorry’ from a callous heart. It is, in fact, a gracious gift that continues to be extended to you and me.
Without this gift, we are truly a hopeless, wandering, and dehydrated people.
It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance...
...exhorts Paul! (Romans 2:4)
That refreshing (korat-ruach) that our spirits yearn for is directly linked to our receiving what He is giving...will we shema (hear and obey) and drink of it?
2 Timothy 2:25-26 says:
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
Did you catch that? There are some who have been taken captive by the enemy to do his will. And you and I are no exception when we walk in our self-destructive and self-deceiving ways.
Can you make the deceived to see (whether it be you or me)? Emphatically, NO! Should you condemn them for something they cannot see? Again, no...you don’t slap a blind man for walking into a wall.
This is why we are instructed to fervently and specifically pray for one another that God would grant His gift of a penitent heart. And this is why He made His Body as it is - connected with divine purpose!
Without HIM first granting our repentance, we could never gain a better view! We could never even know the Truth. It is all contingent upon HIS granting repentance. Only then are we able to shuwb - return - to the One Who is calling. Only then do we cease grieving the Spirit of God as HE eagerly awaits our returning so that He may pour ‘times of refreshing’ upon our drought-stricken spirits.
Plainly Sisters, Korat-ruach (Hb. meaning cooling of the spirit; ‘times of refreshing’; or contentment) is tied into our shuwb (returning or ‘a putting it in reverse’). And our shuwb is wholly dependent upon His premier and providential granting to us nocham (repentance or godly sorrow).
Take a look at 2 Corinthians 7:8-10!
If I caused you pain by my letter, I do not regret it. Even if I did regret it before - for I do see that that letter did distress you, though only for a short time - now I rejoice not because you were pained, but because the pain led you to turn back to God. For you handled the pain in God's way, so that you were not harmed by us at all. Pain handled in God's way produces a turning from sin to God which leads to salvation, and there is nothing to regret in that! But pain handled in the world's way produces only death.
Read it, meditate upon it and then ask yourself, ‘Am I asking my Heavenly Father daily for this gift of repentance for me? For the Body of Christ?
Church, what would happen if we prayed this way?
Metanohsate oun kai epistreyate!
Translation: Repent (due to the new understanding He has given) therefore; and be converted (come back)!
He promises refreshments for those who return!
I am so very thirsty...
Father God bring korat-ruach upon Your people that we may proclaim in the power of Your Spirit as Zechariah prophesied, ‘deliverance (a cool drink) comes through the forgiveness of sins!’ (Luke 1:67-79). Thank You for Your long-suffering kindness toward us. I'm thirsty LORD...I need a drink from You that I might see and repent just as Job when He said, 'I've heard you with the hearing of the ear, but NOW my eyes see You and I abhor myself and REPENT in dust and ashes! (Job 42:5-6)" May You give us a new understanding and may we drink deeply in Jesus’ Name, praying fervently, patiently and continually for one another. Amen.