Saying Sorry To God
Conventional spiritual wisdom says sinners need to tell the LORD they are sorry and then ask God to help them do better next time. The trouble is, saying you are sorry doesn’t do much of anything for anybody. While it may make you feel good, such repentance is essentially self-centered. It changes nothing for those who have been hurt and leaves people as deeply in darkness as they were before they repented.
Where does scripture tell us that all we need to do is just say “sorry” and ask God for help? It doesn’t. Instead, the Word declares, “The Kingdom of God is taken with violence by violent men.”
Gentle Lord Jesus said it is better to chop off your own hand than to burn in Hell, recommending that we pluck out our eyes, rather than continue in sin.
Jesus said, “stop sinning,” not “stand still while I restrain you.”
But did God take His own advice? Because it was better for one man to die, than for all of Israel to be lost, Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. It pleased HaShem to bruise Jesus. He was cut off from life and willingly accepted death on the cross. The Father dealt with sin (Jesus) with brutality and violence, and He expects us to do the same. He does not require us to tear out the eye of our opponent, but to tear out our own. He expects violent repentance, a willingness to choose Him against our own comfort, self-interest and even life itself.
Violent repentance for a child molester would be to bare the entire truth about his actions and turn himself in to the police. Anything less than this is insufficient. Saying he is sorry for what he has done and asking God to help him control himself is not what it takes.
“He who seeks to save his life shall lose it and he who loses his life for my sake will have everlasting life.”
Proverbs warns us to buy the truth and not sell it. Being transparent before The Holy Spirit and accepting consequences is the currency of God’s Kingdom. Jesus warned that we will either fall upon the rock and be broken or else the rock will fall on us and grind us to power. He ought to know. He is that rock.
War is violent. The forces that seek to keep our hearts and minds in bondage have had thousands of years to practice. The enemy prepared his strategy long before your birth. Passivity will not carry the day but taking bold, decisive action in response to sin takes real courage.
Fear bars the door to violent repentance, but tearing down the refuge of lies we cower behind is the only course of action that will bring freedom. It is painful and it will break you. Fearless honesty breaks covenants with hell and agreements with death. This is what Jesus, the overflowing scourge, came to do. He came like a hail storm to tear down the lies that guard our hearts and create cleansed, fearless hearts, where God can live and we can function freely.
The Gospel is good news because it frees us from the power of sin. The good news of being broken on the Rock is that we have been given resurrection life. The news of the modern church, that we will remain slaves of darkness, but without condemnation, is not good news at all.
Believe me, had Christ not healed the paralyzed man but, instead, used his carpentry skills to build him a ramp, we would not be reading about it.