Thanks to all of you for sticking with me. I can't promise it's going to get any better until I get back from Peru, but I still love you all.
So...Week #4 was all about repentance. Amber pulled some great questions from the Seeking Him Together portion of the week (again, if you're not reading that part of the study, DO IT. Some amazing questions and insights there). Question #2 grabbed my attention.
When God brings conviction of sin to the heart of one of His children, what does it tell us about Him?
I would say the key thing I've learned in this study is that revival begins with God...His invitation and His work. I have to respond, but I can't initiate revival in my heart. Part of my response is honesty (and though I never did get to write my post on honesty last week...WOW! It was a great week, wasn't it?!). When I'm honest with God about my sin, He will bring conviction.
You know, being honest isn't always comfortable. During Week #3, I was convicted... in spades. Still, I didn't want to risk being honest. I was being eaten alive one painful bite at a time by a secret...but I was convinced that getting it out in the open would be much worse. Finally, I responded to God's conviction. I repented and put it all out on the table. The relief was immediate.
Again I was reminded that God loves me too much to leave me where I am...Praise His Name! He has something better for me than cowering in fear. The conviction was tough, but repenting brought restoration and strengthened both an earthly relationship and my relationship with Him.
This post on discipline versus punishment primarily speaks to parenting, but can also be applied to our spiritual lives. God uses conviction and discipline to make us more like Him. How we respond to Him is our choice, but we will not experience true revival without repentance.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. - 2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV)
Do you have any thoughts on repentance? I'd love to hear them! If you're part of our study group, the link for this week's discussion is here. For anyone who's not following along, feel free to leave a comment.
Up next - Week #5, Grace.