Jeremiah 29:12-14 says, Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
A man may hate sin just as a murder hates the gallows but this does not prove repentance. If I hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of sin; I merely regret that God is just.
Charles Hadden Spurgeon
Genuine repentance is never easy. To confess your sin before God means that you are agreeing with Him that you have sinned and must be willing to forsake that sin. When we confess our sin, we are saying to God that He has the liberty to remove that sin from our life.
Those who confess their sins, intending to repeat the same offense, are only partially repentant. If we are only partially repentant, have we truly repented at all? Confess means that we admit we have sinned and give God authority in our life to remove it. This is not to imply that we will never commit the same sin again, but there needs to be a willingness to part with the sin and submit to God. If we are not willing to submit to God, and remove sin from our lives, we are in fact, self-centered and true repentance has not taken place. Do those that have sinned against God, ever consider how they have offended Him, or are they only wanting forgiveness to feel better, save face, or relieve their guilt?
God wants to draw us from sin to Himself and to use our struggles as stepping stones to a godly live-style. He not only wants us to be free from sin, but conformed to the image of His Son Romans 12:2. Sometimes, Christians think that victory over sin means that they will no longer be tempted in that sin, or that God will change their nature so that they will no longer desire to do evil. This is wrong thinking. To be tempted is not a sin but an occasion to rise above and battle against the temptation. Since we will always be tempted, we need to learn to handle temptation in God’s way.
In learning to handling temptation, we need to accept the fact that we will be tempted, but in that temptation, choose to be thankful for the opportunities it represents. We don’t thank God for the temptation but for the possibility that we will have in declaring our love and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thess. 5:18)
Quote from St. Augustine: “O Lord, Thou has made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their all in Thee.” Ultimately, not even victory over sin can satisfy. Only God can do that, for He has made you to need a personal relationship with Him.
Thought: The greater knowledge you have of God, the more often you will turn to Him. This added understanding will create in you a desire for fellowship with Him and the more time you spend fulfilling His purpose, a true devotion will take place in your heart. Seeing with God’s perspective means that you will learn to pray with confidence and in faith. God has brought this temptation into your life for your good. Thank Him for how He will use it. He wants to build you up and not to destroy. True repentance is acknowledging and agreeing with God that you have sinned and that He has the ultimate authority in your life to remove this sin from your life.