We are in the midst of 50 Days of Prayer, from Easter to Pentecost Sunday, believing God for an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s person and power on our personal lives as well as our New Song Nashville family as a whole. We are getting ready for revival, knowing that what is most needed in this hour is God’s people being fully alive in the Spirit, loving Jesus supremely and serving the world sacrificially.
One of the keys to opening the door to a dynamic work of God in the lives of His people is a righteous resolve to be committed to a lifestyle of repentance. Repentance must be something that is explained with clarity and engaged with conviction. This is our focus this week as we daily move toward a greater visitation of God that rapidly moves toward a habitation of God in the Spirit.
A Story Of Repentance On the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached a powerful and prophetic message on how Jesus of Nazareth was the only one who could have qualified to be Messiah, Savior and Lord and that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit they were observing was the very thing the prophet Joel had foretold so many years before—that God would pour out His Spirit on a receptive people, reviving them to release the revelation of God’s redemptive purposes in the earth.
The people responded to the message with a key question: “What shall we do?” Peter’s answer was swift and sure: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:14-39). Three thousand people received his word, repented and believed on the crucified, resurrected, ascended and glorified Lord Jesus Christ. The results were dynamic and dramatic—a new community of repentant, redeemed and reconciled believers living together in the life, light and love of God in Christ Jesus (Acts 2:40-46).
What Is Repentance? Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of attitude and action. It is thinking rightly about sin and righteousness, right and wrong, truth and error. As the Word and the Spirit reveal to us what is consistent with the character of Christ and the conduct of a Christ-follower, we align our thinking and come into agreement with what is right and righteous. This is what saves us as well as what sanctifies, strengthens and sustains us in our lives in Christ.
Why Repentance As A Lifestyle? It was thinking rightly about sin, righteousness and coming judgment that brought us into a reconciled relationship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same clarity on what pleases God and what grieves His heart that keeps us clear and clean in our relationship with Him. Every day we must clearly confront and confess sin, not as something salvational but as something relational, as we protect and preserve our intimacy with God the Father and our Lord Jesus (John 15:1-8).
How Does Repentance Happen? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal attitudes and actions in your life that are sinful or just wrong—things that don’t line up with the word, will and ways of God. Confess what is revealed to you and allow the Spirit to help you feel remorse and regret for these things. Receive the forgiveness and cleansing that God provides and resolve to not give place to these sinful things any longer (I John 1:6-9).
When Jesus was teaching His disciples to pray, He said that they should pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12). Repentance is not a one-time act. Repentance should be practiced as a lifestyle that will keep you clear and clean before the Lord, opening the way for a more intimate and life-giving relationship with Him.
Remember: The road to revival is paved with passionate and penitent hearts and minds that are wholly submitted and surrendered to the lordship of Christ, hungering for His righteousness to reign in every area of their lives.