One of the best days ever was a day Rick (my husband) and I went out for a spontaneous summer walk, and out of nowhere the sky let loose with a pouring down of refreshing rain. It was the most exhilerating feeling. We started laughing and running, but all the while enjoying the soaking.
This is what I pictured when I read Acts 3:19 this morning.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out,
that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
When we are practicing repentance, God sends the most breath-taking refreshment into our lives.
Repentance is not a one-and-done when we surrender our lives to Christ. Yes, we are fully forgiven of our sins through Jesus' death on the cross, but since we still live in bodies of flesh, we must learn the practice of repentance.
True repentance is the practice of confessing and turning away from sin so we can walk in His refreshment every day. Just because we've chosen Christ as Savior doesn't mean we always behave as perfect children.
Just as children learn the daily disciplines of brushing their teeth, washing their hands before meals and after going to the bathroom, taking baths, saying, Thank you and Please, God's children are learning the daily spiritual disciplines needed to live a life that brings Him glory.
Confession is only a part of this daily spiritual discipline. We must ask for forgiveness for the things we know we've done (or not done) that hurt the Father's heart. But confession only is not enough. This spiritual discipline also includes repentance.
- Confession is agreeing with the Father that we've stepped out of line with His Truth.
- Repentance is turning away from the sin and realigning of our steps with His.
We cannot live the Christian life without implementing spiritual disciplines. Why not pause right now and ask the Lord to bring any out-of-line behavior that you need to confess, and do it? Confess. Agree with the Father that you've strayed from His Truth to seek pleasure for yourself, veering away from the Light. Then, with a sincere, broken heart, repent. Turn away from the dark path of destruction you've been headed in, and get back on the path of righteousness. Repentance brings sweet relief.
Let God "wipe out" your sins today and refresh your soul with a good, mercy soaking of His rain.