Agreeing with God
"In repentance and rest is your salvation ..." (v. 15)
A definition of repentance I once heard someone use and which I like very much is this: "Repentance is agreeing with God." When we repent, we adopt the attitude that God is right and we are wrong. When you think about it, there is very little point in disagreeing with God over anything because being God, He is always right. So many problems people have brought to me during the years I have been involved in Christian counseling were rooted in a difficulty they had in their relationship with God. Time and again I have heard people say things such as: "But God can't really expect that of me." " Isn't God being too hard on me in wanting me to yield to Him on this?" "Sometimes God seems to forget that we are human." What underlies all these statements? A difficulty in believing that God is right in everything He says and does.
This is why whenever I hear such statements I ask people to tell me something about how they entered the Christian life. Almost always I find that they never underwent a radical repentance when they first became Christians
. Because they never knew what it was to agree with God (that is, fully repent) when they first came into the Christian life, subsequently they seemed to want to argue with Him (or at least raise objections) over any issue that appeared to threaten their self-centeredness. Our wills have to capitulate to God's will if we are to develop a deep relationship with the Almighty. And the best moment to understand this is at the moment of conversion.
Father, forgive me if my response to Your challenge is one of resistance and argumentation. If my ego is not at Your feet then help me put it there today. For the sake of Your Son who gave His life for me. In His Name I pray. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What attitude did Paul take?
2. How did he describe the result?