‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. ‘ Psalm 51:1-2,10-13
You ever miss an exit on the interstate? If you are like me, you have done this many times. I hate when I miss an exit and then it’s ten miles to the next exit before I can turn around. Last Wednesday night at Bible Study we talked about Repentance. Repentance is simply turning around and going a different direction. Spiritually speaking, God calls us to turn away from our sinful ways and attitudes and turn toward submission to His Will.
In Psalm 51 King David gives us an example of how he repented from his sin with Bathsheba. If you go back and read 2 Samuel 11 and 12, you will find this great King has sinned greatly against God by committing adultery, and then he committed murder to cover it up. When God confronted David of his sin through the Prophet Nathan, David realized it was time to REPENT. As David repented, you can see him:
- Request mercy
- Request a separation from the sin through cleansing
- Request a pure heart and steadfast spirit
- Request to remain in God’s presence
- Request a restoration of joy
- Request a willing spirit to sustain him.
David made a 180 degree turn around from his sin.
We obviously need God’s help to truly repent of our sins, but we must make the move to forsake our sin and turn to God and come into complete submission to Him. Repentance is more than feeling sorry, or raising our hand at an altar call, or signing a dedication card. Those things are good, however, true repentance is turning to God and away from our sin. Thank God I don’t have to wait for ten more miles before I can turn around. I can turn around now because of His mercy and grace.
What are your thoughts about repentance?