I want to change our whole concept of repentance. God is instilling in us the mind of Christ, the mind of sons and that is a dynamic change for us. When David sinned against the Lord in his violation with Bathsheba and killed her husband, he recognized that he had done some horrible things (2 Samuel 11:3-6, 15). But his expression of repentance in Psalm 51 reveals that David did not leave the presence of God to try to make himself better; instead, he engaged God in a relationship as his friend. David stood in God’s presence and said, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:10-11).1 David recognized that he could not work it up. Only God could change him and create something new in his spirit.
When Christianity separated itself from its Jewish foundations, a whole new concept about repentance came into the Church. Christians felt they had to crawl up the stairs of a church on their knees, flog themselves with leather strips, and view themselves in a way that made them vulnerable to the lies and accusations of the satanic kingdom. It made them feel dirty or condemned; however, that concept of repentance is foundationally incorrect. Repentance as we know it in the Church often includes the concept, “I’m bad. I’m horrible. I have this old nature in me.” When you think about repentance this way, it is almost like a worship of your old nature. But David did not have that. Instead, he cried, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12).
I want the Lord to open a door for us to walk into a different reality of what it means to repent, of what it really is to have this deep interchange with God. I want us to experience what Yeshua (Jesus) did as He stood before the Father and was created into the complete image of God. He was brought forth as Immanuel, God with us in this earth (Matthew 1:23). Yeshua learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Hebrews 5:8), and God made Him perfect. The Father is honored by this process. That to me is real worship—to stand before our Father in a personal relationship with Him. Anything else is blasphemous because it refuses God by trying to perfect ourselves.
Once you see your sin, you recognize that you do not have the answers. But you can draw the opposite from God of what you just did. That becomes the solution and is the proof of true repentance. A broken spirit says, “I will stand in Your presence.” It takes a contrite heart to be able to come to God and aggressively engage in this level of a relationship. God does not want anything from our initiative that tries to make ourselves better. Instead, come to Him and declare, “You are God. There is nowhere else in the universe that I can receive these qualities because they only exist in You! I am coming to You this minute and worshipping You as God because You have the willing Spirit that I need. You have the joy that restores the joy of my salvation. You have the steadfastness that makes me stand immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). This approach changes everything in our relationship with Him. It is going to be so simple because all we have to do is come to Him.
1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).