As you are reading this magazine, we are right on the cusp of spring, which for many is the season to clean up and clean out. We always connote spring with cleaning, and it is a great time to do that. When we can finally see the ground, and it’s warm enough to be outside, we can begin to clear out old brush and shrubbery, remnant leaves and just plain dirt. You can do some seasonal cleaning inside as well, including windows and fireplaces. But did you ever think about also cleaning out your spirit – sitting down with God and asking him to cleanse you and purge you of those things that are not of Him?
Just as our homes and property need cleaning, so do we. We should have those times that we sit with God and seek revelation for any sins we must repent of, changes that need to be made or personal amends we need to make. We may not think we we need to do any of that, but God knows better. There are always hidden issues, sins or attitudes in us that the Lord needs to reveal to us. Often there are lies we believe that need to be refuted, or sin we don’t even know about.
We must always seek to be aligned with God in every way. Doing a spiritual cleaning with God is a necessity for anyone truly walking with the Lord. Repentance is a critical requirement of every Believer. If we’re not open to hearing what the Lord has to say to us or to changing what we do, we cannot fully walk with the Lord. He cannot use us to our fullest extent, and worse yet, we won’t walk out our destiny for the Kingdom of God.
What I’m talking about is being teachable. 2 Tim 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” If we’re not willing to receive correction or rebuke then we cannot expect God to elevate us. Some of us get offended or defensive when someone tries to teach us or correct us. If the Lord (and sometimes he uses people) can’t teach us, then we get stuck where we’re at and can’t move forward to the next place. We will remain stuck there until we’re willing to receive teaching and correction. Examine your life. Do you feel stuck and don’t know why? Ask God if this is an issue in your life.
Repentance is a powerful tool in the Kingdom. When we repent we remove the legal ground we gave to the enemy through our sin. When we sin, we open a door to the enemy. Did you hear me? I said WE open a door. Don’t blame the enemy for coming in when you opened the door. It’s up to you to shut the door if you want to get rid of him. But, you can’t do that until you repent for the sin that opened the door in the first place. Are you seeing how this works? Prov. 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
Repentance means to change your mind, to turn from something, to change your will to align with God’s, to get God’s perspective. Repentance is not just something you say, it’s a verb; it’s something you do. In order to truly repent you must physically quit doing an action, turn away from the action and go in the opposite direction. You have to quit sinning. In other words, your actions should line up with your words. If you tell God you repent of something, then you actually have to do it. Repentance is not feeling sorry; it’s actually making a change.
We can save ourselves a lot of trouble and torment if we learn to be people of repentance. Author Oswald Chambers, in his book, Utmost for His Highest, exhorts us to “quickly agree with your adversary.” What? Why should I agree the enemy? The reason is because he’s going to accuse you of your sin anyway and then walk through the door you opened. The quicker you “fess up” and repent, the quicker you close the door and get the enemy off your back.
We should always be asking the Lord what areas are not aligned with Him – where any repentance needs to be done. David directed the Lord in Psalm 139:23, “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” He was asking God to let him know where he is not surrendered and lined up with Him.
A good exercise to do for this is to get alone with God for at least an hour. Sit down with a pen and a pad and ask Him what you need to repent for. Just listen to what he tells you and write it all down. He may speak two items to you or a whole page of items. Just keep writing until you don’t hear anything further. Then go through the list and repent for each one. When you’re finished, ask God to forgive you for them all and then thank Him for doing so. Then, write across your list FORGIVEN, tear it up and throw it away. Once your sins are forgiven, they are gone. Make sure you also forgive yourself for everything too. Sometimes we forget to do that, and sometimes that’s the hardest part. But remember, if God has forgiven you, then you must also forgive yourself. This exercise is something Believers should do at least once or twice a year – even monthly if you choose.
You will be amazed at how much better you feel after doing this exercise, and how much better you can hear the voice of God. However, the most important thing is the ongoing maintenance we should do continually making sure we are aligned with the Lord in every area of our life.
This spring, as you are cleaning out your winter yard and stuffy house, perhaps you can also seek God and ask him to clean out the cobwebs of your spirit. Allow the Lord to speak to your heart and shut the doors of the enemy through your repentance. Ask Him to cleanse and purify your heart. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” Heb. 4:16.
Article Written by: Kim Shattell