I led our leadership team in corporate repentance on Friday night.
We made it personal first: what did we each need to repent of in our own hearts? Pride, greed, offense, gossip, fill in the blank... And then we cried out for our city, our nation, and the nations of the earth as we repented on their behalf, asking God to heal our hearts and heal our land.
I love prophetic acts because they're a demonstration of humility before God, showing the enemy that we, God's people, aren't messing around. We're on the move and we're a united front.
"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
The R word, repentance, isn't sexy, but it's effective, and it only works when we choose humility. Our words, motives, and subsequently, our actions (or lack thereof) start in our hearts. It's imperative that we become aware of the conscious or subconscious meditation of our hearts (Psalm 19:14), if we want to see change in us and in our world.
Repentance requires what I would call a turning on our behalf, yes, from our wicked ways. Now, some of us are automatically thinking of an extremely wicked person, but any partnership with the enemy's ways is wicked, and we have to choose to turn from it. Need a reference point? They can look like gossip, slander, pride, arrogance, greed, selfishness and offense, to name a few, and if we're completely honest, we probably partnered with a few of those this morning before we even started our morning commute! Go ahead, I'll give you a moment to take that post down... wink, wink.
In Christ, we are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17)! But we still have to choose to walk in our true identity on a daily basis in order to keep shedding the old ways we once walked in, while intentionally putting on Christ. You were created by and for love - this is good news!
As followers of Jesus, our faith is active, not passive. We are all in a constant cycle of pruning and flourishing, pruning and flourishing. Intentionally recognizing of the state of our hearts before God is vital to personal transformation, and in turn, the transformation of communities and nations. As we continue to partner with our divine nature as new creations, we'll begin to see change all around us.
We've got to ask ourselves what places and over what things has God given us the authority to pray? What assignment, region, workplace, family, nation, and/or people group has He brought around us and asked us to actively love? And what are we doing about it? Lofty ideas don't work here, but repentance, prayer and action will. Matthew 4:17 tells us that, as His first act after coming out of His desert testing & beginning His earthly ministry, "Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This emphasizes just how crucial the act of repentance is, not only for our personal walk, but for the kingdom of heaven coming on the earth! What do we need to turn from, and instead, turn to Jesus? Where do we need to walk in humility and turn from pride? Pride is at the root of most of our problems.
Repentance from self-preservation is what brings us to Jesus in the first place, and it doesn't stop on the day we begin to follow Him. It is the daily choice and act of humility that changes us and changes nations. The R word is pretty powerful.