They went out and preached that people should repent. Mark 6:12 (TNIV)
Jesus sent out His Disciples into the surrounding towns and cities to preach the good news. It was time, heaven knew that the world was ready to hear that God was at work and that man could draw near to Him. But WHAT they taught deserves our attention.
All the children who have flocked to the call of Jesus Christ and would call themselves Christians will admit their need to repent. It was the first message from John the Baptist, Jesus, and now the Disciples were taking up the cry. So well have we been instructed on the subject and our need for carrying it out that it should need no further elaboration.
However, those powers that would stand in our way and prevent us from standing on that future day, cleansed and restored to our God are crafty and cruel. Our fallen nature combines its efforts with the devious work of conniving spirits and the prince of darkness himself. They will not forgive themselves to let another lamb slip through into a blessed land where they are not permitted to call home.
Yet this shinning home is what we have been offered, a warm relationship inside of the embrace of our loving Father. So we perk up our ears and the message comes. “Repent”!
We privileged individuals who are not persecuted openly today on our faith, like to slide into an easy and comfortable thought. We like to think that confessing, feeling sorry for what we used to do, and then boasting our belief in Christ is what repentance is. In so doing we have accomplished this prerequisite and can skip off to celebrate all of the wonderful riches that are offered us as believers.
But wait! It might not be that easy. There are powers which would delight in having us take this course, but would leave our hearts and souls far from affected. Repentance is more important than a simple procedure to hustle through and jump straight into the Promised Land. Perhaps the simple test of whether or not the Holy Spirit is manifest in our midst working amazing outward expressions of His mighty arm, might give us some light as to whether or not we are meeting the first requirements of faith.
If we skip just one rung on this ladder towards heaven, we may just be climbing ourselves into a different place altogether and find ourselves standing one day far from our intended goal by the Lord´s side. So we take caution now, those who truly care, to make sure that the Lord is content and that our souls are actually turned from those powers which once led us astray.
It seems to be a secret even in religious circles today, that the process of repentance may take an individual years or a lifetime to effectuate. It takes serious time and effort along with many tears and extremely close work alongside our Lord to turn an individual from the influences of nature and the world which we once lived for. We must be honest with ourselves in ways we were not capable when standing outside of the light of Jesus. This process of repentance will be the most painful process of our lives. Only those who would press on past all the sacrifices and incrimination that they will have to bear, will live up to the call and achieve what our Lord has asked of us.
Dear Lord, we hear the call. We would be honest with ourselves and not try to pass by this first step to returning to You. Please press upon our hearts our need to adjust ourselves to You. Show us our unworthiness and our need for a new heart. Give us the strength to stand against our very nature and all that would prevent us from truly repenting today. It frightens us what we will suffer in the process. But for Your call and to one day be fully with You we will take Your hand and pray that You lead us through.