Growing up I always struggled with this concept: If God has already forgiven us, bearing our sins on the cross, why do we have to continue to ask for forgiveness? Why continue to confess over and over? Even following the Lord I continue to sin, but if I am already forgiven and my name is already in the Book of Life, what’s the point?
Maybe this was an easy notion for you to grasp when you got saved…but it wasn’t for me. So when I was young, and did something I knew was wrong, I repented and moved along with my day. But if I am honest, I don’t think I really understood the gravity of repentance until I had children.
When my daughter Lucia does something wrong, I already know, no matter what it is, I am going to forgive her. There is nothing she could do to make me stop loving her or caring for her. But when she has done something wrong, and knows it, and has not said she is sorry and expressed repentance, there is a temporary wedge in our relationship. We can’t move much further than where we are, until she asks for forgiveness.
I believe it is the same with God. When we accepted Jesus as our savior, the price for our sin has been fully paid. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing. God’s wrath is no longer against us and there is no further payment needed. Our eternity is secure.
However, when we don’t acknowledge our sin after we have been saved, we allow the enemy to drive a wedge between us and the Lord. In order to maintain a thriving relationship with our Heavenly Father we must be aware of our sin (the Holy Spirit helps with this part) and we must confess it to Him and ask for forgiveness so we can remain in close fellowship with God. It doesn’t have to be grand. We don’t have to tear off our clothes and throw ourselves to the ground like they did in the Old Testament. Simply acknowledging our sins and talking to our Heavenly Father is enough.
I have struggled over the years with fear. Fear is a sin. It doesn’t feel like one sometimes, because there are times it just kind of comes over you. But the Bible is pretty clear about this. We are told to “fear not” dozens of times. Fear is almost always rooted in not trusting God. I remember talking to my Dad about how tired I am of dealing with anxiety and fear and he said to me, “Lisa, fear is a sin and you must confess it to God. You won’t get past it until you admit it is a sin in your life.” I can read all the books on anxiety I want, memorize the verses until I burst, but until I confessed to God that I have been afraid and have not trusted him with my life, my health, my kids…victory over fear is unlikely.
I now know, the gravity of repentance is great. Repentance is vital for our relationship with God and it is imperative for our victory and freedom over the things of this world.
by Lisa Duvall
Lisa has been attending Kingsway and serving on the prayer team since she moved to South Jersey in 2015. She is a freelance writer and former television reporter who now gets to spend her days at home with her two small children. Lisa is also passionate about the pro-life movement, volunteering with a local group called the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants NJ, and freelances for pro-life online sites.