Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Spirit of Repentance

UV 579/10,000 The Spirit of Repentance Psalms 51 v 10 “ Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” The best of us are fallible. But, what the Lord requires of us is a deep desire to have a clean heart. God is infallible, pure, perfect and holy. If He is to reside in our hearts and preside over our lives, it is essential that His habitation is kept clean and tidy. It is inevitable that even after our once and for all cleansing by our confessed faith in the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus, we do sin and mess up in the things we think, feel, speak and do. Therefore, there is a need to seek a daily cleansing by the Spirit of God. But, the Psalmist is not asking in this uni-verse for a cleansing of his heart but he is asking the Lord God to replace or create a new core of his being. Indeed, when we repent, it allows the Lord to release His creativity in us to make us whole and pure, spiritually and emotionally. Though sin is self –destructive, the act of repentance is an act of creativity. The old habit should die, and new habits begin in us. We must develop a certain ruthlessness towards sin. As my mentor used to say, “Go for the jugular” or the root of the sin and uproot it. We read in scripture that when people hardened their hearts, they fell from grace or the favour of God. Instead, we should keep our hearts or the core of our being soft, responsive, receptive and sensitive to the stirring of the Holy Spirit in us. When the Word of God or others point out the error of our ways, we should not seek to have it covered up but make an open confession to the Lord and seek His help to break free. A sinful heart is a spiritually diseased heart. The Lord heals us with His Word and the Holy Spirit. The Word has power to heal our calloused heart and make it one that is soft and sensitive once again. He cleanses our heart and enables us to start afresh from a clean slate. He renews or rebuilds or repairs our spirit. His presence comforts us. We need not be ashamed of our sin and hide from God as Adam and Eve did when they first sinned. The Holy Spirit restores us to fullness of fellowship with the Lord. He gives us the will and the grace to overcome the temptation the next time round. Even if we mess up again, He will encourage us by saying, “ Start all over again, my child.” The right spirit that He renews in us is the spirit or attitude of repentance, the attitude of creativity, the attitude of faith and optimism, an attitude of steadfastness and determination. Prateep V Philip

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