Repentance. Rebellion. These two words have been buzzing around in my head the last few days.
I’ve typed paragraph after paragraph only to hit the ‘delete’ button once I was done.
Then I realised that what I wanted to say was this:
Repentance is our rebellion against the false king (satan, self, flesh, sin… whatever you may want to call it).
It is that moment when we decide that we will no longer obey the dictates of a corrupt throne that only brings misery by its decrees.
It is that moment when we look at the cross and realise that the marionette strings are broken and we are no longer helpless slaves/puppets helplessly jerked about according to the whims and fancies of our former slave masters.
It is that moment when we stop eating the food that is being fed to the swine and remember that there is a banqueting table in our Father’s house.
It is that moment when we decide to step through the torn veil, the broken body of Jesus and enter into the loving embrace of our Father in heaven.
It is not about beating our breasts, tearing our clothes and crying ‘Woe is me!’ It is about receiving the grace that is being given freely to us by the Father through the shed blood of Jesus.
It is about recognising that the True King is Jesus, and that His throne, His kingdom is of righteousness, joy and peace, that His decrees always bring shalom – peace, wholeness, a sense of well-being.
It is about realising that to be yoked to Jesus, to be under His command is a place of peace and rest for the soul.
His decrees only lead one in the paths of righteousness which lead to peace and life.
His commandments can be trusted, because He instructs us out of love, out of a desire to see us walk in freedom, no longer under the yoke.
There is a little phrase that God is very fond of. You find the Old Testament peppered with it, generally in the context of God promising to rebuild Israel if they return to Him after their apostasy. It is that little phrase – ‘and none will make them afraid.’
That is the heart of God. To see you walk tall. To walk free. To enjoy life to its fullest. Not to indulge in fleshly pleasures that promise much, but only leave dust and ashes behind. But to savour each moment, to truly enjoy each person one encounters, to experience life. Not afraid of men, seeking always to win their approval, but set free to be exactly who you were meant to be.
Satan deceives us into thinking that we will enjoy life to the fullest, and be the freest if we do what pleases us, and do things ‘My Way’. But as the Indians say – that is ‘maya’ – an illusion. Satan hates us. He doesn’t want anything good for us. His greatest desire is to use us and then slowly crush and destroy us.
GOD is the One who loves us. He desires GOOD for us. He is the One who actually wants us to have life in its fullest. He is the One who breaks the chains, draws us out of the pit, gives us a home we can go to. He stands with us in our War of Independence.
Some weeks ago I had re-blogged Bruce Buchannan’s post – When we get our friends and enemies confused. We tend to do that a lot. We get our friends and enemies confused. God is the One who is on your side. He is your friend, not enemy. He is not the party-pooper you think He is. Right now, He is preparing the greatest party ever known – the Wedding Feast of His Son.
Rebel, by all means. But rebel against the government that must be brought down – the one of darkness, deceit, sickness, death – the kingdom of satan.
Merriam Webster says “Rebellion is an open, armed usually unsuccessful defiance of or resistance to an established government”
But if a rebellion is successful, it is then called a War of Independence.
So let’s put on the armour of God, and rise up in a War of Independence from the tyranny of satan, self, the flesh. Jesus is right with you. The power of His life, His inextinguishable life, He gives to you. And that power de-thrones the most persistent Master Puppeteer. What hideous irony that satan convinces us that God is the Master Puppeteer, while all along satan is the one pulling strings enjoying the sense of power that brings him.
Repentance does not end with rebelling against the unrighteous kingdom.
Repentance is completed when we submit to God, accept His rulership, willingly obey His commandments knowing that they come from a heart of love, which truly desires our freedom and wholeness.
When Jesus said, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand’ He was saying:
Rise up, throw of the chains that are holding you down from being the person you were created to be. Why are you seeking the living among the dead? Why are you labouring for things that cannot satisfy? Things that are temporary and only leave you feeling deflated, used, discarded, worthless?
Receive instead the Love that will complete you, satisfy you. The Love that treasures you. The Love that can be trusted to lead you safely home. The Love that will cause you to blossom and fulfil every potential that is hidden in you. A Love that never fades, and will last into eternity and beyond. Don’t listen to the sower of weeds. Listen instead to the Voice of One who loves you.
… because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
Return to your stronghold,
O prisoners of hope; …
Zec 9:11-12 ESV
submit yourselves to God.
Resist the Devil,
and he will run away from you.
Jas 4:7 GNB