STONE 2: REPENTANCE



A desire to change must come from the heart.  Repentance has a reputation on the street as a quick act of forgiveness that comes with a get out of jail card. This is bad religion - period.

As you work to overcome a harmful lifestyle or escape the destructive bahavior which leads back into a dark hole of bondage, you must understand the role of repentance. 

It's important to know and hear what God has told us through Jesus Christ about repentance.  When Jesus started His ministry He said “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 4:17).  

What did he mean by repent? How does that play into your escape from pornography?

It's important to know how Jesus used the word "repent" if we expect to find the same freedom he intended.  The word Christ used means "action" rather than "advice".  

Christ bascially said, "Actively change your mind about those sins and and beliefs. View them with disgust and change your heart toward the kingdom of God."

To overcome porn, or any sinful habit for that matter, there must be an intentional change or turning away from the habit, behavior, and belief about that sin. In essence, the change has to move from your mind and come to rest in your heart.

God's word is clear that it is HE who grants repentance. The author of your soul knows well enough if your heart has changed. We confess things to men for accountability, but we repent to God and God alone for restoration.

Repentance is a simulateneous act of acknowledgement of your brokeness and the supernatural transformation of your heart. God understands your intention and desires an obedient heart. 

Since you have loved that porn for entirely too long, there must be intervention by God if you want to overcome it.  A sinful heart can't convert a sinful heart... make sense?

If you repent and continue to feel shame or remorse, go back to the well of prayer. Ask God to help you understand that His desire for you is greater than your feeling of "less than".  

Repentance typically doens't stick if  you arrive here through remorse or a quick reaction to being caught.

The word Jesus Christ used for "repent" is rooted in the same language that gives us "meta". Much like a butterfly goes through a metamorphosis to change into something completely different. 

There is a lot of soul work in the act of repentance. Your desire to rid your life of porn and sexual impurity may have come from various origins.

Whether you feel the deep need to make a change or you were busted by your spouse, family, co-workers, etc. Repentance doesn't change it's flavor - it must be rooted in a desire for change.

There must exist a desire, and God is the only means through His Holy Spirit who can make that change stick.  

Repentance is between you and God. No one else can repent for you - it's your heart, your soul, and your relationship with God alone that will bring completion. 


ASSIGNMENT:

  • Read Psalm 32 and pray through every verse.
     
  • Approach God with humility and honesty as you give your sin to Him and repent.
     
  • Talk to God about the guilt you are carrying and ask for release of the chains of shame. Recognize that you are damaged and you have likely damaged others. Then ask for strength to receive the consequences as they continue unfold around you.
     
  • Tell God about every gruesome aspect of your dark habit with porn and sexual impurity. 
     
  • Ask God to be your shield as your confessions have laid you bare and exposed. 
     
  • God is enough for you and offers you a new life of feeling "greater than" instead of feeling "less than".

Reflection:

  1. What is Psalm 32 saying to you? Plan an intentional study and personal devotion time to carefully hear this Psalm. Track through each verse while putting into your own words what you are feeling as it relates to your "turning away" from this lifestyle.
     
  2. When you feel adequately rooted in Psalm 32, and your heart is fully repentant, you will begin to feel different - lighter. You are removing this stone from your walk of faith and daily life. 

You are now ready to address those issues and questions arising out of your confession. 

Now, make your way to:  STONE #3: Forgiveness