Source: Mary Padgett Ministries, Inc.
“To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
When we were children we were wise in our own eyes and many times we couldn’t understand why we were not allowed to make our own decisions. We tried to do things our own way and often despised the correction that our actions demanded.
As time progressed, however, we began to understand and appreciate the protection and the benefits of the discipline that we had received at the hands of those who loved us very much. We saw the wisdom of not being allowed to play in the street where our bodies could have been mangled or our lives lost. We could also appreciate the other benefits that were forced upon us such as good diet and hygiene.
And we began to understand that going to school and studying were not a means of punishment but were meant for our own growth and development. As we matured, we came to realize that it was good that we were not left to ourselves.
Paul’s statement that the goodness of God leads to repentance is similar to the discipline that we received in our youth. Many times we don’t understand the workings of God. Our natural desires pull us one direction which is to enjoy our own lives for a season, while the Holy Spirit strives within us to lead us into the way that is intended to fulfill God’s eternal purposes. When we go against the leading of the Holy Spirit a Godly sorrow begins to manifest within our hearts.
This Godly sorrow is called conviction and pulls at our heartstrings. It is never to be despised, for God is our loving Father and He is seeking only our good. It is because of His goodness that He deals with us so patiently in this manner in an effort to lead us into His paths of righteousness. It is because of God’s mercy that He brings us to repentance and diverts us from our own thoughts and plans. Eventually we come to understand that His plan was much higher and far greater than our own plan.
In 2 Corinthians 7:10, Paul speaks of the two kinds of sorrow. There is the Godly sorrow, which works repentance and brings salvation, and then there is the worldly sorrow, which brings death. Godly sorrow releases us to experience life and light as we release the things that cause death to our soul and spirit. This Godly sorrow leaves no regrets. Worldly sorrow, however, leads to discouragement, defeat, and death. It condemns and causes you to hate yourself.
The Apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11). There is a time to grow up and go on with life. Repentance means to turn from one direction and go in the opposite direction.
To experience life, you must release the things that hold you in bondage, whether it be sins of the flesh or the pains of the past.
The bondage of sin and the regrets of the past always cause death to your soul and spirit.
God is seeking to change your heart, turn you around, and bring you to repentance, not because He is selfish and mean, but because of His infinite goodness and grace.
God knows that His love and His light will drive out the darkness as you repent and release it all to Him.