How to Repent — Continued... Barry's Video Blog...
Why Repentance Helps You
Find it Easier to Believe and
Trust God More Fully
Why Repentance Helps You to Believe
Directing your heart to turn from your earthly dependencies greatly increases your capacity to believe and trust God.
Let me quote Jesus’ words again, "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" (John 5:44). "Receiving glory" from earthly sources prevents us from believing what God offers freely. You can expect that you won’t be able to believe God enough to drink from Him until you have been in the process of turning your dependencies away from earthly sources. The more you "drink" from earthly sources the less you will be able to believe God and receive from Him. Likewise, the more fully you repent of drinking from earthly sources the more freedom you experience to believe God and receive from Him. It will help if I explain more about why it works this way.
When a heavy object is moving it is difficult to change it’s direction of travel. The same is true in the area of our pursuit toward earthly glories and in turning toward God. When you are driving a car, you have to slow your speed of travel, then turning becomes easier. This principle applies directly to repentance.
The effort we apply to find reasons to believe our own human glory results in a momentum of pursuit, that is constantly in the wrong direction. The harder you work at depending on earthly sources the less it makes sense to believe God and depend on Him. Repentance begins by decreasing the "momentum" in your demand that earthly sources help you believe you have glory—without God. Earthly sources don’t have to be your basis for the faith that gets you through the day—or that you depend on for effectiveness in ministry to other people. Thrill your heart that you don’t have to be relentless in your demands that earthly sources give evidence of your glory humanly speaking. Other people, the circumstances, your job, your children don’t have to be evidence that you measure up. Thanks and praise will help you to decrease the forcefulness with which you demand to get what you need from earthly sources.
Decreasing your demanding attitude makes it easier to turn to God. In order to do that, you have to work at "resting." The Bible says, "Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience." (Heb. 4:11). The book of Hebrews uses Israel and the promise land to teach about our need to enter the throne room. But it says, "...they were not able to enter because of unbelief." (Hebrews 3:19). Being "diligent to rest" means that in order to find freedom to enter the throne room of God, we have to work at resting into trusting God to give us His presence. Work at resting into believing you have unhindered access to enter.
Applying the Biblical principle of "resting" decreases the momentum in our—sometimes frantic efforts to find earthly refuge and strength. When you stop running toward earthly solutions to ease your thirsty desire, it becomes much easier to "turn" to God and believe Him. We just aren’t working so hard to believe that we have glory ourselves—without God. When you "rest" from your labors to live by faith in glory you achieve, it becomes much easier to turn to God and live by faith in Him.
Another reason it easier to believe when we "rest" is that working to believe in ourselves is an entirely different process from believing and trusting God. In the natural realm, quenching our thirst by earthly means requires that we work at achieving glory humanly speaking—at least until the time when we can believe that we "measure up" somehow. Then we "drink." In the spiritual realm, quenching our thirst with God requires that we work until we "rest into believing." In both cases work is involved (Hebrews 4:11). But having to work until you perform well enough is very different from having to work at resting into quietness and trust toward God. In the natural realm our work is applied to achieving so we can believe our human glory—then we drink from that. In the spiritual realm our work is applied to resting so we can believe God’s provision for us to be near to the fountain of glory—and then we drink from that. "Resting" from your labors to feed yourself makes it easier to approach God with the faith that allows Him to quench your thirst by giving you the Holy Spirit. Resting fosters being able to believe God and "drink" His presence—intensely.
Another way that resting helps you to turn to God is that it decreases your fears. Jesus said, "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." (John 14:1). Depending on earthly sources is painful. People and circumstances hurt us. When you rest from having to make earthly glory work for you, your stress level decreases. Fears decrease because the pain is not as great. You just aren’t as panicked. The fear of approaching God to quench your thirst may still be present. But that is something that can be dealt with more and more as your repentance deepens and your heart hears the truth about what God is like, and the power of His ability to make you clean.
Still another reason repenting from earthly sources helps us to believe is because of what I call the "cling." The Bible says we should "cling" to God (Deut. 13:4). I believe most Christians don’t take this principle literally enough. Our attachment to our many addictive and compulsive tendencies are evidence that we were designed to cling to the presence of God close to us. You can experience God drawing near to you in a way that allows you to cling to Him similar to the way you normally cling to earthly sources. You should think of it this way. Observe the passionate intensity with which you cling to earthly sources and reapply that same thing to God.
Repentance is almost like being a piece of fruit with two different branches from which our nourishment can be supplied. When we change our attachment from earthly sources to God the old branch, through which we once drank, becomes shriveled from lack of use. Our drivenness to "cling" to something, makes it so that when we sever our attachment to earthly sources it becomes easier to turn and cling to God. But you have to let yourself drink Him. If you don’t receive His presence close to you so that you can cling to God, your tendency will be to turn back around and once again we will find ourselves trying to reassure ourselves with sin.
If you are having trouble believing ask yourself what you are drinking from.
The more you turn you heart from earthly sources the more you will be able to believe God and receive from Him. Slow yourself down enough to give up trying to make earthly sources work for you. Rest into being able to turn to God. Rest into believing.
I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
How to Repent — Continued...
(C) Barry Hall 1999
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