Repentance Home Page — Continued... Barry's Video Blog...
Repentance from Dead
Works is made Practical by
Directing your heart toward
God According to His Grace!
Even if you don't feel "lukewarm" you still need to repent from dead works! This website shows how you can embrace the cross of Christ by learning to love "dying" to earthly sources until you are free to draw near to God and enjoy His presence more fully. Start by understanding the hidden problem and how you can correct it!
Repentance from Dead Works
I see repentance from dead works as a process of training our heart away from living to the praise of our human glory and toward "being to the praise of His glory" (Eph. 1:12).
Repentance from dead works is made practical by understanding idolatry of the heart and by teaching your own heart to love "dying" to earthly sources until you are free to draw near to God and enjoy His presence more fully. This website shows how to do this.
Repentance from dead works is a process of re-training our heart that changes the subtle ways we find security and power from earthly sources and from when we hold back from God. It changes us so that we don't having to depend on ourselves as our "god" and instead of living for the praise of our own human glory we change so that we love being to the praise of God's glory.
Repentance from dead works requires that we confront some ugly things in our own heart, but the benefit is that the process makes us alive toward God so much that we are free to draw near to Him and He draws near to us.
A Message for the Church
The big picture is that God must be allowed to dwell more intensely with we who are His church—24 hours-a-day.
We are the ones holding back. The issue before us is that we need to cooperate with God more fully. Repentance with JOY will help you do that.
It is not always clear why good Christian people should repent—especially when you may not have any obvious sin.
"Dead works" are caused by an idolatry of the heart that is seldom detected and seldom dealt with effectively. The result is that we aren't experiencing the closeness to God that is possible for each of us—and we hardly even realize it.
Has your love for God become lukewarm, or even cold? We are much more independent from God than we realize. Repentance corrects this problem. This site is for showing you how.
The Bible is clear that God wants to be a God to us who is our refuge, our glory, our strength (Deut. 32:37-39; Jer. 2:11-13; Hab. 1:11). When God becomes your refuge and strength He becomes your first love. God intends that we love Him in that way because He defines idolatry in those terms.
When God becomes our refuge and strength His closeness to us has become our reason for being secure and confident—not material things, not our job, our house, our money, our appearance, what we know, what we do, not the church we attend, not the acceptance and approval of people, not our personality, not our ministry, not our family, not even the (good and important) doctrines that we believe.
God made our thirst for Him so strong that the things that rob us of love for God are those things that have become substitutes for God. Specifically, they are anything that has become a refuge for us or a basis for feeling strong.
We need to repent from finding refuge, glory, and strength from how well we control the circumstances, how well we maintain the approval of people, how well we avoid risk, or how well we keep people impressed. Sources such as these are idolatry to God. They cause our love for God to grow cold.
Staying near to the Lord and receiving God's presence is a spiritual activity that involves our heart, soul, and spirit. We need to take steps to repent at deep levels because we can't receive God's presence continually when our heart-level habit has become to feed ourselves by receiving from earthly sources!
God wants to be nearer to His people 24 hours-a-day! That won't happen until we take steps to train our heart away from "drinking" by earthly means. But even that isn't enough! We have to train our heart so that we find freedom to turn to God and drink from Him!
Working hard at finding earthly substitutions for God has blinded us to believing the grace of God to draw near to us intensely.
What happens when you think about your being able to experience God's presence? Do you feel fear? Hopelessness? Shame? Discouragement? A greater desire to commitment yourself to working harder? Do you look at other spiritual Christians and think, "I'll never make it?" All of these things are evidence that your faith is firmly planted in yours "works" and not in God's grace.
The pressure isn't on you to perform better in order to deserve God's presence! These are the kinds of thoughts you have to take captive and repent from!
Wake yourself up if you must! You won't be able to "turn" to God as deeply, or as fully as needed unless you take assertive steps to re-train your heart! You can do it, it is just that you have to decide you are going to take those steps.
Take courage! Even subtle forms of idolatry can be uncovered and corrected. If you determine to take bold steps to repent with joy and delight, you will change from the heart! You will be able to receive God's presence lavished on you by His grace. God is waiting for you.
Hard to Believe?
The problem is that receiving from earthly sources prevents us from being able to receive from God.
The Bible says that we receive the Holy Spirit by faith (Gal. 3:2-14). Our "thirsty" desires are great. Our problem is that we don't believe that we can receive from God—enough to quench our thirsty desires.
Jesus explained our problem, "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). The degree to which you "drink" from earthly sources is the degree to which you are kept in disbelief about being able to receive the glorious presence of God.
You need to repent in order to believe you can receive the "glory of God. Repentance and turning to God has to come first!
Consider, "...the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and was strong in his evil desire" (Psa. 52:7). The abundance of his riches was his substitute for God. He was in disbelief and did not seek the "glory of God" because He found refuge and security in his money. His evil desires were strong as a result.
Repentance is a process of taking what you normally try to receive from earthly sources and trading that for God’s presence close to you—intimately and intensely close—enough so that God becomes your God—not the little "gods" of this world.
More is available to you than what you may now be able to imagine. God has promised a river of the Holy Spirit to those who come and drink. Are you experiencing that yet? It is obvious if you are.
God designed all people everywhere with a powerfully driving need to depend on a refuge that reassures us, makes us secure, and something as our glory that makes us feel confident and strong. But God also designed us so that we have to choose between Him or "other gods." We have chosen wrongly.
Bondage to the little "gods" of this world has become widely accepted as normal—even in the church. The result is that we are trying to relate to God out of complex and often subtle mixtures of pride, fear, shame, and disbelief.
Without realizing the mistake, many of us try to minister to one another, by helping each other find refuge and strength through even greater dependence on the "gods" of this world. Instead of this, we ought to be helping one another to find freedom to draw near to God and quench our thirsty desire for His presence.
Unknowingly, the church today has traded the glory of our God for the glory of earthly sources. We left our "first love" and have become "luke-warm" because we just didn't know that more was possible.
What Can We Do?
Get Your Heart to Trust God's Grace!
Why don't we experience God's presence more fully? We are the ones holding back—not God!
The problem is that most of us seek God with doubt because of a belief that when God's draws near intensely, it is always because of a sovereign act, totally apart from anything they can affect or increase. I don't agree.
We can affect the extent to which we experience God's presence. The Bible says, "... he who comes to God must believe... that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). It also says, " Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." (James 4:8). My experience bears witness to this truth--I have never found it otherwise.
Certainly the scriptures give examples where God pours His presence on a place or a person as a sovereign act. But the scriptures also teach that we are to come to Him and "drink" continually (John 7:37-38). We are to receive the kingdom (Heb. 12:28; Mat. 6:33; Mark 10:15).
If you are a Christian Christ "abides" inside you. Don't miss that it is your birthright as a Christian to also "abide" inside His presence here with you.
I believe that for us to "abide in Him," we have to always be receiving His presence (John 15:1-8). You can do that!
Think of the way a branch is drinks in order to bear fruit. It drinks from the trunk of the tree. The leaves on the branch receive from the sun and the rain. By drawing near to God and "drinking" you can receive from God—continually.
You can become like a tree that is " planted" in His presence (Psa. 92:12-14). You "come to Him" and experience the river of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised (John 7:37-39)!
Being able to draw near to God and experience His presence intensely requires repentance. You have to direct your heart away from "drinking" by what you earn and achieve—you also have to direct your heart toward God in ways that allow you to trust His grace and receive from Him.
Repent with Joy
Don't think of repentance as morbid self-reflection that does little to change anything except make you feel bad. The repentance that God wants includes sorrow for sin but it is a sorrow that is "without regret" (2 Cor. 7:10)! Life is the goal of repentance not death. Dying to self is what you do to find life. We should carry the cross with joy!
Repentance needs to be complete, but it also has to be fun! If turning your heart to God doesn't become a source of great joy, you will always hold back! If our repentance doesn't help us run to God, it won't have affected us deeply enough.
Biblical repentance helps you find greater purity because of being closer to God—not because you condemn yourself into doing better next time. I want to show you a powerfully effective way to repent and change—without self-inflicted punishment.
You can repent with joy because of God's grace. God's presence with you is far more filling, more soothing when you hurt, and much more readily available than anything that this world has to offer.
If you determine to take bold steps to repent with joy and delight, you will change from the heart!
This site shows you how to use delight as a tool that paves the way so you can find freedom to turn from your earthly ways and draw near to God. Wisely using thanks and praise for the truth is a powerful tool for helping you change from the heart.
It is time for God's people to repent from the heart. Delight can help you improve far better than condemnation.
You can train your heart to turn from earthly sources! Delight about your access to God and about His grace to draw near can help you find great freedom to experience His presence intensely—by God's grace.
Don't think of repentance as a one time act. Think of it as a lifestyle—a way of coping with life—a way of continually directing your heart toward God and of experiencing His presence more intensely. This site gives you specific instruction and tools for helping you do that.
Over 300 pages of the 550 pages in the books are available by purchase only. I have made it worth it to those who make the purchase -- many of the most helpful materials are not on the web site. Click here to go to the page about the ebooks. Please consider supporting this ministry by making this purchase.
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I am praying for the Lord's abundant blessing on your efforts to direct your heart toward Him.
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(C) Barry Hall 1999
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Scriptures are taken from the updated NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1988, The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Other scriptures are from the New International Version or Amplified Bible as noted.
Bold emphasis in the scriptures quoted here has been added by the author of this site.