Repentance: Worship in Love

Repentance: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life.
Acts 3:19
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Romans 12:1
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Imagine this:
A super spy hot guy gets a visitor at his apartment. It’s the flight attendant he has an on-again-off-again fling with and she’s in town for a visit (you can guess what that means). What she doesn’t know is that the super spy hot guy has begun to fall for a marketing executive. He tells the flight attendant he no longer wants to continue their relationship. He is thoughtful, forthright, and even cares how the woman feels, but he knows he wants a COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP with the exec. HE LOVEs HER. As the story goes on, he eventually proposes to the exec, whom he decides to give his heart to. And of course, she says yes.
This is part of the storyline of This Means War starring Reese Witherspoon as the exec and Chris Pine and Tom Hardy as the spy guys jockeying for her affections. While the film is quite secular in its representation of romantic relationships, the above-mentioned scene speaks volumes about what it means to repent and love God enough to decide to get off our own paths to follow His.
Pine’s spy guy is a hot shot womanizer only in relationships for what he could get out of them. But after spending time with Witherspoon’s executive, he recognizes her value and wants her in his life. And so it is in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. This is by no means puts us in the place of a womanizer or equating the Father with the perfect woman. I’m just saying, as we learn who He is and decide to make Him the center of our lives, there will be things we will need to turn away from in order to give Him first place. There will be amendments we make in our behavior in order to submit to his vision for our lives. There will be thoughts we will need to learn how to “un-think” in order to make room for the thoughts he has toward us. We can then perform our reasonable service and be the living sacrifices God has called us to be. When we re-align our priorities and place Him at the top, we can experience His presence. We begin to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
I think for so long, repentance has been used interchangeably with sin confession. But repentance goes a step further to commit to a 180 degree change in whatever area we have fallen short. Our priorities change. Our decisions change. Our motivations change. Repentance is a lifestyle change. It’s a representation of our commitment to Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Now while repentance doesn’t necessarily happen overnight, it does set us on the road to a deeper intimacy with our Creator. Spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and even physically as we keep ourselves for Him. We are protective of His place in our lives. It separates the person we used to be from the person we are becoming.
Repentance is more than just an “I’m sorry.”
It’s an “I love you.”

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