I was listening to a speaker at a city-wide missions conference on Sunday night talk about repentance. I have heard messages on repentance before, but this speaker really got me thinking.
OK, before I go on to write about this . . . I have to say how cool it was to be at en event that was put on by many different churches - the Church as whole - coming together to make it happen. It gives whole new meaning and significance to the words of some of the songs we sang that night. I mean, I love the song "God of this City" in the first place, but to sing it with people from other churches in my city was amazing!!! This wasn't just one church declaring the truth - it was the Church as a unified body of believers declaring God the God of our city and that God had greater things yet to do in our city!!! It was just cool!
Back to topic now . . . repentance . . .
The speaker started by giving us a bigger picture of what repentance is. We often hear of it as being a changing of direction - you see your sin and then turn and walk in the other direction from it. But, this guy said that it was more than that, in that it was a complete revolution of the mind. Rather than just walking away from our sin, it's a changing of the way we think. It just made so much sense when he put it that way.
The speaker then moved on to talking about how the church needs to repent of its hiding behind religion. Christianity has wrapped itself in religion, when Jesus never intended for it to be that way. Religion is about following rules and regulations and all that. Jesus talked about faith, not religion. Faith is saying "I trust you" and then acting on it.
I've had those thoughts running around my head since I heard them. And they've really been challenging me. I find it so easy to get caught up in religion - in the things that I "have" to do. It's so much easier to follow rules - to follow a form that sets out how we should live. But, Christianity isn't about that. It's about a relationship with our Lord!