Living a fruitless life of spiritual deception and bondage is not God’s will for you or me. Matthew 3:8 (ESV) Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
God is love and His task is not to condemn you but to give you freedom. John 3:17 (NIV) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Unfortunately, the lifestyles we lead can expose us to evil. We befriend and partner with what is evil hoping to harvest happiness but instead end up sad, depressed, feeling condemned, inadequate and hopeless.
Evil comes to us in all forms and establishes a stronghold in our lives, making us prisoners of our own or other people’s actions. It traps us in a cycle of spiritual oppression that we find hard to shake off. Happiness then becomes a mirage.
John 8:36 (NIV) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
We have a way out from our prison of sinful habits. We can receive sight from spiritual blindness and be set free from the continuous oppression that hijacks our true joy of living. Luke 4:18 (NIV) “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” .
Many of us can identify with the above statements and agree that we’ve lived in our prison or other people’s prison of oppression. We are oppressed by the dark forces of evil and lacking in true joy though claiming to see but are actually spiritually blind.
In reality, there are many types of legal grounds that give evil the right to establish a home in our lives. The most common ones are spiritual ignorance, pride of the flesh, and the seduction of idolatry. All cases of idolatry affect our emotions negatively, and therefore cause depression.
Human’s way of obtaining true inner joy was not intended to be idolatry. A common example of idolatry is the worship of sensuality or what we call “sexy”. This is worshiped as a source of happiness therefore making persons involved become emotionally addicted to it. Any form of addiction is an escape from the pain of emptiness within us.
There is need to repent (turn away) from gratifying the flesh by not indulging in acts of idolatry. Colossians 3:5 (NIV) Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Its important to know that repentance is not the same as confession. Confession is good, its the first step towards repentance. Confession is owning up to fellow human or to God. Confession therefore helps appease the other party who may be aware of whats happening against them. Confession also gives you a chance to share with a genuine human who can pray for you or with you. James 5:16 (NIV) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Confession helps expose your “dark spots” to avoid getting into some secret pact with evil to hide your sins. Hiding sins affects your overall prosperity; health, emotions, relationships, provision, true happiness, etc. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV) Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Although confession is good, it doesn’t really resolve anything and can end up serving as a lip service to others and to yourself. Therefore, be careful when worshipping in an environment where confession is used as the only way of dealing with our habitual sins. It is not effective and trying to shake off a bad habit that way may not succeed.
On the other hand, repentance is the real deal. It works. It’s God’s will that we have a repentant heart. Repentance involves renouncing, turning away from, and hating your sinful habits. It also involves making a conscious decision not to ever do a particular thing again. It’s forcing your mind to stop and think of never ever repeating the act or thought. It involves having a “meeting” with yourself and with your creator in the privacy of your home or room. It can take minutes, hours or days. Repentance is a process besides being a decision or change of mind. It’s hard to convince yourself to repent when the action look harmless and the agents of evil look friendly and “loving”. Remember that evil always comes in a human form. John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… Evil comes to destroy your true joy, your family and your future.
You will certainly know when repentance is working in your life. The gloomy state of condemnation in your mind will lift and a flicker of inner joy will start flowing in your heart.