Romans 2:1-5 says: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."
Do you ever wonder if you're experiencing the fullness that God has for you? Do you ever "just know" that you're missing something? I do. For sure. And it wasn't till last week, listening to John Mulinde speak over the IHOP-KC webstream, that I realized why I was missing it. I am not fully repentant for some of the things I do or think. I ask for forgiveness, most of the time, but there are many times that I just go ahead and do it again because - hey, I'm human. But, true repentance takes an active act of change. Change of WAYS. If I think badly of someone, even if they "deserve it" for acting nasty, being hurtful, or not appreciating me or someone I love, it's not okay! How can I judge them when I am doing the same thing in my head to them? The plank is in my eye!!!
I don't know about you, but I want to stop storing up wrath against myself ASAP!!! There is a reason it's called "the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord!" I want to see the treasures and rewards, not God's wrath. I do not want to be one of these: "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’"(Matthew 7:22,23) And I also don't want the Lord to say to me:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Rev. 3:15-17)
God is calling us out of our human ways to walk fully in God's ways. The work done on the cross was fully complete. If we are still dealing with woundedness, bitterness, selfishness, we have not died to ourselves, so we cannot be experiencing holiness. Holiness comes from God.
We are being called to deep repentance and total surrender to God.
This place of comfort I've come to live in is not good enough. It's time to get radical, and it starts with myself. Lord Jesus, help me to fully repent of my ways. Show me the things I need to change, and guide me in YOUR WAYS. Holy Spirit, reveal to us the fullness of God - the awesome power - so that we live in reverent fear and love. Don't let us stay lukewarm in our sleepy complacency of Your forgiveness.
He cannot forgive what we do not repent of.
As I wrap this up, I'm reminded of something Misty Edwards, one of the leading worship leaders and intercessors at IHOP-KC, said at the Onething 2008 conference. "You can't run the race with one foot still in bed." That really resounded with my spirit. There were things holding me back - things I wasn't ready to change about myself. Things I wasn't ready to give up. It's time. I'm ready to run this race with excellence. With God's help, I will follow His ways and leave mine behind.
P.S. Thank you, Keliah, for giving me an opening to teach you and your siblings about the fear of God.