REPENTANCE by Don Rogers
(Thirty plus years ago God put Don Rogers in my life. He trained and mentored me in spiritual ministry. When he was no longer able to minister, I had the privilege of taking over his “Spiritual Warfare Ministries.” He wrote many fine articles about spiritual warfare. I have edited and printed one below.)
It is apparent to those of us who do battle against the kingdom of darkness on a regular basis that there are a lot of strongholds that need to be pulled down. Ideally, this should be a combined effort of the body of Christ. Unfortunately, a large portion of God’s people are not ready to join such an effort even if they wanted to. Their own spiritual lives would hinder them in doing so. A campaign to bring down demonic strongholds will not be accomplished with slogans, clever programs or even good spiritual techniques. Time and again Christians have had good intentions, yet they have made little impact on our society to change it. In fact, this nation is becoming more and more ungodly. When it comes to the major issues of the day, the Christian voice is being ignored and even ridiculed. Christians are accused of being intolerant and unloving because we are advocating biblical values. There is an increasing anti-Christian sentiment that is trying to convey the message that Christians are the enemy. We are portrayed as extremists. God has called us to go out into the world and bring about change. We are supposed to be change makers; salt and light in a world of darkness. How have the majority of Christians responded? They have gone about business as usual. Satan has been very successful in diverting us from the path that God has laid out before us. God’s people have become self-centered and self- indulgent in their lifestyles. Christ has called us to take up our cross daily, but his voice has been drowned out by the multitude of enticements that surround us. Many are satisfied to carry the name of Christ and live like the rest of the world. They are content with the world as it is and for others the task of changing the world is overwhelming. I’m glad the disciples did not think like that.
Frankly, we will not make an impact for Christ in this world unless we change! This is foundational. God’s people need to take an objective inventory of their lives and start repenting. Yes, we repented when we gave our hearts to God. But that was only the beginning of what should have become a life lived in an attitude of repentance. All of us need to open our eyes and recognize what we have become. We need to see how we have been grieving the Holy Spirit by the way we are living. We cannot think about change in our lives and hope our good intentions will be acceptable. There must be change that is radical if we are to be in God’s will.
The Holy Spirit desires to work in our lives to bring about change and he needs the submission of our wills. We must be willing to yield to whatever change God desires to bring about. God has made it very clear what it will take to bring healing to our land. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
If we want to see God move in our lives and in the lives of others, there must be repentance that starts with us. God’s words to Israel through Ezekiel could just as well be addressed to the Church today. “Therefore I will judge you. O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” Ezekiel 18:30
Jesus’ revelation to John includes some very sobering words to God’s people. As he addressed the church in Ephesus and acknowledged some fruit to be good, a word of rebuke was also given accompanied by a warning. “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; REPENT, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Revelation 2:4-5
God is already beginning to shake and sift and even bring temporal judgment upon the body of Christ (1 Peter 4:17). He will fulfill his eternal plan no matter what it takes. He will prepare a people to be the bride of Christ.
What is true repentance? It is being sorry for grieving God by the way you live. It is a desire to turn from your sins without any regrets and take a new path that pleases God. (2 Cor. 7:9-10) We cannot be praying as many married people pray, “Lord, change my spouse so that our marriage will be better.” No, we must be praying, “Lord, start with me and change me.” Change will rarely take place unless we are willing for it to begin with ourselves.
Satan will always seek to convince us that everything is fine in our lives. There is no need to be overly concerned about our condition because there are a lot of people who are in much worse spiritual shape than us. This is how many rationalize away the need for repentance in their own lives. They permit pride and self- righteousness to take root. Lack of repentance has been the major reason why so many Christians have gone into bondage in one form or the other.
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