Sinners Repent

Matthew 9:12b,13 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Yesterday I mentioned that I repented in my heart of the life I had lived. I wasn’t specific in what I was repenting of but that of my life in whole. I think it is important to note the difference between repentance over an act and over your life.

The conversation that was non-verbal went something like this.

Me: I wish I had stayed in church.

God: What’s stopping you from starting over today?

Me: Nothing.

It was that moment when you know that the voice in your head isn’t your own. I don’t talk to myself that way. I knew without a doubt that God was speaking to me privately, personally, in a way I would recognize Him. In that moment I acknowledge Him and my life hasn’t been the same since.

For me that moment of repentance was painful. It was deeply felt and real, sincere. It was a personal moment that I didn’t share with anyone for some time. What I did next was what mattered.

I dusted off the only bible in the house, a small print New International Version. I took it to bed and read from it for the first time in decades. I began in the gospel of John thinking, “Who knew Him best?”

The change in me was immediate and apparent to everyone. It was so drastic it scared my eldest child. He told his mother that he was afraid that men with a straight jacket were coming to haul me away. I wasn’t going crazy, I had gotten sane. I was no longer sick.

The Turn

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

When did I choose the way of truth? Well not for some time sadly. Satan knowing that God had touched my life, because it happened in his realm, was doing everything he could to dispel the lie I was told by Cape Neddick Baptists. They told me I was saved, when I was not.

Living under a lie is Satan’s realm, even if it is a good intentioned lie. I wanted to believe I was saved but everything I was said, no you are not. Conflict and confusion would hound me for decades. I will not go into details but there was ample evidence to support Satan’s truth about my salvation. I was not in the Kingdom of God.

Vietnam was survived only because of God’s merciful removal of my anger issues. Circumstances once again built up a history of guilt in which I could no longer deny my involvement. I was now guilty.

After Vietnam I became a drug addict. God once again intervened to save my life from overdoses and other fatal mistakes. How isn’t as important as being able to see His involvement from this side. We don’t always recognize God’s merciful hand until later in life.

So considering Satan has now convinced me I am in his camp, how did God call me into His Kingdom? It all happened according to his salvation plan. First He removed the dependency on drugs. His sovereign will once again made a choice for me I was not willing to make for myself. I didn’t not want to quit so He took the desire away. Now I was prepped to feel the pangs of regret I would not have received if still on drugs.

My father died and all the repressed pain of everything I did showed me why I kept away from dad. I was ashamed of what I had turned into and did not want him to see me that way. That reality drove me a little crazy and it was noticed.

Then in my heart I repented of the life I had led.