Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Luke 3:8 (NIV)
My second son and I toured Great Britain over 20 years ago. We had a great time as father and son. One detail of our journey I will never forget.
I did all the driving and my son helped with navigation. When we came to a certain junction in the road I was convinced that we needed to turn north and my son said we should turn south.
Trusting my instincts as a seasoned driver I ignored my son’s polite but insistent comments that I was mistaken. I paid the toll to go over a long bridge and when we got to the other side I came to the realization that indeed my son knew what he was talking about and I had made a mistake. That story is an illustration of biblical “repentance”. To repent is to change your mind, or turn around according to Scripture.
In modern society we are taught that we should be our own bosses—not have anyone else tell us what to do. Many of us as children thought that growing up meant we would do as we pleased instead of having to obey our parents.
Yet, real “growing up”, involved turning over control of our lives to our Creator. It means to submit our own wills to His will. In other words repentance and becoming a Christian means we need to turn around and go in the direction the Lord desires for us instead of going the way we wish to go.
As we progress in the Christian life we soon discover that this matter of repentance is not a once for all thing where we turn 180 degrees and then journey along uneventfully for the rest of our lives. We quickly realize that this repentance is something we will be doing for the rest of the journey.
Something will come up where we need to make a decision on which way to go, and after we have made our choice to go one way, we soon realize that we made a wrong turn and need to go back and start again. So as Christians we need a constant spirit of repentance.
Do not lose hope as a Christian because you made some wrong turns. Realize that the Lord is more than willing to help us turn back and go the other way. He shall come to us with all the strength and help we need to turn around and get back into the right way. Take heart, and know that even the repentance you need is a gift from God (Philippians 2:13).