Repentance means to be humbled inwardly, and visibly reformed.
After being in Australia for about 8 years, we had to travel to Albury. Our boys were both playing in the Victorian Country Soccer Championships over a weekend. Bev used Google maps to make sure that we got there, but after about 3 hours of driving, we noticed road signs for Adelaide. It didn’t seem right. By misspelling the name of our destination, we almost ended up very far from where we needed to be. After a trip of 9 hours, that was only supposed to be 5, we eventually got there.
The only way we could have gone to the place we needed to be, was to turn around. Turning around only happens after you realise and accept that you are moving in the wrong direction. And the only way that we will know when our directions are messed up, is when something or somebody shows us. Nobody wants to be told that they are going in the wrong direction. And when we are, we will seldom admit it. Pride has been the downfall of many a person and cost so many people their eternity with God. As a result, Christians are afraid to share their faith because it might offend somebody by telling them that they are moving in the wrong direction. So we simply share the easy side of the Gospel… the grace part.
But before the grace part can happen, there needs to be the “We are moving in the wrong direction” part. Then there needs to be the ” I need to turn around” part. You see, sharing the grace of Christ, without sharing the cost of following Him, is not sharing the complete Gospel. It’s like offering a death row prisoner anything they would like to eat, without informing them that they are actually about to die. That’s just sharing the comfortable stuff. All we seem to want is what God can do for us to make our lives easier; when it’s not about that at all. In fact, being a Christian doesn’t make our lives more comfortable. A great friend of mine, Williams Ray in India, is ministering under constant persecution and threat. It would be far easier for him if he wasn’t a Christian. But you see, it’s not about comfort, it’s about gratitude for what Jesus did on Calvary. And the 1st step towards gratitude is changing the direction of our selfish lives.
So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day]