Joel 2:12-17: “But even now,” says the Lord, “repent sincerely and return to me with fasting and weeping and mourning. Let your broken heart show your sorrow; tearing your clothes is not enough. Come back to the Lord your God. He is kind and full of mercy; he is patient and keeps his promise; he is always ready to forgive and not punish. Perhaps the Lord your God will change his mind and bless you with abundant crops. Then you can offer him grain and wine. Blow the trumpet on Mount Zion; give orders for a fast and call an assembly! Gather the people together; prepare them for a sacred meeting. Bring the old people; gather the children and the babies too. Even newly married couples must leave their homes and come. The priests, serving the Lord between the altar and the entrance of the Temple, must weep and pray: ‘Have pity on your people, Lord. Do not let other nations despise us and mock us by saying, ‘Where is your God?’”
Repentance — we hear about it, we read about it, we may even do it or at least a form of it that makes us feel less guilty about the sins we’ve committed. In everything I read in Scripture, repentance leads to change. It’s a place where our heart for God meets our fallen nature and transformation begins.
Repentance literally means a “change in mind” — renewed by the transforming of our minds. It’s where conviction collides head-on with condemnation, and the woe-is-me attitude is eliminated, and now conviction fans a fire of change. Repentance is a decision, a choice, a determination of the heart to reflect more of the God man and less of the sin man; where I decrease and He increases.
Repentance is more than just being “sorry” or allowing guilt to rule you. Repentance sorrowfully recognizes sin but doesn’t take residence there. It journeys to change and transforms us into a “new creation” by the grace and mercy of a loving God through the power of the Holy Spirit.