Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
I ministered in the prisons of New South Wales and Queensland Australia for just over four years in the early nineteen-eighties. I was often taken aback by the generational family lines that were there in prison. In one case there was a young man who was telling me he had no choice that he was in jail because it was his unfortunate destiny that he would be a crim. His reasoning at that encounter was his father was a crim and his grandfather was one also. As a matter of fact, they were all incarcerated at the same time in different prisons around the state as we spoke.
He went on to say that his brother was headed in the same place. Ah, how sweet the conversation at Christmas dinner for this family. Talk about having to change the generational curse or even family traditions. Prov.16:25 There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. It sounded like a modern caste system that was being enforced by their own family values. What nonsense to believe this poor excuse for existence.
Being deceived and choosing to believe a lie is within our realm of choice. Deut. 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Being deceived may take some time to deal with. The deception may not be noticed until there are some issues coming up in our life that points to the deception and, thus, we repent. John 16:13a Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.
Choosing to believe the lie is ignorance gone to seed. Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? As my blog friend Jami Rogers writes. "I tried to row the boat with the anchor in the water and then cried because of the struggle." How often do we find ourselves in that boat because of our choices? The answer is repent, change your mind.
God corrects those He loves. Heb. 12:6 For whom the Lord love he chasten, and scourge every son whom he receives. That is a hard concept for a nation of people who do not like being wrong. In their mind correction seems intrusive and even insulting to some. This makes repentance harder than it really is. Yet, how will we come into the blessing of God if we insist in doing salvation our own way?
Repentance is a blessing, whether we believe it or not. Repentance simply means to change our minds on something God has been pointing at or has His finger of conviction on. Repentance or changing our minds to do what God said to do is a healthy part of Christianity. It is the only way to live our Christianity. Isa. 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
We read in the story of Cain and Abel and how God had come to Cain and tried to get him to change his mind concerning the jealousy Cain was feeling because of his rejected sacrifice. God asks Cain a good question. Gen. 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Then God offers some very good advice and gentle prodding to repent about how he feels toward his brother. Gen. 4:7 If thou does well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou does not well, sin lies at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. As we know the advice was ignored and a calamity of events leads to the first murder.
What could we change in our lives if we would just change our minds to what God is saying to our hearts? Eze. 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. God takes no pleasure in our suffering in sin. He wants us to live by His truth and no other. Lord, help us have a heart of repentance. Amen.