Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land. Hosea 6:3 (HCSB)
When I first encountered this verse, right away I knew I had to mark it, because of its imagery, and the promise that it contained. I was prepared to write this devotional about seeking God wholly, but upon further study of this verse, God took me in a very different direction. This is the importance of context, and the importance of studying the whole passage, so that we don’t pick and choose what Gospel we want to follow.
Upon study of this verse, and the context, I learned that these series of verses in chapter 6 were presumption by the Israelites, not genuine repentance. The people of Israel had sinned against God, and did not understand the true nature of their sins. They were more grieved about the consequences they were facing, and instead of turning from their idols, making any changes, or feeling any true remorse, they assumed if they gave God a hollow apology, his wrath would be temporary.
Consequence quite often leads to apology, but does it lead to repentance? What is the difference? When one is truly repentant, they turn from their sin, with no intention of going back to old patterns. When we truly understand what, it means to repent, then it is a joyful occasion, giving us a glimpse on the love and grace of God. Tim Keller says “"Fear-based repentance makes us hate ourselves. Joy-based repentance makes us hate the sin." Repentance is a heart change. Not to say we won’t fall, but that is the beauty of God’s grace. When we act as if we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1 John 1:8).
Is there sin in your life that maybe you spend time apologizing to God for, but have no intention of turning from? Ask God today to reveal any unconfessed sin, and ask Him to help you have a truly repentant heart.
God I thank you for your grace, and for loving everything about me, even in my sinful nature. Please reveal to me anything that exists within me that isn’t pleasing to you, and help me to have a repentant heart. I love you, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Have you found yourself apologizing to God, but not fully repenting?
Find a trusted friend, and have them pray with you about anything that God might reveal to you about repentance. Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there a habit you may not want to give up? All things are possible through Christ.