The Word That Irritates

[If] My people … humble themselves … and turn from their evil ways, then I will … forgive their sin, and heal their land.—2 Chronicles 7:14

Most Christians never allow themselves to come too close to the deep thirst for God that exists at the core of their being, for if they did, they would be compelled to get in touch with their basic helplessness.

Why would we want to deny this? Because to recognize our helplessness puts us in a position where we have to repent of it—and that is something our fallen human nature pulls back from doing. Believe me, the one word that grates and irritates our carnal nature is the word “repent.” It is much easier to be given advice like: “Read more of the Bible every day,” “Add extra minutes to your prayer time,” or “Seize more opportunities to share your faith,” than to be told to repent. All these things I have just mentioned may be excellent in themselves, but more is required if we are to get in touch with our deep thirst for God.

We must repent!

But repent of what? Our stubborn commitment to independence, as well as the awful desire and practice of choosing to dig our own wells.

A passionate pursuit of God demands this. Believe me, no matter what we say with our lips, we will never begin to pant after God until we repent of the self-sufficiency that has made its home deep within our hearts. This, in my opinion, is the biggest single step we can take in our pursuit of God and the experience of having feet like “hinds’ feet.”


Gracious and loving heavenly Father, help me to repent deeply. May I know at this moment a turning from self-dependence to God-dependence. I give You my willingness—now give me Your power. In Jesus’ name I ask it. Amen.

Further Study

Ps 34:1-18; Jl 2:12; Lk 13:1-3

What was the central message of Jesus?

How does the psalmist express it?

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