Today, I want to expand further on what I shared yesterday about humble repentance and how it enables us to let go of our need to control our life and its outcomes. You see, true humility is only possible when we understand our position as citizens in the Kingdom of God — the one that Jesus pronounced when He came!
John Ortberg explained it this way: the very first word a child learns is NO, and the second word is MINE (typically they learn the latter before they learn “yes” — it’s crazy)! So even from an early age, kids are beginning to establish their own little kingdoms. As they grow up and sit side-by-side in the car, they clearly decide what’s theirs and practically draw an imaginary line down the center of the backseat. When one kid crosses that line, they start fighting and protecting their turf…until dad suddenly slams on the brakes. As both the kid’s heads hit the back of the seat, their father powers up and asserts that this is his car and he will turn it around if they don’t start behaving. Now they are subject to his kingdom! Unfortunately, by this time, dad is stressed and starts speeding down the road, when he hears a siren. Without warning, his life becomes subject to another kingdom: that of a police officer, who has been given authority to enforce the laws of the land. You see, this is how the world is structured, and it’s why we always feel the need to protect what’s ours — to own, to fight and to defend. Repentance, then, is saying to God, “not my kingdom, but Your Kingdom, not my will, but Your will, not my church, but Your church, not my house, but Your house, not my country, but Your country!”
Friend, a repentant heart is only possible when you train yourself to recognize that you are not the king of your life. You are responsible for your decisions and you need to do what’s right, but the outcomes belong to Jesus. I encourage you repent of your “right” to enforce your kingdom in His Kingdom. Recall the situations that you are trying to control and the things you feel afraid of. With those struggles in mind, take a deep breath, exhale, and surrender them to the Lord. Give Him your worries and acknowledge that without Him, you can do nothing, but that with Him, anything is possible!