The main difference between the life of a Christ follower and a non-Christ follower is repentance.
Having Christ as your Lord and Savior does not mean you will live perfectly. It does not mean you will never sin again. It does not mean you will always be kind and loving. It does not mean that every area of your life will look radically different than before knowing Christ. But there will be repentance.
The life of a Christ follower is always one of repentance.
Repentance is admitting and realizing the condition of yourself and the character of God, thus relying completely on Him. It is dying to yourself and living for Christ. Simply put, repentance is turning from self to God.
Repentance was our first step. We were lost. We were blind. We were drowning, even paralyzed, in our own sin. In our utter helplessness, Christ died so that we might live. Christ initiated our relationship. He came to Earth as man, lived the life we could not live, died the death we deserved to die, then rose again defeating sin and death. Jesus satisfied the wrath of God in our place. We accepted His offer of justification and righteousness. In faith, we repented. From the beginning of our relationship with God, we repented – it’s how it began.
Repentance was all we could do from the beginning and still is all we can do. When living by the Spirit, it is God working through us – not of ourselves. Thus it is nothing we are doing, it is God through us. When we live by our self, not by the Spirit, we are offering God nothing, but are in opposition to His will. Anything for God comes from God. All I can do is ask him to clean the ‘me’ out of myself and replace it with Himself.
I used to think repentance was a one-time event to start my relationship with God. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Everyday, countless times, I have to actively and intentionally turn back to God, seek forgiveness for living for myself, and ask Him to reposition my life to be only about Him and His glory. And because of Christ’s all-sufficient sacrifice, my daily pleads never go unanswered.