1. The very fact that God reveals sin in our lives and urges us to repent is evidence of His great love, mercy, and kindness. Even in the life of a Christian, sin leads to destuction. Something in our lives will break down as a result of unconfessed sin. God does not want this for His children, and He will "wound" us temporarily, if necessary, in order to restore us. He will not leave us on a path of destruction without giving us an opportunity to repent. (See Romans 2:1-10)
2. The best time for us to respoond to God is at the moment of conviction. The longer we delay, the harder we resist His Spirit, the more difficult it becomes to humble ourselves and repent.
3. God never asks anything of us that He does not provide the grace to do. In terms of repenting, this means that no matter how stong the bondage of sin or how long we have been involved in it, God can deliver us by His grace. (See 1Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 12:9.)
In order to maintain a lifestyle of repentance, we must keep our hearts in a posture of humility. Proud hearts do not respond well to God-a truth illustrated in the life of King Uzziah. Read the passage below and then answer the questions that follow.
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.... But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the LORD who were men of valor, and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, " It is not for you, Uzzaih, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the LORD God." Then Uzziar was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and when he became angry with the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of the LORD, by the altar of incense. And Azariah the chief priest and all the priests looked at him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead! And they rushed him out quickly, and he himself hurried to go out, because the LORD had sturck him. And King Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death, and being a leper lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. (2Chronicles 26:3-54, 16-21)
16. God prospered Uzziah because he sought after the Lord. What changed to cause Uzziah to act unfaithfully to God?
17. While in the very act of sin, Uzziah was given an opportunity to repent. How did God call Uzziah to repentance?
18. How did Uzziah respond when confronted with the truth? What were the consequences?
Repentance turns our hearts aright, as one would turn a capsized boat over to an upright position. The purpose of repentance is not to make us feel better about ourselves but to restore us to a right relationship with God, so that our lives may again bring glory to Him and be used for His purposes. That's what personal revival is all about!