Part 3 of 3: Making Action Plans to Repent Successfully
By Brother Michel Lankford
- ; because unless we understand and respect the judgments of God we will not know and we will not recognize that we have sinned. Also, unless we recognize and respect that God is the judge, then we will not see any need or any urgency to repent.
- from God’s point of view; because you cannot repent successfully, without understanding what repent means in God’s eyes.
- ; because you cannot successfully turn away from sin; unless you understand how God defines sin.
Those were the tools of repentance that we covered in part one. You should review that lesson for all the details.
- if we don’t repent; because human nature is that we will not see the urgency to repent and overcome sin, if we do not understand the Biblical Consequences of continuing to live sinful lives.
- , because all good and lasting changes in life begin with the choice.
Coming up in Part 3, (Today’s Lesson)
- . In other words, we need to be doing the deeds of repentance.
- . Repenting is a lifestyle, not an event.
Today is Part 3:
Planning to Obey God on Purpose
We need to prayerfully create an action plan that faithfully aligns with the definition of repent. In other words, we need to be doing the deeds of repentance.
- Look at the Biblical attributes of Love in 1 Corinthians 13. You don’t really have to go any further than that. Love is not selfish. Love is not self-seeking. Which is easier and more natural for the human being to do by default? Is it easier for people to be selfish and self-seeking, or is it easier and more natural for people to look out for their own best interest first? Love forgives. It doesn’t hold grudges or keep records of wrongs. Which is typically easier and more natural for humans to do on a regular basis? On the whole, do people forgive easily, or is it easier and more natural for them to hold grudges, and to remember injustices that they have suffered? If you are truly honest, it is far more natural and easier for us to hold onto grudges, then it is for us to forgive. True love is not natural for us as human beings. Genuine love is the supernatural. If we are going to become loving individuals, we are going to have to do it on purpose. We’re going to have to cooperate with God intentionally. Were going to have to be intentional, forceful, and deliberate, about choosing to forgive instead of holding a grudge.
If you are going to become an obedient child of the Most High, you’re going to have to be DELIBERATE and PURPOSEFUL about it. Don’t expect to drift into obedience automatically. Remember, obeying God is not the default position for human being. Disobeying God is usually the default. So, it is extremely rare that you will drift into obedience. You must push toward obedience on purpose.
A Basic Action Plan to Obey God
- Make obedience a matter of prayer. Start intentionally praying about becoming a more obedient child of God and Messiah. You’d be surprised how much things can change, once you start being intentional about it.
- Start somewhere but start. One of the first challenges that will confront you when you decide that you want to be an obedient child of God, is that you will be tempted to feel overwhelmed and immediately discouraged. You might confuse yourself into total indecision, and not knowing where to begin. Don’t let yourself be confused or crippled into not being able to move forward. Look, there are 1050 Imperative Commandments to believers in the New Testament. PICK ONE to start practicing obeying it. Depending on Bible translation, there are approximately 300 Commandments given directly by Messiah. PICK ONE to start practicing. There are approximately 613 Torah Commandments from YHWH to humankind. PICK SOMETHING doable for you to start working on.
- Choose a Path: The Commandment Path, or The Promise Path. When you are trying to develop a lifestyle of being more obedient to YHWH and to Messiah, there are generally to paths that an up-and-coming disciple could take. One is called the Commandment Path. That is where the believer takes a Commandment out of Scripture that they know they could obey better, and they develop action plans, so that they will intentionally practice obeying that specific Commandment from Scripture. The second path one can take is called the Bible Promise Path.
If you plan prayerfully, and you walk your plan diligently, EITHER the Commandment Path, or the Bible Promise Path will achieve good results, and you will become a more obedient child of the Most High.
I Try to Practice a Lifestyle of Repenting Every Day
I have been in the faith, and I have been working as a minister of discipleship for more than 30 years. By all estimations I would be considered a veteran. At the same time, hear me on this. I DO NOT consider myself to have “ARRIVED by any means.” I don’t ALWAYS think and believe with the same perfection and consistency that Jesus would. I’m still striving for that. I don’t always exhibit the same character and patience that Jesus would. I am still striving for that. I don’t always hear the Leading and Direction of the Holy Spirit is perfectly as Jesus did. I am still striving for that. Much to my shame and chagrin, I am not as obedient to YHWH Almighty God, and to the Father’s Commandments as Jesus was when He was here. I am not nearly as patient, as forgiving, or as obedient as Messiah was when he lived here on earth. Even after 30 years, I still find the need to push myself for greater and greater excellence in all these areas to be a better disciple. I still run into Bible Commandments that I need to obey much better than I do. As I am reading my Bible, I still encounter Bible Promises that I want and need to experience on a much more consistently than I do experience them. I still try to practice a lifestyle of repentance every single day that I live. Please, do not miss that critical point.
All that having been said, I have learned a few crucial things about how to obey a Biblical Commandment, and how to obtain biblical promises, that I believe would be useful to you.
The Promise Path generally works as follows:
- Read Your Bible. You are reading your Bible, and as you are reading the Scriptures, you encounter a Biblical Promise that you would love to experience, or experience more often in your life. That’s terrific. It’s perfectly legitimate. There is nothing wrong with recognizing a God-given promise and realizing that you would like to achieve a better result in your life and in your circumstances. That is perfectly valid.
- Choose a Biblical Promise & Write it Down. You write down the Bible promise verses that you encountered, which you want to experience more often in your life. Write down the Bible verse and the reference. You do that, so that you can remember it, and you can remember to pray about it more often. Studies have shown that you are 90% more likely to succeed at accomplishing something if you care enough to write it down.
- Do a short of Bible study on that Promise that you are seeking to experience. Pay particular attention to any conditions that God has established for a believer to obtain the promise that you are studying. This is actually the linchpin of how we grow as believers, using a Biblical Promise. The way you grow through a promise that God is given by recognizing and then cooperating with God to fulfill any conditions that God has attached to His Biblical Promise. Based on everything that I have seen heard and read, there are approximately 7,487 Promises from God to humankind in the Scriptures. Here is the thing that I have noticed as I studied the Heavenly Father’s promises over the decades. With rare exception, almost every promise that God is given in the Scriptures have specific conditions attached to receiving the Promises. With extremely rare exceptions, the vast majority of God’s promises read something like God saying, “I will do, ‘Y’ IF you do, ‘X.’ God often says, I will do this… If you do that. If you ever run across a biblical promise that you would like to have in your life, which are not experiencing the benefits of the promise, the vast majority of the time, the source of the problem will be that you have not learned the conditions that God established for you to have the promise. You have not met the conditions that God established for you to have the promise. Or you have not persevered and continued meeting the conditions that God established until you received the promise and your circumstances changed for the better. That’s usually the reason that people miss out on receiving the promises of God, they have not practice meeting God’s conditions for obtaining His Promises. Most promises of God are conditional. If you meet the conditions that God has attached to receive a biblical promise, then you can have and enjoy the Promise. If you refuse to meet the Biblical conditions that God established for a Biblical Promise, then biblically, you have no legitimate right to expect to receive that Promise, if you have refused to meet His conditions. In reality, from the biblical point of view, the fact that you care enough to learn and to meet God’s conditions to receive His Promises, is the physical manifestation that you have faith and that you believe God for that promise. If you believe God for a promise, and you value the promise enough, then you are going to cooperate with God, you’re going to learn his established conditions for that promise, and you are going to practice meeting His Conditions, so that you can experience the blessings of His Promises. Most promises of God, come with an “IF Clause” in them. If you value the Promise enough, then you are going to cooperate with God to learn and to fulfill the ‘IF Clause,’ so that you can have the promise. On the other hand, if you refuse to cooperate with God, and to learn and to fulfill the ‘IF clause’ then that basically means one of two things. A) You DON’T REALLY BELIEVE God for that Promise. Or, B) You don’t truly value or care enough about obtaining promise to carefully meet God’s established conditions for His Promise. So, as you are writing down and studying biblical promises that you would like to have, take careful notes of the conditions that God has established for your receiving that biblical promise, because that’s important.
A Few Bible Promise Examples
As It Is Written: “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 1:19–20 NKJV)
Here we have a clear biblical promise. You can have all the blessings that God provides in the land where it causes you to settle. However, there is an, IF CLAUSE here. If we believe God for this promise, and we want to eat and partake of all the good that this land has to offer, then what is the condition that we must fulfill? Obviously, we have to develop an attitude of willingness and obedience toward YHWH Almighty God, right? That’s the condition. Which result do you want? Do you want to partake of all the good of the land that God has allowed to dwell in? Or, you prefer to be devoured by the sword, (or by our enemies)? You MUST make the choices and behave in ways that are consistent with the results you want to receive. If you don’t like what you’re receiving and life, then you need to change what you’re doing. It’s the same concept which discussed in Deuteronomy 30:15-16. Also, the same concept in Deuteronomy 30:19.
Here is another example. People absolutely love this promise, and so do I; but it’s a great example of a CONDITIONAL Promise that God has given in His Word:
As It Is Written: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
In this case, what are the Promises in this passage?
- God promises that He will hear from heaven.
- God promises that He will forgive our sin.
- God promises that He will heal our land.
Now, those are some pretty cool promises. I would absolutely love to have those. So according to Scripture, what do I as a believer have to do to obtain those great promises? What conditions has God established for me to experience of promises, or for us as a group of believers to receive those promises?
We must focus on fulfilling the conditions, so that we can receive the promises.
I ABSOLUTELY AGREE that we should by all means PRAY. But I BEG you, my brethren. BEFORE we claim the blessings of the PROMISE, let us PLEASE, understand, respect, and OBEY the CONDITIONS, which YHWH Almighty has CLEARLY set, so that HE CAN rightly say YES when we pray. Here are the conditions, (2 Chronicles 7:14):
- We MUST be HIS People. Those who pray MUST be devoted, committed and in covenant relationship, belonging to HIM alone; NOT serving other agendas, or knowingly or unknowingly serving other gods.
- YHWH’s People, belonging to HIM, MUST also HUMBLE ourselves.
- YHWH’s People, belonging to Him, MUST PRAY.
- YHWH’s people, belonging to HIM, MUST also seek HIS FACE, NOT just His favor, but we must seek to put a smile on HIS face, instead of delighting ourselves, (i.e. Deuteronomy 5:29).
- YHWH’s people, belonging to HIM, MUST also actively TURN AWAY from OUR wicked ways. We must actively turn away from the ways which YHWH has called wicked and turn toward the ways which YHWH has called good.
THEN, (AFTER we meet those 5 conditions), THEN, He will hear from heaven. THEN HE will forgive our sins. THEN, He will heal our land.
Most believers know and desire the restoration promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14, but precious few are willing to meet the conditions which YHWH has placed on this great promise. If we refuse to meet His Conditions, then we have NO legal RIGHT to expect the blessings of his promises.
Let us not forget that it is the REFUSING to submit to His Standards, which is causing our national degradation in the first place.
If our Land is not healed by the Creator, then we will have NONE to blame, but OURSELVES. If we want our land to be healed and restored, the Almighty has told us what we MUST do. It only remains for us to CHOOSE to DO it!
Many of us who are believers look at the condition that our country is in, and we shake our heads in dismay and discussed, and well we should. Many of our keyboard warriors love to get on YouTube and other social media and rant and rave about all the wicked leftists, Communists, the woke, and the politically correct and how nasty and vile they are; and yes, they do many stupid, foolish and arrogant things, that are a thorn in the side of any decent and rational person. There is no real argument there.
At the same time, did it escape your notice that in 2 Chronicles 7:14, God is NOT asking the HEATHEN who DOES NOT KNOW Him to do the repenting here. In order to receive the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14, what group of people is responsible for meeting God’s specified Conditions? That’s right. We are. This is something we often forget, but it would pay us to remember, that if our land is destroyed with wickedness, it will not be the fault of the leftist. It will not be the fault of the woke people. It will not be the fault of the communists. It will not be the fault of the foolish people, who think they are wise but who truly do not know their head from their butt.
If we are destroyed as a society, the fault and the responsibility will rest squarely on the shoulders of believers who consider themselves saints of the Kingdom, and children of the Most High God. WHY? Because God gave us believers the recipe for how to save a society in 2 Chronicles 7:14. The primary responsibility for saving a society rests with the believers, and NOT with the unbelieving.
- To whom much has been given, much more will be required, (Luke 12:48).
- The covenant believer who is born again has direct access to Almighty God through Jesus Christ. We have direct access to the ONE Who can change everything. The heathen does not.
- The covenant believer who is born again has the SAME Holy Spirit which moved on the face of the deep in creation and Who resurrected Jesus from the dead living in us. The unconverted sinner or the unbelieving heathen does not have the Holy Spirit of God living in them, empowering them to obey God, but we believers do have that to help us. So, we have much less excuse for any defiance, rebellion and disobedience than the heathen does.
- The Covenant Believer who is born again has had their eyes open to at least some of the truth of Scripture; more than the unbelieving heathen does. So they know how to respect biblical instruction, and biblical promises more than any unbeliever does. We should know how to repent. The heathen does not know and respect how to do that yet, like we should.
No, if our society goes down, the fault will rest with the believer who had access to God, who could of applied the conditions of God’s promises to help save our land, but was either to careless, too self absorbed, or too lazy to do what we could have done.
Finally, let’s close out this episode with one last example verse:
As It Is Written: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:7 NKJV)
This is one of the best and most far-reaching promises in all of Scripture. Think about it. There is a way that we as believers can inherit all of the good things that the Kingdom of God has to offer. God make that available to us, according to His Word. It’s a totally awesome promise.
According to God’s Promise, IF we OVERCOME, then we can inherit all good things that God’s Kingdom has to offer. The promise can tie back directly to one that is given in Psalm 84:11: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 NKJV). The thing we have to do is make sure that we VALUE the Promise enough, that we are willing to pay the price.
- According to God’s Promise, IF we OVERCOME, then YHWH will consider Himself to be OUR God.
These are great promises. Of course, they are. But they all come with the condition attached. In order to have the benefits of all these great promises, I MUST VALUE the Promise enough that I am willing to learn how to become an overcomer, and I am willing to develop the habits of becoming an overcoming person. Please remember, and do not forget. If we do not inherit these great blessings that God wants us to have, then it is NOT going to be God’s fault. If we fail to inherit these promises it will be OUR fault, and NOT God’s fault. We can have every single promise that God has given in His Word; so long as we believe God enough, and we value God’s promises enough that we are willing to learn and to meet God’s conditions for receiving His Promises.
- God’s Word cannot fail, (Isaiah 55:5-11).
- God is no respecter of persons, (Acts 10:35).
- You can have any Biblical Promise in God’s Word, (2 Corinthians 1:20) so long as you believe God for the promise, and you value the promise enough to learn and to practice meeting God’s stated conditions to receive that Promise.
God has made in many exceedingly great Promises available to all believers. God is ALWAYS faithful to His Word. If we don’t participate in the blessings that we wish we had, then ultimately it is NOT God’s fault. It’s ours.
By learning and practicing meeting the conditions that God has established for us to receive the Biblical promises, it forces us to develop the character that God is trying to build in us. When we skip out on learning and practicing the conditions to receive a Biblical Promise, not only do we fail to inherit the blessing of the promise, but we fail to develop the character that the prerequisite conditions of the promise were intended to instill in us. So, we cheat ourselves in multiple ways; when we fail to learn and to practice meeting God’s conditions for a given Promise.
As I leave you in today’s podcast, I would like you to consider a couple of questions.
- What biblical Commandment and Instruction are you actively working on fulfilling right now? What action steps are you taking to become a better DOER of that particular Commandment?
- What biblical promise are you focusing on obtaining right now? Are you learning the conditions that God has attached to that Biblical Promise that you are trying to obtain?
- Are you practicing fulfilling the conditions that God has established for granting you that promise? We need to check ourselves on questions like that pretty frequently
For myself, I am working on developing better habits to receive the promise guaranteed in 2 Chronicles 7:14. That’s what I am focusing on at the moment. What about you?
Brother Michel Lankford