Have you ever repented of sin only to later repeat it? You confess, repent, and receive forgiveness and cleansing by faith (1 John 1:9) … each time, over and over.
Repentance is a 180 degree turn. When I sin I have turned away from God. I repent and head the opposite direction with God. But often, I find that the 180 has become a 360! How about you? I give in to the same temptation again. And I have to start over. Now I’m not only battling with sin, but with guilt as well. Basically, I’m managing sin, winning the battles, but not the war. How can I keep this from happening? How can I extend the 180 past its starting point? When I come to the same temptation, I have to get beyond it. Each time I do, I get closer to the actual cleansing that I received at confession and repentance by faith. I keep going on the 180 path instead of going around in circles. I must repent at the point of temptation.
What does this path look like? I asked this question of the Lord. He said,
“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Lu 9:23)
Okay, I know that, but Jesus had me think deeply about it. As Easter approaches, we’re all thinking of His cross, death, and resurrection. This is important for this 180 road that I/we need to be on. It is the destination of our GPS (God’s Precious Spirit). As I’m travelling, I must “fix my eyes on Jesus,” His cross and resurrection. I must receive His mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, and cleansing, or I can’t even be on Hwy 180. Let’s put this passage in the first person and look at these three point directions.
- It is at the point of temptation that I must deny myself. The line between temptation and sin can be very thin. What if I cross over into sin? What if I’m not sure if I have or not? It doesn’t matter! The blood of Jesus covers all sin. At the earliest possible point of realization of the temptation, I confess and repent. I deny myself!
- Immediately, I receive forgiveness and cleansing by faith. I pick up my cross. It was on His cross that our Lord won the victory over sin. As I pick up my cross, I share in His victory!
- I follow Jesus! I move past that point of temptation on Hwy 180, keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. I follow Him. How often? Daily, moment by moment, 24/7, 365 ¼ days per year! How long? Until I reach that place of final and eternal resurrection! Highway 180 leads to heaven. I follow Jesus to the ultimate victory!
On Hwy 180, I have not only repented, I am living a repentant life. This is the REZ LIFE!
On both sides of Hwy 180 are floods, earthquakes, fires, rain and strong winds, storms, and even tornadoes! So, I must stay on the highway! Close your Bible. Look at the spine. It’s a narrow path! Open your Bible; it’s a little wider! On Hwy 180, there is plenty of Living Bread and cool, refreshing Living Water for daily nourishment for my spirit. The path is narrow, but not so narrow that I cannot bring another with me. As I receive from the Lord, so I give to my travelling companion until they are strong enough to pick up a new traveler on the Lord’s highway. We don’t walk alone. This narrow Highway 180 was carved out by our Lord. He lived the REZ LIFE even before He rose from the grave in final victory over sin and death. Following Him were the twelve and the other early disciples. We’re following someone who was following them, and someone is following us.
It’s an amazing life! It’s the REZ LIFE! In His REZ LIFE,
“I will deny myself, pick up my cross daily, and follow Jesus.”
Let’s walk together on Highway 180. Follow Jesus. Bring someone with you.