Knowing just what one needs to turn from is part of
its reality. Vague repentance is nothing, or at least next to nothing.
In the Old Testament, repentance was the acknowledgment of sin,
accompanied by an acceptable sacrifice. The sin was then forgiven and the sinner restored to fellowship with God. Repentance was seen in external
forms such as, fasting, sackcloth and ashes as well as general days of penitence intended to bring Israel to repentance. These public displays of
repentance were often subject to criticism. God desired that the people genuinely repent, not partake in empty ritualism (Isaiah 58, Hosea 6:1-3, 6; 7:14, Amos 5:21-24).
God’s desire for us is that we not only confess our sins, but that we repent
of them. The Greek word repentance means, a change of place or condition. It’s the abandonment of a course of action which defied God by
doing what He dislikes or forbids. It shows a change of one’s mind or direction with the intent of never returning to the prior condition. Here’s
where we see the importance of obedience to God and His Word.
God created us for fellowship with Himself and is worthy of our obedience to
His commands. We can be indifferent to sin by ignoring it, but God is not indifferent to sin. Knowledge from God's Word of His expectations is
needed to recognize the sin we are committing and thus confess it and claim forgiveness. The reading, understanding and applying of God's word
is of utmost importance if we desire to raise our consciousness about God's hatred of sin and how we offend Him by not taking His demands seriously.
Daily we need to examine our lives against the Word of God, humble
ourselves before God, and repent, desiring a radical change of direction, not only in behavior, but in thought. When a Christian has repented and lives in
obedience to God, it is then and only then, that the world will see that Christ is making a difference in an individual’s life.