Acts 3:19/20 – Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
Only good things happen when we turn from our sin:
- Turning brings forgiveness – “that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” Jer 36:3
- Turning brings healing – “if my people… turn from their wicked ways, I will… forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:14
- Turning brings life – “if a wicked person turns away from all his sins… he will surely live.” Eze 18:21
- Turning brings refreshing – “turn again… that times of refreshing may come…”
Turning from sin does not just apply to those who have not yet accepted Christ as Saviour, it applies to every single one of us on a daily basis. Keeping our sin in check should be part of our everyday routine, asking God to make us aware of when we stray from the path. We can easily fall into the trap of thinking we are doing okay and not acknowledging the little slips along the way. Not all sin is immediately obvious so it is good practice to take stock, from time to time, of what our day and week entails. I have to ask myself if I am using ‘God time’ for some other activity. Has what started out as an hour a day with the Lord, slowly become 45 minutes, 30 minutes, 15? Even if what I am doing is good, if it is replacing the Lord it is then hindering my relationship with him. I need to repent therefore, and turn again immersing myself in His presence.
Sin takes up space where peace should be; that is why it is so important to rest, reflect and find restoration in the presence of the Lord – “learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt 11:26). We learn from Jesus by following his lead. He continually stepped away from the busyness of life in order to spend time with the Father, a time of refreshing for his spirit. Exodus 31:17 tells us that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.
Times of refreshing are essential and the presence of the Lord is the greatest resource we have for that to happen.
To find forgiveness, to find healing, to find life, to find refreshing, there is only one way – Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! (Lam 2:19).