One of the most important turning points in my life happened when the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) explained that the Lord had a commission for me in His Kingdom, and that I had the choice to take it or not. I agreed to take the position, and that led to some significant life changes to make me ready for it. The first change happened immediately: I stopped playing computer games. This had become my refuge from the world, and not in a good way. I realized very quickly that redeeming the time spent each night in these self-absorbing amusements left hours and hours free to do other things, like talk with my wife, play with my children, pray, and study the Bible. That was repentance. It was not so much that I apologized for my previous actions, but that I did something about them – I stopped doing a self-absorbing thing that had kept me from other very important things, which I then started doing.
That led to other acts of repentance as my eyes were opened to the many ways I engaged in behavior that isolated me from my wife, my children, my God, and others. In particular, I came to a fresh, and frightening, understanding of Yeshua’s words, “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28). Certainly this included gawking at an attractive body that caught my eye, but it also included those attractive bodies that lurked in the recesses of my mind. Whether real or conjured up by my imagination, those images were no less tempting than the ones I encountered day by day. They, too, had isolated me from my wife, and they had to go. That repentance was very hard, for it involved revealing secrets hidden for decades. Letting them remain hidden would be more painful in the long run, for they would continue to infect the relationship with my beloved in ways she could not understand. It was in that process of repentance that healing began to come into our marriage – a healing that has progressed a long way, but that continues to this day.
Yeshua (Jesus), when answering his disciples’ questions about “the end times,” said this:
“At that time many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other; many false prophets will appear and fool many people; and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah.”
(Matthew 24:10-12, CJB)
Betrayal, hate, deception, love grown cold, and all due to “increased distance from Torah.” How are we doing? Are we engaged in betrayal? Are we allowing ourselves to be fooled by false prophets? Have we become distant from Torah? Let our eyes be opened!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew in me a resolute spirit.”
(Psalm 51:10, CJB)