If you are like me and had some time in Weigh Down Workshop (WD or WDW), then you may feel this little bit of chafing when you think of the word “repentance.”

Without going into the details about why, you know it if you are like me in this respect.

I want to ask God (again) to help me to recapture HIS meaning for this word, this concept. HE is the one who created it. No matter how it is misused or abused by HUMANS, it is HIS fullest intention that I experience the blessings of repentance and know that it is His kindness that leads me to repentance.

That aside, I will continue to share about the lessons in The Lord’s Table (the workbook). Today’s lesson is so powerful and encouraging…it is hard to pull tidbits out without telling the entire thing! You will have to trust me on this one! This lesson is one of those that could make the workbook worth getting all by itself! 🙂 It is *that* good.

This is what I wrote this morning in my journal…

Right now today I know I have only turned part of the way. (In reference to Day 11 speaking of turning FROM sin and turning TO God being the two parts to repentance.) I end up turning away (or DO I?) from the sin. But in my stubbornness and pride I don’t turn TO God.

This lesson was based on a comparison between two verses:

Ecclesiastes 6:7 All a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied.


Joel 2:26 You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the LORD your God who has dealt wondrously with you; then my people will never be put to shame.

The question is, how can we go from the Ecclesaistes 6:7 experience to the Joel 2:26 experience?

In the past, I would spend SO much time, energy, thought on food. I would plan for it, yearn for it, go get it, sit down and eat it…manipulate who it would be done with and what we would be doing. Saturday nights were the BIG night for all our favorite shows…Star Trek, Hercules, Xena and the nachos, popcorn, soda, ice cream sundaes…it went on and on. It was a food fest…(This was a LONG time ago!) All my efforts were like Ecclesiastes says…and yet the deep heart hunger that motivated this so much could never be satisfied by food. It wasn’t possible. That old shoving of the square peg (food) into the round hole (God-shaped hole in my heart), once again.

So, how can I experience what Joel 2:26 speaks of…that eating “plenty” and being “satisfied” and PRAISE the LORD.

It is Repentance…yes, once again.

Joel 2:12-13 says: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, adn with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and relenting of evil…”

This is compared to another verse which I included yesterday:
Acts 3:19-20 Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord and that he may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you.

When I repent and return:
1. My sins are wiped away
2. I experience refreshment!
3. I experience HIS presence.
4. I experience the closeness of Jesus Himself.

Repentance brings spiritual refreshment and heart satisfaction in Christ. (TLT, p. 38)

But my repentance must be to leave sin AND to turn TO God. I turn my back on sin, perhaps, but because I don’t feast on the Lord, don’t pray, journal, read, praise Him…SOMETHING–the emptiness remains and the food (or diet soda) continues to call out and it is more of a battle than it needs to be. God never intended these things to torment me! When I am in that place it is all about self-effort…the old “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality…and not at all about the power and sufficiency of God!…and definitely NOT refreshment!

If I am not experiencing refreshment, then maybe what I have done is NOT true repentance! OOoooh! Powerful truth!

From Joel 2:21-27 there are so many more blessings listed that come from repentance as well.

* rejoicing
* gladness
* praising God–He has done great things!
* lack of fear
* fruitfulness
* abundance
* redeeming of the years the locusts have eaten
* plenty to eat
* satisfaction
* no shame
* His presence experienced!

Again, if I am not experiencing these things, maybe I haven’t truly repented, but just done the “half turn.”

On page 39, Mike Cleveland explains that Christians like to call overeating a weakness, but not a sin. Then he explains why overeating is a sin. He uses scripture and it is compelling. I simply must quote him for what I feel is one of the best quotes in the entire program:

You see, if we fail to call overeating sin, then we miss out on the blessings of repentance. Why not rather call overeating by the biblical term of “gluttony” so that we can see the need to repent? And as we repent we will experience such sweet refreshment from the Lord, such satisfaction from the Lord, such enjoyment in the Lord, that we will wonder why we weren’t ever told this truth before. (TLT p. 40)

Summary: If I don’t experience refreshment and joy, then perhaps what I have done is not true biblical repentance. Maybe I have turned away from sin, but have I truly turned TO the Lord? Am I letting HIM be my satisfaction? Or am I longingly looking back at the sin that I have resisted… There is no joy or repentance in that.