But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom 10:8-13
This following post was written by a man that is currently serving a Life Without Parole sentence at the prison that I serve at. I pray that you are challenged as he shares his heart through these words.
Even in my early thirties, I wasn’t much of a man or a father. At least not until I finally was able to get beyond my corrosive pride and submitted to the one who could actually teach me how to be the things that I surely was not. For me it took a capital murder charge and the degrading life of an inmate to open my eyes. Unfortunately, I was a stubborn extremist, so it took extreme measures to reach me. I pray to God that your eyes are opened with much less effort.
Once I had landed on rock bottom, and all of the addictions and distractions were out of the equation, I was in a position to receive the things that I was too stubborn to hear before. Some may call this being humbled…that being said, I say this in truth, it was amazing what I learned once I truly begin to listen.
Part of my problem was that I was listening to, and running with, the (bad) advice from men that were still trying to figure out manhood and fatherhood themselves. How stupid is that? In all of my self-imposed wisdom and knowledge, I could not figure out that if I was truly committed to becoming a good man or father, I needed instructions from the ultimate Father and from the perfect man. This combination cannot be found anywhere else, but in God. Be not deceived, this is not segregated to gender, it is just as true for the female as it is for the male.
The other part of my problem was the doubt I had in my learning curve, and not being able to overcome my deep feelings of unworthiness. If I was to deal effectively with these issues, I had to be willing to change my thinking. That was a big deal for me, because I didn’t enjoy change or starting over. That would mean being a student, a disciple – in essence, a child to be taught.
Now, as a grown male with a fully developed ego and filled with pride and arrogance, the idea of lowering myself in any way is unappealing. Nonetheless, if I wanted to progress from the place I had fallen, I had to admit I was already lower than low, and in need. I bet you know how difficult it is for a proud person to ask for help. Sometimes circumstances will change your direction for you.
The choices for me were to stay where I was (on rock bottom), or to look up like a child to my Heavenly Father and receive the help he has been offering me all of my life. It was evident to me that at this point, He was the only one able to raise me up.
Most people may think that repenting is telling the Lord about the sins that we have committed and asking Him for forgiveness. However, telling the Lord about our sins and asking for forgiveness is actually called, “Confessing.” Whereas, repenting is a reversal, or the changing of direction in our thinking and behavior due to a change in how we feel about our wrongs.
Before I was able to begin the climb upward in the Lord, I needed to repent – I had to change my downward spiral and unrighteous descent, then be willing to travel according to the ways of the Lord.
The first step to success, manhood, fatherhood, or any other place in the Lord is discovering that we are headed in the wrong direction (physically and mentally); and then submitting to the Lord as the leader of our life. For any of this to work…Jesus must be Lord and we must repent.