I Am Repenting, But It’s Not Working

Category: Questions & Answers

Question: I am trying to repent and believe enough but I am not saved! What is wrong? “I feel as though I’ve tried everything, but I don’t understand your video on biblical repentance.”

I don’t know if you guys have seen that, but I basically talked about the nature of true repentance. And I stated on there, it’s not some pre-conversion work that we try to reform our life with to get us to a place where God now accepts us. It’s not that.

And so many people get so hung up on their repentance. “Am I repenting enough?” “Am I believing enough?” And they’re constantly gazing inward instead of looking to Christ. And I hit on that.

And she says, “If this is true, than what do we do instead? How can I ever be saved? I’m in this situation. I’m trying to believe enough, I’m trying to repent enough and I’ve not felt any change. What do I do?”

I just tag on what I said before. But, I would say to Amanda, if you say… if anybody comes to the place where they actually admit that, they say, “I am trying to believe enough, I am trying to repent enough,” I mean, I’ll shoot straight with you, the Lord never, never, never, never ever tells you to rely on your own shattered strengthened efforts to try to believe and try to repent. Never!

The whole idea of repentance is giving up our own efforts, giving up our own attempts to do that, even our own attempts to believe, our own attempts to repent. It’s all about coming as a helpless beggar. Coming as totally without strength, without ability and just falling at the feet of Christ for help. It’s not looking to our powers within. It’s looking at the aid that comes alone through Jesus Christ.

And this girl, Amanda, what she’s doing, is she’s trusting herself. Every time, guarantee it folks, when you are trying and you are putting forth an effort to believe enough and to repent enough, I’ll tell you Amanda, you may not like to hear this, but your problem is pride, you’re problem is you’re stuck on yourself. You’re problem is self-reliance. You’re problem is self-righteousness. You are trying to make yourself presentable to God. you’re trying to do something and make something happen in your heart whereby God will say, “Okay, now I accept you.” That’s exactly what you need to repent of. That’s exactly what you need to turn from.

You have nothing to offer Him! You cannot refine this thing, you cannot work this thing out sufficiently so that God’s going to say, “Okay, Amanda, now I see you’ve got… you’ve come to the place.” It’s when you come to that place… like Peter was when He was sinking. What did he do? Did he say, “Oh, now I’d better believe enough to keep myself on top of these waves. I’m looking around, I’m seeing….”? Do you know what he did? “Lord, help me!” That’s really what it is. It’s when the sinner gets to the place when they realize, “I’m going down.”

Folks, you know what it’s like. You guys, any of you guys swimmers? I swam a lot when I was growing up. Sometimes I’d swim so far out, in the undertow, in Lake Michigan, we’d swim way out there and we’d cross lakes or something, and sometimes we would send hours and hours and hours swimming. We’d get to the place where we were just facing sheer exhaustion.

I’ll tell you what, as long as you thought you had any ability left to get to the side of the pool or make it back to the shore, you didn’t cry out for help. You know why? You’d be embarrassed. Other people would think you were weak. Right? “Ahhh, you’re calling out for help!” You know, “What’s all that about?” “You don’t have enough strength to get you back to shore? What are you, a wimp?” No, as long as you had any pride about you, any confidence in your own abilities left, you didn’t cry out.

You know who cries out? The person that suddenly becomes aware, “I don’t have any more strength. I can’t stay up. I’m going down.” That’s when you cry out for help, when you know, “I’m not going to make it.”

You know, so many, so many people say… you know what, I just heard it at my son’s basketball game the other day. The guy that was giving the testimony he said, he came to the end of himself. Do you know how many Christians I’ve heard say that, “God saved me when I came to the end of myself”? Of course that’s when He saved you! Because when you come to the end of yourself, is when you’re not going to go on trying any more, because you’re out of gas.

You’ve come to the place where you’re going down. “Lord help me! If you don’t help me right now I’m gone. I’m drowned. I’m dead.” And that’s when He rushes in and He saves.

Amanda, you’re not to the bottom of the barrel yet. You’ve got too much self-confidence still. That’s why you’re not saved yet. You need to be like Peter, “Lord help me!”

That’s what Connie said. I remember that well because that’s where I was. That’s all that came out of me, “Lord help me!” And He did. He saved me like that.