About This Booklet
Booklet 1 of 6 in the Loving God series. In this teaching, Martha explores personal repentance as essential preparation for recognizing, and loving, the Son of God.
What is the key to seeing Him?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Our lives will pivot on whether or not we repent. How astonishingly simple is this basic principle of the Gospel! Yet too many people miss the key to true repentance as defined by God Himself. Feeling guilty is not repentance. Feeling remorse is not repentance. Feeling shame is not repentance. What is the key to repentance that leads to seeing Him in all reality?
“It has taken me years to see this key. I have experienced it, but it took me years to understand. I am only now understanding how a person’s life turns.
“If one person can burn with love for God, why cannot another one? And why do not all Christians love Him? I will tell you why… There is a pivot upon which your love for Christ will turn.
“I have always wanted to bring people into God’s love, and I would tell them, ‘Just go be with the Lord!’ Well, they would go to be with the Lord but it didn’t make them love Him. I was searching to bring people into the love of God. They would say, ‘I want it!’ And I would say, ‘I know you want it, but I can’t find the door! Where is the door to Christ? I had it. What was MY door?!’
“The Lord has shown me what it is.”
Not sure you’ve truly seen Jesus? Struggling to love Him as you know you should? Here is the solution. In Seeing Him, Martha explores personal repentance – in all that it truly is and all that it truly is NOT – as our essential preparation for recognizing, and loving, the Son of God.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
You will only die for love…and you WILL die for something.
Everyone gives their life and dies for something. And you will always give it to what you love. You will only give it on the grounds of love and you will only give it to God…IF you love God. And you will only love Him if one quality is present in your life: There is a key. It has taken me years to see this key. I have experienced it, but it took me years to understand. I am only now understanding…how a person’s life turns.
If one person can burn with love for God, why cannot another one?
And why do not all Christians love Him?
I will tell you why… There is a pivot upon which your love for Christ will turn.
I have always wanted to bring people into God’s love and I would tell them: “Just go be with the Lord!” Well, they would go to be with the Lord but it didn’t make them love Him. I was searching to bring people into the love of God. They would say: “I want it!” And I would say: “I know you want it, but I can’t find the door! Where is the door to Christ? I had it. What was my door?!” The Lord has shown me what it is.
There is a process, a movement of the Holy Spirit, in our lives. First is the confrontation with sin. The Holy Spirit comes and that is His place. His purpose is to bring to you the truth. At that point, the ball is in your court and you choose how you respond. You can say, “Yes…” or you can say, “Oh, but…!”
The ball is in your court. You decide whether you drop the ball at that point—or whether you give the ball back to God and the game goes on. Most people drop the ball at that point. I want to tell you, they do. Only when you admit the truth of which the Holy Spirit convicts you, do you give Him back the ball. And do you know what He does with it? He unveils the Son.
He unveils His Son to you and then you love Him. You have a new revelation of Him and you love Him and then…you surrender. Repentance is the door to God. Repentance is the door…to seeing God.
Do you understand the game now? Let’s go back over it.
God takes the ball and throws it to you and says: “This is you! This is the truth about YOU.” And you can say, “Oh, but…no!” and you drop the ball. The game ends right there. Or you say, “Yes, Lord, I see. I repent.” You throw the ball back to Him. He gives you a revelation of Christ. He throws the ball back to you and you love Him and you surrender. You throw the ball back to Him…
You are ready then for the next game, because it is a cycle that goes on and on and on through life. Those who drop the ball break the cycle and never come to the kind of love that I have presented to you here—the kind of burning, intense love for Christ.
So you see, you really have to learn how to repent. This cycle goes on and on, deeper and deeper, more and more. Your repentance is deeper. Your vision is higher. Your love is richer, and your surrender is lower.
Repentance, revelation, love, surrender. It is in precisely that order…ever more and more deeply.
Repentance leads to grace, forgiveness, and the revelation of Christ.
You can call a filthy thing clean all day long, but if God isn’t convinced, you are simply deluded. If God calls it, you have to call it like God calls it. And He will bring the truth to you. He will present it and then the ball is in your court, and you will have to decide what you are going to do with it.
Humanly we have our opinions, but God has His knowledge. The Lord will and has brought you truth. How you dealt with it determines the measure of your revelation of Christ. Watchman Nee wrote that the only thing God requires of man is truth, and that God can work with any man who will just deal in truth.
You see, when God accused me of not loving Him, I just admitted the truth. It felt terrible and hopeless, but because I dealt with truth then He could shower me with His own Love.
I have a friend who had a profound encounter with the Lord. She was in prayer one day and the presence of the Lord came to her. She just fell on the floor. The glory was so great and the reality of who He was, was so revealed to her that she just melted. It absolutely changed her whole life.
She has lived in that glory for over six months now. There is no Christian who wants to grow that wouldn’t envy her dynamic experience. Her pastor called her in and said: “Tell me what has happened.” He has used her as an example of being filled with the Spirit. People are coming to her. She has worship, joy, praise, and glory in her life, and revelation in the Word is really flowing in her.
At one point, she came to me and said: “Martha, why did God give this to me? I have to know that. Why did He give it to me? I have to understand.” I said to her: “Well, let me ask you something. Before you had this encounter with the Lord, did you experience a deeply painful repentance where you were convicted of sin?”
She said: “Oh yes.” I said: “In that experience, did everybody tell you that you were alright and still you repented?” She said: “Oh yes, that is true. Even my husband told me that I was not in the wrong, but I knew that I was hideously in sin.” And I said: “That’s why this was given to you.” Every revelation of Christ is always preceded by a devastating blow of looking in the mirror without your covering.
I explained: “That encounter with Christ is not given to those who are ‘good’ and those who are religious. That revelation of Christ is given only…to those who genuinely repent.” The path has to be clear. For her it was cleared in great sorrow. Hers was a profound repentance, confession and receiving God’s forgiveness.
She told me that it had been progressive—it started at one level, then it went deeper, and deeper. Every time she would say, “Yes, guilty,” then another wave would come. And you know, she had no idea what lay before her. She would have said: “Bring it on!” if she would have known. We don’t know what we do when we drop the ball…
There was no one who encouraged her in her repentance. Nobody will encourage you either, in your repentance. When you repent, it makes others fear that they will have to see their own sin.
Well, let’s go through some scriptures. Many of us do not experience the fullness of the Spirit. Here is a clue why:
Acts 2:38 NKJV
“Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”
This verse describes the perfect order that the early church followed:
1. Repent of your sins
2. Be baptized in the name of Jesus (for the forgiveness of your sins)
3. Receive the Holy Spirit.
That process for us takes 40 years! Why? Because of the weakness of our repentance—we don’t assume full responsibility.
Acts 11:18 NASB
“God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
Romans 2:4 says: “the kindness of God leads you toward repentance.” It is not the meanness of God that confronts you, it is the kindness of God. You are very blessed if repentance is rich in your life. You are very fortunate.
Paul wrote the Corinthians so that they would repent. He confronted them. He told them the brutal, utter, real truth, and then he said in 2 Corinthians, “Okay, now forgive and go on” (paraphrased).
See, if you don’t fully repent, you carry a vague, illusive guilt all the time, 24 hours a day.
You never can seem to get it off your back. You keep shoving it out, but it doesn’t go away because you must admit who you are—that what you did is because of who you are.
This is a precious verse to me:
Acts 3:19 NASB
“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.”
That is what happens when you repent…times of refreshing come from the Lord. He doesn’t leave you there in your tears! Immediately, He gives you a promise of restoration.
Repentance is the truth that God brings to you, and your response is: “Yes, no, or maybe.” At that point you are the pivot upon which your spiritual riches turn. You can be poor or rich spiritually, depending upon repentance.
Nobody has to train you in this—if you love truth and you want God, you will repent. There is a verse in Scripture that says:
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 NKJV
“Because they received not the love of truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.”
Do you know that God will give you the freedom to believe the lie if you want to? And yet the love of truth comes to you first, along with repentance. If you refuse the truth, then you have preferred the lie.
When I was entering into Spirit-filled life as an adult, I suddenly began to look at things in truth. Before that, I didn’t. I liked my delusions. I liked to see things the way I wanted them to be or thought they should be. But there came a time when suddenly, I saw the truth.
I didn’t have faith. I didn’t know God. Everybody around me didn’t seem to know God. Yet I began to call things what they were. God sent me the love of the truth and I received it. And what I have of Christ is no merit! It is just repentance. He sends the love of the truth into every life.
You can shut the door or you can open it, with all its penetrating light. Change will follow. It will just happen. No one told me how to surrender when I repented. I saw Christ. I loved Him. I surrendered. Only recently did I see the process, a very simple process. It will happen to every person who follows it.
A dear friend repented, saw Christ, loved Him, and then, the next thing that happened was a tremendous surrender to which He called her. I watched her when she gave it to Him.
The process is so perfectly predictable.
We are a ‘get rich quick’ culture in everything. We want quick spirituality without the price. We want to see Him without the beam removed. We want to love Him without hating ourselves…and it is not possible.
Nehemiah was a man who knew how to repent and who taught others how to repent. He was a man captured and seized under a foreign king. He was the cupbearer. He tasted the cup to see if it was poisoned before the king drank it. The king learned to love him and trust him because everyday he put his life on the line for the king.
Nehemiah 1:4-6 NKJV
“I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven… Let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, night and day, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”
Well, I tell you, don’t be afraid to take on more guilt than you need to! All the greats of scripture identified with the guilt of those for whom they prayed and travailed. Daniel did it. Nehemiah did it.
Nehemiah was a faithful man, yet he said: “WE have sinned.” He entered into his people’s sin. He knew that if they could sin, he could sin. You haven’t done anything that I couldn’t do. I may not be doing it at the moment, but I could.
We ALL are equally guilty (see Isaiah 53:6). But our response to our guilt is individual, and that is what determines our revelation of Christ.
Nehemiah confessed the sins. And he received the privilege to go back and rebuild the nation, and he did so in tremendous commitment to God.
In chapter 8, they had finished rebuilding the wall. In verse 8 it says: “They read from the Law of God.” Three times in chapter 8 it says: “They read the Book of the Law of God.” Then in verse 9 it says:
“For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the Law.”
You see, you can’t imagine the effect of your repentance on everybody around you. You might even turn a whole nation around with your repentance.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
“If My people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
“If My people” will repent. Not the nation, but “My people.” Then Nehemiah said to the people after their repentance:
Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV
“Go, eat of the fat, drink the sweet… Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The book of the Law was read and the people saw that they should build and live in booths for the Feast of Tabernacles. So they went immediately, obeyed and built booths. “And there was great gladness” (v. 12). Repentance brings joy and reconciliation.
Soon there came deeper repentance. You move on one level of repentance over sin and you are graduated…down!
Nehemiah 9:1 NASB
“The sons of Israel assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them. The descendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.”
They read from the Law and they confessed and worshiped. There is a long passage that follows. Let me tell you about it…
Israel was in captivity because they had rebelled against God. But they weren’t conscious of their sin. They thought God had failed them. And in this long passage, the Israelites realize that they and their forefathers are responsible for their captivity.
You are responsible for where you are and what you are.
So the people remember the history of God’s faithfulness and power, they rehearse His goodness and the sins of their ancestors. They remember what God did:
“You showed signs and wonders against Pharaoh… And You divided the sea before them. You led them by day with a cloudy pillar and by night with a pillar of fire.”
And note the people’s response. They saw the sins of pride and rebellion.
Nehemiah 9:9-16 NKJV
“But they and our fathers acted proudly…hardened their necks. They refused to obey.”
In repentance and remembering, now the people were truly SEEING GOD.
Nehemiah 9:17 NKJV
“You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger…”
You see, Israel really thought God had been faithless. But they came to recognize the truth, because they began to repent at each level. They repented for not reading the scriptures. They repented for failing to build the booths. And for a while, their sorrow grew worse, until they fully understood…
They saw that they were in captivity because they had acted wickedly, just as their forefathers. They were no different than those who died in the wilderness. There was no failure, no injustice with God! “You are just in all that has befallen us” (v. 33).
It was a tremendous breakthrough for Israel. They had lost the consciousness of their failure, but through repentance, they came to SEE: “You have dealt faithfully, but we have done wickedly” (v. 33). If we don’t see who we are…we can’t see who God is.
Under Nehemiah, Israel made a covenant of obedience to the Lord and went on to finish building the wall around Jerusalem. The restoration of the nation was begun on the foundation of repentance.
“If My people will repent…I will heal their land.”