I recently wrote a song called ‘Nothing Else’ with two other friends, which turned out to be a defining, about-face moment for my life.
The season leading up to that moment was full of frustration from unmet expectations and disappointments. And as I was wrestling through that, I realised my heart’s posture had become completely focused on what I could get from God.
The truth is, when we only focus on what we can get from God’s hand instead of just being in relationship with Him and enjoying the blessings of His presence, we miss out on so much.
Yet here’s what’s so amazing about God; it’s not His anger that leads us to realise where we’re wrong. Scripture shows us it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. And that’s exactly what happened to me.
I never felt a reprimand. I didn’t feel condemned. I felt a sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit as He said to me, “Aren’t you tired of getting caught up in what you’re getting and what you’re not? That’s not going to fulfil you, but you can be satisfied with Me and therefore thankful for all the blessings you already have.”
When He spoke that word to me and I received it, the posture of my heart completely shifted. I experienced the joy and freedom of repentance. I realised that repentance is sometimes wrongly considered in a negative context (at least it was for me), and I learned it’s one of the greatest gifts God gives us.
Put simply, repentance is making a 180-degree turn, and I love how Romans 2:4 (TPT) describes it in the context of our relationship with God…
“Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realise that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you in repentance?”
When I started resting in God’s presence, not focusing only on what I could get from Him, but actually what I could give to Him and thanking Him for what He had already given me, it set me free and opened my eyes to see how I can bless His heart through my worship.
Now that I’m putting Matthew 6:30-33 (MSG) to practice in my life, I find my heart fully at rest.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
As Revelation 2:4 puts it, I went back to my “first love,” of wanting God and nothing else. And it’s my prayer that as you ready today’s devotion, you would experience the joy and freedom repentance brings as you encounter the loving-kindness of God, blessing His heart through your worship and your praise each day.
Cody Carnes is a worship leader and songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee whose passion is to create a meeting place for God and people with music. He spends most of his time traveling and leading worship with his wife Kari Jobe Carnes who he met during his time growing up at Gateway Church in Texas. The couple have co-written numerous songs together including “Closer To Your Heart,” “The Garden” and “Lover Of My Soul”. Cody also recently released his debut album ‘The Darker The Night, The Brighter The Morning’. It’s our privilege to have you share you heart with us Cody!