According to Matthew 4:17, when Jesus stepped into His earthly ministry, the recurring word that He shared with people was, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is here.” When Jesus ministered to lost, sick, oppressed, fearful, doubtful, confused, deceived or hurting people, His first encouragement to them was to “repent.” And it’s the same today because repentance is a key to the Kingdom of Heaven invading our lives.
For too long, too many have approached the word “repent” as if it means to hang our heads in shame over our sins. And if we repent of our sins, then the Kingdom of Heaven can invade and we might see breakthrough in the challenging areas of our lives. But that really isn’t what “repent” means. The word in the Greek that Jesus uses in Matthew 4:17 is “metanoeo,” and what this powerful and important word means is “to think differently.”
Jesus is giving us a key when He invites us to repent. It is not a key to guilt and shame that will make us feel bad about what we have done because the Kingdom of God hovers nearby in judgment. It is a key to changing how we look at things, to shifting our perspective from the report of the world and the view of our current circumstances, to the expectation of the goodness of God and reality of His Kingdom that is right there to grab hold of in all things at all times, no matter what.
Repentance does not bring the Kingdom to us. The Kingdom is right there all along. Repentance is the willingness to turn away from mindsets and behavior patterns of the past that have trapped us in sin and negative behavior, and shift our way of thinking and level of expectation to that of the reality that the Kingdom of God is at hand for us right now. We just need to see it. We just need to change our focus from our circumstances to His Kingdom. We just need to repent.
Repentance absolutely involves a turning away from sin, but it is not a behavioral thing performed from guilt and shame in the hopes that if we do better God might bless us. No, true repentance causes us to embrace the conviction of the Lord and turn from sin because all of a sudden we see things from a different perspective. All of a sudden we see things from the perspective of Heaven on earth.
All of a sudden we are gratefully aware that death, destruction, depression, disease, or any other manifestation of darkness is not our portion – no matter what the report of our past or present might be. Who in their right mind would want to sin when they realize that the fullness of Heaven is simply a choice of agreement and change of perspective away? Repentance is Jesus’ key for us that helps us get into the right(eous) mind!
His Word, His Promises, His Perspective, His Eternal Truth – Will Become Louder and Louder For You
Consider the widow of Zarephath in 1 Kings 17. Her region is in the midst of a massive, long-term drought. The report of the world and of her circumstances is nothing but poverty, lack despair, and death. When we first meet her in verses 10-12, she is out gathering sticks for a fire so that she can go home, cook her last meal, and then die. But the prophet Elijah shows up with the word of the Lord offering a different perspective. He tells her not to be afraid (see 1 Kings 17:13), not to give into the negative report of the world, but instead embrace a Kingdom opportunity to step into supernatural abundance.
She chooses to believe. She chooses to change how she looks at things from the lack of her temporal circumstances and shift into the perspective of Heaven’s eternal truth that with God there is always enough. She chooses to repent, to change how she thinks about things, and when she does she opens a portal of plenty in her life.
Right now secular media is shouting the report that the world is in crisis. Economies are collapsing. Jobs are disappearing. Disease is running rampant. Wars are raging. Despite how loud the voice of the world might be, God has a promise for you. It is the same one He gave Abram in Genesis 15:1 – “Fear not…I AM…Thy exceeding great reward.”
That word “exceeding” in the Hebrew is “m’od,” and one of its meanings is “louder and louder.” I am believing that as you read this devotional and pray through the prayer directives, God’s voice – His word, His promises, His perspective, His eternal truth – will become louder and louder for you until it drowns out every negative report that would trap you in fear or lack of any kind. Instead of heeding the report of the world, you will repent – change how you look at things – and enter into the expectation of the goodness of God in every situation you face.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, we simply need to reach out and take hold of it by declaring its eternal truth louder and louder than our temporary circumstances. That’s called decreeing His word. And it always produces fruit (see Isaiah 55:11).
So let’s pray that:
 The certainty of God’s Word and the reality of His Kingdom will become “louder and louder,” drowning out the report of the world and all negativity.
 A spirit of repentance will come upon us, gracing us to shift our way of thinking and looking at things so that we have Heaven’s perspective in all things at all times.
 Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, and as Holy Spirit fills and overflows each of us, we will be free of all fear and full of faith in every battle God blesses us with.
 There is always enough with God, and portals of plenty will open in every Believer’s life so that we have supernatural abundance in every area – provision, health, favor, love, peace, joy, wisdom, faith, compassion, kindness, revelation, and intimacy with God.
 We will arise and shine as the Body of Christ, shining His love, light, and life brighter and brighter even if the world gets darker and darker.
 As we walk in a different spirit and expectation than that of the world, the lost will take note and seek us out for the source of our peace and plenty, and they will come to know Jesus through what they see of Him in our lives.