“My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being. This is the LORD’s declaration. I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at My word.”
What is the picture of humility and submission? If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus yet and you are thinking thoughts similar to this,
“But the tax collector stood at a distance, unwilling even to lift up his eyes to heaven. Instead, he beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner!‘”
I have good news for you.
“Even before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
Confession and repentance, not to a priest but directly to God, is the first step and cleansing must take place. By repenting, it is an act of humbling ourselves that apart from Him, we can do no good thing (Mark 10:18, John 15:5). If it were true that through the merit of our own good deeds we might become acceptable to God, then there would be no need for a Savior. Only Jesus can cleanse us and that is what His atoning sacrifice has accomplished on the cross. Our past, present and future sins have all been atoned for. When we do fall into sin, we acknowledge our failings for He sees and knows all things.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
The moment you decide to commit your life to Jesus, not just know Him as the Savior on the surface, but actually accept and acknowledge Him as your Savior, you are born anew (John 3:3, John 3:7) and the Holy Spirit will dwell in you to enable you to live a life (not perfect, but persevering) that is pleasing to God (John 14:16, Romans 8:26). You will know He is in you because you will start to hunger for the things of God and you will find less and less appealing the sinful habits that were normal to you. This is the beginning of the sanctification process (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sanctification is a gradual and lifelong process of becoming more Christ-like. This is solely the work of the Holy Spirit in you granted He has your cooperation. Resisting this process means carnality, a state where Born again Christians start living like their old selves. All Christians go through times like this. The most important thing is to choose not to linger in carnality.
And this is God’s will for all men,
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
To the person who prayed to God, “Show me the way,”
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
1 John 5:14-15
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”