Repentance, in this light, is the act of turning to God as the authority over our feelings, emotions, and reasoning. We as humans can be deceived in any and every part of our souls - mind, emotion, and will. But God cannot.
Luke 10:27 tells us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind."
In other words, we are called to submit all that is within us to the loving authority of our Father. We must choose to refer to and depend on God over all other things. True repentance and submission brings us under Spiritual authority - authority that protects and guards us. And it is here that we are TRANSFORMED nto His image. Not only was this God's original plan for His creation, but it is the heritage of His children today as well. (The Foundation Stones, p. 50)
The Animal Kingdom is governed by the law known to us as "Survival of the Fittest". As animals in the wild continually fend for a higher position in their circles, so do humans in a sense. When we fail to operate inside the parameters of the Heavenly Kingdom and God's Authority, we default to a survival mode in which our own needs are the driving force behind all we do. (p. 50)
this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1,2)
All three of these heart attributes - broken, contrite, and humble - point to repentance. When we are painfully aware of our condition apart from God, our hearts will be broken, we will feel deeply sorry for our sins (contrite), and we will be humble before the God who washes us clean of all unrighteousness. When we can live in the light of these truths - understanding the ramifications of them more each day - then our hearts will be pleasing to God. (p. 53)
When Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, his promise to her was, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5). It seems like a worthy endeavor at first glance, but there is a big catch. You see, God did not mean for us to know evil. Nor were we meant to know good apart from Him. This is the deception of the human race. If we consider ourselves good moral people, then we probably don't struggle with temptations to DO EVIL (murder, stealing, etc.). BUT - we are continually trying to DO GOOD that is from the same root (not generated by God). The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is bad because the ROOT is not of God. Whether we are doing evil apart from God or doing good apart from God, WE ARE STILL LIVING INDEPENDENTLY OF GOD (sin).
Before this happened, the only good that Adam and Eve knew was God Himself. And it was not mere knowledge but a daily experience. They were essentially living off the tree of life - being sustained by the Life-Giver. But the moment they exchanged mere knowledge of good for the real thing (for true good comes only from God), they began to die spiritually. We see evidence of this death immediately in their reactions. They were afraid, they felt shame and they hid from God (see Genesis 3:7-10). Have you ever been in this very spot? Haven't we all? (p. 58)
But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"" Genesis 3:9
Now it seems like a silly question coming from the Omnipresent God. Of course He knew where Adam was hiding. He was really asking, "Where are you in relationship with me?" God came to Adam immediately in His mercy to make him aware of his separation from Life. And He comes to us in the same way whenever we are hiding in our sin.
The Bible tells us that we are reconciled to the same choice that Adam and Eve had by the blood of Jesus. We are indeed born into sin and death, but we have been given the privilege to receive God's Life instead. It is our natural tendency to embrace fear, anxiety, anger, condemnation, guilt, pride, etc. (all from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). The moment we do, however, we begin to experience death - separation from God. (p. 59)
The important thing to remember is that REPENTANCE takes us on a path that is not always logical in our eyes. We are instructed to do things that go against our nature, the traditions of the world, and often our own desires. Remember the Sovereign God that has called you to walk the Path of Life, and put your trust in Him over your mind, emotions, and will. Proverbs 14:12 tells us,
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (p. 60)
God comes to me in my sin. "Where are you? What happened? Why are you afraid? I have never hurt you. How did this happen? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" It's not an accusatory question. It's God's request for my confirmation of an act that hurt Him--and that confirmation is going to cause me pain and it's going to have consequences.
God doesn't ask a question because He wants the answer. He asks because He wants ME to have the answer, to reveal the answer to myself.
The knowledge of good has killed more people than the knowledge of evil ever could. Christians get trained about the knowledge of evil, but we never learn about the knowledge of good apart from God. And this is exactly what we pursue.
Lost people do not have access to the tree of life. We do, and we have a choice.
Death comes in the form of awareness of self, fear, anger, guilt, anxiety, rejection, etc. The fruits of the Spirit are the tree of life.
Self-righteousness is born at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Everyone at some point wants to be right with God. Righteousness is relationship with God.
Religion is also born at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Religion is the attempt to be at peace with God.
The moment that you eat from the tree, you will experience death. Not physical death maybe, but a spiritual death.
Communion with God changes me. That's what I get at the tree of life.