It was a declaration of intention. Making up the mind to repent is one of the hardest aspect of reformation, for it is dependant on the Spirit’s work to soften the hardened heart (see Ezekiel 11:19 & compare with Luke 15:17). Self will is not repentance as it leads to self-righteousness, which begins a new cycle of spiritual decline.
I mentioned this previously here, yesterday in fact. It is a hard thing to understand, especially with the majority of evangelicals in Malaysia believing in the neutrality of the human will (i.e. man or woman can ‘choose’ to do good or bad – ‘good’ and ‘bad’ as defined by God). They do not believe in the biblical doctrine of man’s depravity, where sin corrupts everything, even man’s so-called ‘free will’.
Jeremiah was right in claiming that the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9) and with Solomon, puts out the reality that no one can know his or her heart accurately; seen in 2 Chronicles 6:30 (the rationale being ‘the heart is deceitful’). That is why, we see this:
(2 Chronicles 30:12) The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the LORD.
The singleness of heart in obeying God was given by God. It was not man’s will that determined that they wanted to ‘reform’. No, it was God’s doing. If He unites them, He is the one who flame them and changed them. That is grace. Not a cheapened grace which subscribed to the notion that man has a part to play. Man only has the ‘duty’ to obey, but the willingness is given by God. It is systematically dependant on God. And that scares a lot of mainstream evangelicals in this country somehow. I guess the prospect of not being in control, but in constant knee-bending, is humbling. Our society is not known to be humble.
You want real reformation like the one during Luther and Calvin’s time? Be submitted wholly to the work of God and His sovereignty. Real heart reformation can only come, ever come, through the Grace of our Lord. Amen.