Matthew 3:1-2 (NKJV):
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 4:17 (NKJV):
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
What does it mean to repent? If you look in a dictionary, the definition of the word probably entails feeling sorry and (hopefully) taking action to correct a mistake. But in the Bible, the word “repent” is derived from the Greek word metanoeo, which actually means to change one’s mind (or thinking).
Many verses in the Bible are concerned with the mind, and rightly so. It is the strategic center for spiritual warfare, and it is the place where the devil will most often try to attack you. Fear, depression, doubt, unbelief, and anger (to name a few) can all begin in the mind. If we know the truth – which Yeshua said would set us free – then we can also receive the peace of YHWH which surpasses all understanding. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV):
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
YHWH often works in trinities (Himself being triune), and one such trinity defines the way we live our lives. That trinity is the trinity of our thoughts, the condition of our heart, and the words that utter forth out of our mouths. Some great scripture to help in these areas are Romans 12 for the mind, Romans 8 for the heart and Romans 10 for the mouth.
The second part I want to highlight from the verses I quoted at the beginning is the phrase “at hand.” The Kingdom of Heaven was available 2000 years ago when Yeshua ushered it in, and it’s available now. This is because the Kingdom of Heaven is not temporal, but it is rather eternal. In the Gospel of Luke, the Pharisees ask Yeshua where the Kingdom could be found, and he answers that it does not come with observation, but rather is inside you.
Yeshua instructs his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount to seek first the kingdom (eternal), and all the other things necessary for existence in the temporal will fall into place. Our eternal fates are of far greater importance than our temporal fates, and it takes repentance (changing our thinking) to switch from a temporal view to an eternal view.
It is my prayer and aspiration to use the scripture to “re-script” my life, divest myself of sin, and be a vessel for the Spirit to help bring people out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of Heaven. I am looking ahead to being part of the greater miracles Yeshua promised his disciples!