If I may throw in a word of testimony: I invited Jesus Christ into my life in July 1956 without repentance, because the tract I read asked me to recognize that Jesus died on the cross for me and I should invite Him into my life.
I did, and was filled with supernatural joy. I have mentioned the immediate act of obedience. It was on 1st of October 1966 that I had the revelation of sin. I left my bed and sat on the floor of my room. It was my first week at university. I turned in every direction, and realised I was sinful. It was horrible. I left my bed and sat on the floor and I wept and asked God to forgive me and to give me a pure heart. In fact for many years, I took that to be the time of my conversion. From that day I began to wake up in the morning to seek God. Everything changed! Everything changed!! Political Africa died. Spiritual Africa was born as the passion of my heart.
The second time I repented was in 1970 in Uganda. From Sunday till Saturday, as I mentioned, I took a partial fast, but it was a fast of weeping. The inadequacy I felt about the meeting where I was to speak was not because of lack of knowledge about what to say. It was the absence of the standard of purity required. In the partial fast I was weeping before God. That preceded my being filled with the Holy spirit.
The next season of repentance was in 1973. The Lord opened my eyes that time to see that I was carnal. Day after day, I said to myself, “I am carnal! I am carnal!! I am carnal!!! I would go to the lab and weep at night. The whole day I was just saying; “I am carnal! I am carnal!! I am carnal!!! I am carnal!!!! I am carnal!!!!! I am carnal!!!!!!”
Then I had a personal prayer crusade. I was praying in the office that Jacques Yougang now occupies. For the first nine days I did not pray. I would come there and the Lord would show me the sinfulness of my heart. I would repent and repent, crying. That happened for nine nights. On the tenth night I started to pray.
I want to ask you. “Why is your heart so hardened?” It is with the heart that man moves towards God. A heart of steel makes a man totally useless to God. There are people I know who have not repented even once. Throwing words at God is different from heart anguish and sorrow for the harm done to God, to God’s interests, and lastly for the harm done to man. Most people know nothing of it. It is prophetic of a very poor spiritual life. There is no wealth inside. True faith cannot be exercised.
Yaounde,18th August 2003