God wants us to have a lifestyle of repentance. Repentance involves Godly sorrow for our sins. But, some don’t “feel” God in their life despite repenting. Sometimes the problem is, we just don’t realize why God wants things in a certain way. Many repent because of intoxication, less repent when they miss their devotions, and even less repent after allowing emotions to knock them around instead of turning to God.
If Biblical Joseph sat around thinking about all the wrong things all the time, we never would have heard of him, because he would have struggled mightily with temptation.
Second, Zachariah 1:3-4 says, “Return to me so that I can return to you.” Malichi 3:7 says, “Return to me so that I can return to you.” If Joseph had faced his temptation while away from God, the story likely ends badly.
I truly believe that when Joseph was a young man he strained to gain habits of repenting over “every” level of sinful thought. Then… when the temptation came, he was ready.
Third, a lifestyle of repentance starts with Godly sorrow for even the smallest of slipups. Life is like us sealed in a house. If we crack the door, satan attacks, if we unlock the window, he is there with a pry bar, if we think about tempting thoughts, that causes a crack in the wall, he takes out his power chisel and goes to work making that crack bigger and bigger.
Instead, employ a lifestyle of repentance by repenting for dwelling on tempting thoughts instead of fighting back. When we develop that habit, God no longer needs to say, “Return to me so that I can return to you.”