The struggle to overcome sin is REAL.
You know the right thing to do, and you know how to make sure that it happens. But when it comes down to actually implementing it, you find yourself at a crossroads between choosing what you WANT to do and choosing the RIGHT thing to do. No matter how strong you were going into your predicament, it is at this moment that you make a crucial decision – it’s either your flesh or your faith. And if you’re like me, 9 times out of 10, your flesh wins.
Then the guilt sets in. You feel dirty. You want to pray, but you feel so ashamed to come before God. You think about the ministries that you’re involved in and call yourself a hypocrite. You consider all of the people in your life who love you and pray for you and have no idea that you are struggling with this sin and wonder what they would think of you if they knew the truth.
We’ve all been there, even if we won’t admit it, and it’s a terrible place to be.
We’re always focusing on how to stay away from sin completely, and how to make the right decisions that will keep us from falling into bad tendencies. But what about after the fall? Do we have hope once mistakes have been made and guilt has readily set in?
Now, keep in mind – Satan does a GREAT job of making sure the aforementioned guilt lasts longer than it should. He reminds us of our mistakes pretty regularly, and once we’ve lingered there for a while, he points out the mistakes of others for us to remember. He wants us to be constantly wallowing in our guilt so that we feel unmotivated, ashamed and miserable forever.
The Bible gives us clear direction on how to live our lives, and God has entrusted us with His Word so that we will learn it, obey it, and forever keep it in our hearts. However, He also understands that we are not perfect. He is gracious and forgiving because He knows that we have a tendency to fall into sin and that we need His help to overcome that aspect of our nature. His grace is not a license to sin, but rather serves as a reminder that He loves us enough to give us countless second chances so that we can be set right with Him.
As hard as it may be to believe this, rest assured – God wants to comfort you even when you fall. His love for you is constant – this means it doesn’t depend on your faithfulness or failures. He just wants you to communicate with Him. Be real – He knows your struggle better than anyone! In fact, He wants to use this as an opportunity to encourage you through His Word and uplift your spirit. God can use this to be a really great thing! That is, ONLY if you allow Him to.
The other option is to live in guilt the way Satan is hoping you will. Yes, that’s right. He wants to keep you from being involved at church by reminding you of all of your sin. He wants you to think about how many mistakes you’ve made in the past every time you pick up your Bible or attempt to spend some time in prayer. He wants each and every believer to reach a stand-still in their walk with God by reminding them of the bad things they’ve done so that there is no progress in their relationship with the Lord.
So let’s not let him win.
In fact, my hope and prayer is that each time you have fallen and repented about your sin, this will be the message Satan receives from you, loud and clear:
“Enemy, don’t laugh at me. I have fallen, but I will get up again. I sit in the shadow of trouble now, but the Lord will be a light for me. I sinned against the Lord, so he was angry with me, but he will defend my case in court. He will bring about what is right for me. Then he will bring me out into the light, and I will see him set things right.” | Micah 7:8-9
Don’t let your mistakes define your future. Don’t let the enemy trick you into being ineffective in your personal or public ministry because of what you’ve done in the past. Because of the cross, you are not what you were. Because of the cross, you’ve been given countless second chances.
“No matter how many steps you’ve taken away from the Lord, He’s only one step away – just turn around!” | Philemon (Phi) Hammond
There’s no such thing as being “too far gone” thanks to the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Will you allow Him to help you set things right again? He is just waiting for you to ask!