Christian blogs are great places to get encouragement, but sometimes (because we usually write about what works) bloggers may seem like our families are picture-perfect, sweet, balanced, and stress free. God forbid anyone reads my blog and gets this impression!
My family began about as dysfunctional as one can get, BUT we have been working to improve it. I used to walk in a lot of guilt, stunting my spiritual growth, but I’m learning to repent and accept God’s grace.
When a parent teaches a child and they fall down, we don’t yell and punish him for falling. We praise him for each successful step, dust off his bottom, help him get back up, hug him, wipe away the tears, and encourage him to try again! We all stumble and fall from time to time, but our Father is right there beside us, guiding and encouraging us to get back up and keep trying.
I have stumbled or fallen so many times as direct result of relying on myself—my sight, my feelings, and my reasoning. Reliance on self causes us to walk unsteadily. When my sin nature is in charge, my eyes, emotions, and intuition deceive me. Whenever I allow distractions, doubt, fear, and/or pride to guide my walk, I will stumble or fall; but when I allow God to guide me, He shifts the center of my existence from selfish ambition to standing firmly on the rock, Jesus Christ. He restores what sin has damaged or threatened to take away-–my disgrace and shame is lifted by His grace and the situation brings glory and honor to Him. Hallelujah!
Resting in Him
Not only does God give us the support we need, He assures us that He will restore us and make up for the time we have spent in brokenness. “I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). PRAISE GOD!
As wonderful as it is to recognize this blessing of unmerited favor, let us not make the mistake of allowing the stumble just because we know He will pick us up. We need to follow Christ’s example to strive to avoid the stumble. Satan tested Jesus three times, attempting to make him stumble. Jesus overcame each temptation.
God’s grace is not a substitute for righteous behavior, but His forgiveness allows the righteous behavior.
The enemy will try to cause you to focus on your failures. Don’t do it! Go to God, repent, tell Him you can’t do it without Him, and have faith He will help you. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your power to resist, but with the temptation will also provide a way out so that you will be able to withstand it. (<ref=2114>I Cor.10:13)
Jesus taught the best way to avoid sin is to avoid being in a position where we will be put into temptation when He taught us to pray “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” The heart of this prayer is the surrender to God’s will, seeking God’s reign in our lives. This is why I encourage you to start each day in God’s Word.
Thank you God
Thank you God, for your mercy and grace, for picking us up when we fall and allowing us to be used– in spite of our failures– in Your kingdom. Train us to walk in the way of Your Word. Lead us not into sin or temptation or disgrace. Do not let our sin nature lead us but help us to follow your ways.
His promise is ours, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
“What used to make us stumble, God can use to make us stand. What once made us bow our heads in shame, He can use for His glory.” ~ Joanna Weaver
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