“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~ Having a Mary Spirit
I bow my head in shame to think of the number of times I have stumbled or fallen. Each time was a 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 pride guide my walk, I will stumble or fall.
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!
Not only does He 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).
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 follow Christ’s example and strive to avoid the stumble. Satan tested Jesus three times attempting to make him stumble. Jesus overcame each temptation.
The opposite of God’s grace is disGrace: shame, reproach, or dishonor or is dishonorable or shameful. God’s grace is not a substitute for righteous behavior, but His forgiveness allows the righteous behavior.
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. (I Cor.10:13)
Jesus taught the best way 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.
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 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.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
- If someone kept a record of my keystrokes, I bet my backspace would be the most used key.
- I never put together that disgrace was the opposite of grace until now.
- Thinking of the word stumble makes me think of the stumbling Bumbles abominable snowman. Remember him and the Island of Misfit Toys? Yukon and the toothless snow beast stumble over a cliff and appear to be lost forever but at the end of the story they return, Yukon explains, “Didn’t I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce!” (This could be a blog-worthy lesson since this story is such a part of the baby boomer generation, but I’ll avoid for obvious reasons).
- This week’s quote is from the book Having a Mary Spirit: Allowing God to Change Us from the Inside Out.