Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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We knew our grandson was about to learn to walk. He was showing all the signs. He'd been crawling. He'd been pulling himself up to a couch or a table. And he would just laugh when one of us took him by the arms and, you know, let him walk step by step in front of us. And then one day he tried it by himself. And you know how he learned to walk? Same way I did, the same way you did. Step-boom! And when he fell, he had a couple of choices. He could have just laid there and said to himself, "That's it! I tried to walk. I'm not cut out for this. I failed." Can you imagine? So, let's say he is 18 years old still lying there in the middle of the living room! His mother is vacuuming around him. His friends are rolling into his room with him. That's not what he did. He did what every other baby has always done. He got up. And he went step, step-boom! Then step, step, step-boom! And he learned to walk pretty well because he got up when he fell down!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Falling Down Is Not Final."
Our word for today from the Word of God talks about falling down and getting up! Here's Proverbs 24:16, "Though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again." Notice, it doesn't say the righteous man never falls down. It says he doesn't stay down! He gets up again and he keeps on walking, which may be exactly what you need to do right now.
Maybe you've been trying to walk spiritually, but you've been falling down. The old sin, the old temptation, the old weakness, the old you has reared its ugly head again. You made a promise to God, and you've broken it. You made a spiritual commitment to change, and you're back to where you were. In some way, you've let God down, you've let yourself down. And you're pretty discouraged.
If you've ever been on a diet and blown it (said the voice of experience), you know how this goes. You've been a real good boy or girl for a couple of weeks-just celery and water. Then one night you slip and have a few French fries. And you say, "Oh no! I blew it! Oh well, what's the use?" And you decide to wash down the French fries with a milk shake. Yeah! Followed by a box of doughnuts. Now, you could have stopped with one slip, but you allowed one failure to become many failures.
That is exactly the pattern Satan uses to make you stay down when you fall down spiritually. You say, "What's the use? I tried to walk the Jesus way, but I blew it. I might as well just keep messing up now." That's not God leading you that way. That's the devil. God says, "Forget the things that are behind." The devil says, "Focus on the past. Focus on your failures." His goal is to turn one failure into many. But the only way his tactic will work is if you let it.
God says the righteous man "rises again". Yes, you went step-boom. But the only people who never fall down are those who never try to walk! Don't stay down! Tomorrow is a brand new day. His mercies, the Bible says, "are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:23). Don't let a spiritual failure last longer than one day!
Don't focus on your failures. Focus on the mighty promise of God from Jude 24. "He is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy." If you went step-boom, would you do what every baby learning to walk has done? Get up and start walking again.
Because of Jesus, no failure has to be final.