We Can Fail Forward or we can Remain in the City called Regret!
I John 1:9
Okay, you sinned! You have been plagued with a daily visitor. He has visited your heart and mind every day since you sinned. He reminds you that you are worthless; that your life is now irrelevant, and absolutely unable to be used of God again. The visitor’s goes by the name of Guilt.
The truth is, as you would readily admit, is that you are guilty. You have committee the sin against God. There is no covering the sin. You have acknowledged this sin. You are not proud of it,and even wonder how it could had happened in the first place.
However, what Guilt does not want you to recognize, is that once you went to God seeking His forgiveness, that God has already forgiven the offense. Our text makes this clear from I John 1:9.
Unfortunately, many people, including those in the Christian family, will not let you forget what you have done wrong. There will be articles written; Facebook posts printed; Tweets dispatched to remind the world of what a failure you have become. Even though they claim for themselves, the forgiveness that God has for all believers, when it comes to another Believer, they seem to slam the door of grace shut!
So my advice to you, should you find yourself expecting to find grace, from those living in the “Grace is for me and not for you neighborhood” is simple. If you’re holding out for the universal acceptance and grace from this community, I’m afraid that you will be holding up in your room for a very long time. While is it wonderful whenever others accept that God has forgiven you, you cannot, and must not allow another’s treatment of you to negate what God has already given to you: forgiveness.
How Can and Should we Face Failure?
1. First, we must CONSIDER our sins and failing. The Bible speaks of this in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” The word for search means “to ransack.” It carries the idea of a thief breaking into your home and going through every area of your house to search for valuables. We must invite and the cooperate with the Holy Spirit, as He searches our hearts to reveal that which is offensive to a holy God. No attempt of a cover-up, like many governments and people are prone to do. Complete cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Once our sins have been revealed, we may now go to God to confess our sins.
2. Second, we must completely CONFESS our sin and failing to God. We cannot compromise the sin. We must admit that we had sinned against God and perhaps to others.
- Jeremiah 33:8: And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
- I John 1:9: “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The word confess carried the idea of completely agreeing with God about our sin. It means that we will now take sides WITH God against our sins! Once we do this, we now have a great promise of complete cleansing!
3. Next, we are required to CAST-AWAY our sins. Proverbs 28:13 says: “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Create an Environment where You are not Placing Yourself in an Area of Temptation.
If a person’s sin was drinking, then one might want to write down the things which could lead him to the cesspool of sin and make a commitment to God to avoid these areas of temptation. . It would be wise to stay away from liquor scenes. Simply turn the channel when they appear in a commercial or in a TV program. Avoid any connection with liquor at all costs. You might need want to stay out of restaurants that serve it; avoid parties that would make it easily available to you.
The Principle of Replacement
The Principle of Replacement is found in the Book of Ephesians Chapter Four. We are to replace lying with truthfulness; stealing with giving; anger with kindness; unforgiveness with forgiveness; bitterness with dealing with the offense we have with another, before going to sleep at night.
The practical application would be to replace the sinful, old behaviors with new positive, Biblical habits. This is how we will get victory over that which has caused us failing and sin in the past.
- An encouraging verse to every Believer that has failed is: Proverbs 24:16, ‘For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he rises again.”
- Listen, EVERYONE FAILS God at some point, and perhaps even frequently. What we need to remember is that we do not have to stay down. As Goldsmith said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising each time we fall.”