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Get Up, Don't Give Up!
by Steve Countryman
7/12/2011 / Christian Living
When you stumble and fall there is always pain and discomfort. Depending on how big the fall dictates how much pain you will suffer. Likewise when you stumble on your walk with the Lord. You stumble from sin and sin always has consequence or "pain and discomfort" up to destruction and death. For the saint sin is a stumbling block meant to distract you, derail you and slow down or stop your forward progress in the Lord and doing His work. The faster you move the bigger the fall the more the pain. Sometimes it is just a stumble and fall. Other times it is a major fall with lots of pain, scars, broken bones and broken hearts. Depending on the damage you may need additional help to get back on your feet. The wise man knows when to ask for help and the fool ignores the fall as if it was normal. The scars are from more serious falls. It is all in how you look at your scars. Do you see who caused the scars or who healed your scars? Sometimes we don't let the wound even heal. We keep picking at the wounds so as to remind ourselves whom to blame for them. When you fall it becomes critical how long you are down. Staying down is not an option for a true Christian. The object is to get up not to give up! 1 Corinthians 10:13
You are here for a purpose in God's kingdom. Just as every animal, insect and plant has a specific design and purpose, you too were specifically designed with God's purpose in mind. You are God's child. Being a Christian doesn't mean that you are perfect. Being a Christian doesn't mean that you won't fall or fail. Being Christian doesn't mean that you will never make mistakes. Being Christian doesn't mean that you don't have problems. Being a Christian does mean that you are always striving to be more Christ-like, to love as God loves. Being a Christian means that you practice your faith daily. Being a Christian means that you have a hope and a future regardless of your problems. Being a Christian means that your problem doesn't run your life or ruin your life. Being a Christian means that you are more than a conquer and more than an over-comer. Being a Christian means that your eyes are on your deliverer not on your problem or on someone to blame.
There are several reasons why Christians stumble and fall. Knowing and addressing the causes will greatly improve your walk with the Lord. Some fall because they are holding onto sin in their lives or have returned to their previous sinful practices. They often blame others for their mistakes and bad decisions. Some remain victims and stuck reliving the past while holding onto the offense in their hearts. Accepting responsibility for your bad decisions is the first and biggest step that will bring you freedom! It takes tons of courage to admit failure and bad decisions which are failure decisions. Those who won't take the responsibility for their words, actions and mistakes/sins are doomed to repeat them over and over again. Typically two choices or both are made. One, to ignore their responsibility and call "it" normal, and two, to put the blame on others for their bad decisions. Either way they are still stuck in their sinful rut justifying their sins! It started in the Garden of Eden when God asked Adam why he ate the forbidden fruit, Adam blamed Eve. As long as you can blame others for your bad decisions or choose to ignore them you will be "chained" to them and in your sins. This happens to both the saint, who backslides, and the sinner alike. The difference is the sinner sins by nature and the saint sins by choice.
Un-forgiveness is a trap! What happens too often is the person who is the victim adopts the victim mentality and accepts all of the sympathy for their problem while staying stuck to it and stuck in it! They relive their experience every time they talk about it which "applies fresh glue" to their problem and keeps them stuck to it. As long as you have someone or something to blame then you never have to accept responsibility for any full or partial bad decisions that you made that contributed to your problem. You give yourself permission to hate and blame others. Holding grudges and hatred against others hurts you and those around you far more then those you hate. Many people go around with "chips" on their shoulders over what someone else said or did while the other person doesn't even know about it or may not even care, or worst yet everyone knows about it. What the Lord shared with me lately is something that I never really considered. There are people who hold grudges, hatred and blame in their hearts against others that have hurt, abused or mistreated one of their family members or friends. Often a person is more willing to forgive someone who has hurt them more so then to forgive someone who has hurt their family or friends. What the Lord shared with me is the pain of divorce and how it affects so many people beyond just the husband and wife who are going through it. There are the kids, the in-laws, the grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, neighbors and other groups they belong to who are all affected some way by it. It can be very disruptive, destructive and harmful to all involved. Justifying your hatred is justifying your sin! Expecting God to forgive your sins while you won't bother to forgive others their sins against you is elevating yourself higher than God and will keep you out of Heaven! Matthew 6:14-15
There are some things that you need to keep in mind. God chose you before time began and knows everything about you. You were selected for "a time such as this". God has plans to prosper and bless you. We all live in the natural and are affected by it some way or another daily. It becomes more and more important that we keep ourselves, minds, thoughts and bodies shielded with the blood of the Lamb that is Jesus Christ. That we, our bodies, are the Temple of the Lord His dwelling place. That helps me to keep in perspective the things that I should and shouldn't do in the Temple of the Lord. God will help you to be able to forgive and release those who have hurt you or your family and friends in any way. The Holy Spirit will help you to see your mistakes and sins to accept responsibility for ALL of your words, actions and deeds as He reveals Jesus to you. To repent, be washed in the blood of Jesus and spiritually free from your past sins, problems, troubles and mistakes. To love as God loves means that you hate the sin but love the sinner. Because you are human and not perfect you will stumble. When you pray ask for forgiveness, and the strength faith and trust to get you past it so it won't cause you to stumble again. Your child is always your child just as you are always their father or mother, it never changes. That is how God the Father is with us His children. God shared this wonderful praise phrase with me. I recommend that you declare it at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. "Dear heavenly Father, I am forever your child and you are forever my heavenly Father and my God!" So get up and never give up! Are you ready?!?
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