Once a baby learns to stand alone, then it is time for the baby to practice toddling. You know those first shaky, unsure, unsteady steps. The baby will start, maybe make a couple of steps and fall. The baby needs someone there to catch him/her so he/she is not harmed. It is a struggle and it takes a patient parent to watch as the baby falls over and over. A good parent realizes that if the child never falls, he/she will never learn to walk by themselves. It is the same in our spiritual walk. First we crawl, then we learn to stand and then we start to take a few, unsure steps. But never fear, just like an earthly parent is there to catch the toddler, God the Holy Spirit is there to catch us. But just like the toddler, we will never develop strong spiritual legs if we are not allowed to try and fail. Just as the toddler must be encouraged and learn to keep their eyes on the goal and not on their feet, we too must keep our eyes on the goal and not on our failures. We need to be Jesus conscious and not sin conscious. The Holy Spirit will always be there to catch us, encourage us and cheer us on in the rough times. Just as a child takes time to learn to react to his senses so that he/she can stay balanced, we must learn to listen to the Holy Spirit to keep our lives balanced. He will keep us on the path and away from those things that would do us irreparable harm.
37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I am ready to die for you!” 38 Jesus answered, “Are you ready to die for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t know me.”—John 13:37,38 (NCV)
Jesus knew Peter’s weakness, just as He knows each of ours. He knew that Peter would deny Him even though Peter was so sure that He would not. It is easy to criticize Peter. But we seem to forget that the other disciples left as well. How many times have we failed Jesus?
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’–Matt. 25:43, NIV
But the great thing is that He always forgives us when we fail, just as He forgave Peter. When the women went to the tomb where Jesus had been, the angel sitting there told them this: 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”–Mark 16:6,7 (NLT)
Jesus made sure that Peter was specifically included in the invitation. Jesus will always be waiting with open arms to receive us no matter how many times we fail. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:38,39 (NLT)
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.–1 John 1:5-10 (NLT)
Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Spirit comes to abide within us. He will lead us in the path God has chosen for each of us,if we are willing to follow. But, we are not going to become sinless over night and we shall never become perfect in this world. There will always be a struggle between our flesh and our Spirit. Nevertheless, our salvation is secure. Does this mean we won’t fail? No, of course not. If we could do this on our own then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross. God knew even before He redeemed us that we would fail, He is not surprised by anything we do, because He is omniscient. But, because He loves us so much, He is waiting with open arms for us to repent and return to Him. He is always faithful and just to forgive us when we ask. He cleanses us and restores us over and over and over again. We are His children and He cares deeply for each of us.
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.–Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
If it had been possible for us to live a perfect,sinless life, then Jesus would not have had to die on the Cross for our redemption. But God knew that we would fail and come short of perfection. It is no surprise to Him, so He made a way, before the foundations of the earth were laid, for us to be reconciled with Him. A simple, yet very expensive plan. One that we could not purchase for ourselves, so Jesus purchased it for us. Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live (abide) in us. He is our teacher and guide, but He will not force us to be obedient, it is still our choice, Our flesh wars against doing God’s will and when we give in, we must confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness. We can do this boldly and without fear of punishment. Because of His great love and mercy, we will find the grace that we need when we need it most. We should fear (respect) God, but we are not to fear (be afraid) of God. Our love for Him should cause us to respect and obey Him. We will fail but God is waiting with open arms to forgive and restore us to Himself.
— Post 03-16-14