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God extends his hand when you slip

When a believer strays from the path of virtue, self-condemnation sets in — that feeling of failure, of having been a letdown, a disappointment. Every child longs to please their father. So when he or she causes the father grief, heartbreak often becomes the consequence.

divineinsight BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI

It must be your desire, however, to be different. I believe every child of God longs to do the right thing and to have their steps ordered by the Lord. When I first read the story of Noah, as it is rendered in the Message translation, I was so touched by the testimony that God had of than man. Genesis 6:8, “But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah.”

Well, does God like what he sees when he looks at you? Would it not be wonderful if he can say about you what he said about Noah? But then, we live in this polluted, crooked and pervasive generation in which licentiousness is the order of the day and integrity is often frowned upon as backwardness and unfashionable.

Fate often plays cruel tricks on us and we err. It becomes everyone’s “calling” to point at the error of our ways and, in extreme instances, bash our heads with the voluminous Bible so that the message sinks in.

Having said this, however, it is understandable that many believers have backslidden after having failed to tread the straight and narrow, because they felt God was mad at them.
But I am here to tell you that despite what you did — even if your loved ones turned their backs on you and your church said you are bad — God is not mad at you. He is in the business of restoring, rather than condemning, the fallen. “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.” (1 John 3:20-21, KJV).

Throughout the history of mankind, God has sought ways of drawing man back to himself. And we learn from the scriptures that he is a changeless God presiding over a changing world. His love stretches to eternity, and his heart breaks when man wanders in his own ways away from him.

Those feelings of trepidation that assail you in your moments of failure are just the voice of your human spirit, not God. Many times people who are gifted and called of God feel so condemned that they give up on their calling. The devil will batter their minds with thoughts of failure until they begin to feel disqualified from ministering the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus did not condemn the woman caught pants down with another man. Unlike the Pharisees, He refused to condemn her. In fact, he restored her and set her free with one statement: “Go and sin no more.”

The scriptures show us that despite how many times your feet slide, if your heart is after God, he will lift you up and put you on course again. So if you are a Christian woman and you fall pregnant outside wedlock, even if your pastor breathes fire and brimstone upon you, God will pull you up and give you a new lease of life. I am not saying live anyhow, but I am saying when you make mistakes and you are genuinely repentant, God will restore you. Yes, grace is not a licence to sin.

My point is that often you will make mistakes, you will do the wrong thing or take the wrong turn, but know that God’s grace is sufficient to see you rise again — over and over again, “For the righteous falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Proverbs 24:16, Darby).

A righteous man or woman is not one that is holier-than-thou. He or she is one that is in Christ. And what this scripture reveals that it is very possible for such to fall. But the good news — the gospel — is that God is able to make them stand again regardless of whatever condemnation might be brought to bear upon them. God bless you.

Phillip Chidavaenzi is the author of The Gospel of Grace — From the Old to the New Testament (2016) and Walking in the Spirit (2017). He can be contacted via email on pchidavaenzi@newsday.co.zw

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