Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not Out Forever

“what if i stumble, what if i fall, what if I lose my step and I make fools of us all. Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl? what if I stumble, what if I fall.” 
yeah. it’s an old DC Talk song, but I don’t think it’s only that - I think it’s a thought that lives inside of most believers. 
I’m the kind of person who isn’t a perfectionist in the sense that everything around me has to be “just so” all the time, but I’m a perfectionist in the sense that when I fail, I don’t let myself off the hook easily. I constantly have to fight the desire to beat myself up inwardly when I make a mistake. I often fail at that, and chide myself for failing and worry about the next mistake I’m going to make. It’s a vicious cycle, really. But if God can forgive me (which He can and does), I need to be able to forgive myself, turn away from what I did and keep striving after His ways.

My life’s desire is to glorify God, but I mess up so much it’s a wonder He can use me. As I’ve been reflecting on these past few months I’ve spent in SK, there are so many moments flashing in my memories, that I wish I could take back and do over again. Then there’s the attitudes I wish I could erase. And the words I wish I would have swallowed, not spoken. I think most people, if not all, who’ve observed the Summer I’ve had would say it’s been a great one, full of wonderful activities and such, (and I would, too) but I’m the only one who looks at my heart as well, and says, “oh, but there I was grumpy on the inside and smiling on the outside” or I just know I wasted an opportunity or time somewhere because I was feeling selfish and wanting to do my own thing, not God’s.
You see, I see all these things, all these little fails and I often find myself wallowing in them, which sometimes inhibits my ability to see all the wonderful things that happened. There are so many things I wish I could take back, but can’t. And I’m learning it’s of no use to hold on to them either. I need a good dose of forgiveness, for myself.
This song’s been playing in my head and heart the past couple of days, 
“We lose our way,
We get back up again
It's never too late to get back up again,
One day you gonna shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,

So, I made mistakes. So, I may have had/have consequences from them. So, that’s no excuse to let them dictate the rest of my life.

God’s been revealing my immaturities to me, one after the other lately. And I know it’s not to make me feel so useless or sin-ridden, but to reveal what He’s working on changing next. So my question of myself has been, “are you going to let Him work on these problems?” Letting God work on my weaknesses involves me letting go of my pride and surrendering.
Surrender in the Christian life isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an act of maturity. Surrender means admitting that I’m not capable of winning in a certain area. But the best thing about this kind of surrender, is that once I surrender myself, I’ll find freedom, not captivity!

I know that He has the best plans for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me a hope and a future. Not that when I surrender, things will all of a sudden turn perfect for me... but I know I’ll be able to see things in a better, Christ-centered light.

I took a long walk this morning and talked and talked and talked with God. I’m really bad at praying, I always get so distracted without having someone nodding back at me, acknowledging that they’re listening. But I think one way that God reminds me of His truths and promises is through song, and that’s why my posts are often full of songs. The songs that He brought to my mind on the walk today are the two I already used (What If I Stumble, and Get Back Up) and also, one of my all-time prayers, ‘Every Breath’ by Gateway Worship, which talks about surrender and living for God.

So getting back to that first thought before I end-- What if I stumble? What if I fall? What happens then? Well, that’s clearly up to me. I can let myself suffer under my own condemnation, or I can surrender to God and let Him work His goodness through that mistake, shaping me more into the person He wants me to become. There are so many beautiful things God gives us to enjoy along the path of life, so staying in the rotten ruts of old-nature is just foolish. Someone slap me when I start to do that again, please!

I’m posting the three songs here, but in case you don’t have time to listen to them all, here’s the lyrics from ‘Every Breath’
Lord, you’re so amazing to me. How can I find the words 
To convey what your love means; I’d give all I have and more
In the times I am weak, you come rescue me 
Through the words that you speak over me 
In the depths of my soul, Lord I want you to know
That this life that I live is for you
Every breath, Lord, all that I am
I want my life to bring you glory
Every moment, with all that I have
I want my life to bring you glory
Forever, I surrender
Forever, I surrender




When I lose my way, I’ll get back up again because this life that I live is for God.