Every now and then I lapse. I fall into moments of undesirable behavior. Despite my best intentions there are moments when I turn from God and seek to pursue a personal desire.
In the aftermath, I often get so fed up, discouraged, and upset with myself. My first inclination is to avoid spending time with God. I hate disappointing Him and it breaks my heart to display unfavorable behavior because in most cases…I know better.
Recently, I was beating myself up over a decision I had made and I felt God really seeking to connect with me and understand this process on an entirely new level.
There is a reason why God allowed both the successes and failures to be recorded in the Bible. Abraham was deceptive and called Sarah (his wife) his sister. Moses lost his temper and failed to enter the Promised Land. Our favorite Psalmist, David, committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered to hide his sin. Peter acted as a coward and denied Christ. Even the greatest saints—the Father of Faith, a man after God’s own heart, and disciples of Jesus—backslid. They made mistakes. They experienced momentary lapses in their fellowship with God due to their decisions. Their adoption into God’s family was not affected, but their fellowship, joy, and peace were disrupted.
“Those who I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” -Revelation 3:19 (NIV)
Sometimes we don’t see how far God has brought us. We choose to look at all the things we have left to correct. Acknowledge your progress. Celebrate your victories. Recognize that God may allow you to experience a form of righteous guilt in an effort to help you turn from an undesirable behavior; however, He does not condemn us. Receive conviction. Refuse condemnation. Get excited when you get convicted! Remember the days when--doing that thing, saying that thing, responding that way, going that place—didn’t bother you? Remember the days when you didn’t feel anything? I do. I’m grateful for each conviction because it alerts me to my connection with God. It alerts me to His desire to make me better. It alerts me to His willingness to perfect His work within me.
Today recognize that in order for you to GO BACK to a place it must mean that at some point you left that place, you left that behavior, and you turned from that sin. Recognize that if God graced you with an ability to respond in obedience to your convictions ONCE He can do it again, but you must turn back to Him after you backslide. You must repent. We will make mistakes. We will backslide. But, as evidenced by the stories of some of our greatest saints in the Bible we don’t have to stay there. Slide right back into fellowship with God. Slide right back into reading your Bible. Slide right back into prayer. Slide right back into intimacy with God. Continue your fellowship with God because we are saved and SUSTAINED by His grace. Don't let anything keep you from God. Slide back to Him.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."