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  • Writer's pictureJamie Holden

November 10 What If I Stumble?

What If I Stumble?

As we wrap up our section on sanctification, we must address the topic of “What should we do if we stumble and sin?”

Is it game over?

What does a man who wants to be a legendary man of God do when he sins?

First, be assured that it is not the end of the world. Because we are all human, still struggling with our flesh, we will all sin from time to time. The important thing is that we continue to fight, to overcome, rather than wallow in defeat, allowing sin to dominate our lives.

We need to be constantly open to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. When we are convicted of sin, we must respond quickly. Here’s an example from my life:

Several years ago, there was a big controversy about the Super Bowl half-time show. The performances were off-the-charts indecent, and there was a big debate online as to whether or not Christians should have turned it off. (It wasn’t just Christians discussing it, across the board, parents were offended.)

Online I’d taken a major stand against Christians compromising by watching the show. The whole next day, it felt like I was fielding comments from those who agreed and too many who disagreed as I continued to stand firm.

Honestly, I was feeling pretty strong in my stance.

And then I read a post by a friend that I greatly respect about “Little Lines that Christians Cross.”

That’s when any self-assurance that I may have had from my previous comments came to a crashing halt as I realized that I was watching one of the shows on her list. Worse yet, I enjoyed it.

Even though I knew this show was objectionable, I watched it and thought, “It won’t affect me. God will understand.”

But when I read her comment, I felt the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

Immediately, I asked God to forgive me for watching the show, making excuses, and compromising even though I knew it was questionable.

Then I determined that I wouldn’t watch it again. I’m done. No matter how little the line, I don’t want to live in compromise.

So why am I sharing this with you?

Because I think it’s important to admit that all of us struggle with areas of compromise, and we all need to be open to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. The fact is that we live in a sinful society, and we all have a sinful nature. From time to time, we all fall into the trap of excusing sin and compromising with what we know is right.

We are all in the process of allowing the Holy Spirit to clean us up, make us more like Jesus, and remove sin from our lives.

It’s the process of ongoing sanctification. God is never done working on us.

However, this truth shouldn’t be used as an excuse to continue sinning.

Instead, it should make us aware of our continual need to be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

When you feel that conviction, whether through a sermon, in a time of prayer, as you read God’s Word, or in the challenging words of a fellow believer, we need to be open to hearing correction and changing.

Once we recognize the error of our ways through conviction, we need to respond.

First, we need to repent.

We need to ask God to forgive us for compromising with sin and disobeying His Word. It helps to confess the specific sin you have committed. For instance, I asked God to forgive me for watching a particular television show.

Then, we need to change.

Essentially, stop doing it. Walk away from sin. Do everything within your power to overcome this sin in your life.

Finally, ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of any other “little lines” you may be crossing.

Be open to His conviction and correction. Dare to be radical in your faith and determine that you don’t want to cross little lines any longer.

As He continues to point out areas, continue the process of repenting and change.

Remember, this is not a once and done process—it’s continual. It’s how we grow in Jesus, mature in our faith, and become the holy followers of Christ we were created to be.

If you stumble and fall, don’t stay down. Repent, get back up, and continue walking a sanctified life again.

Memory Verse: For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. (Proverbs 24:16, ESV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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