“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:8)
I have loved this verse of scripture from the first time that I heard it preached. It gives such a sense of power and determination to get up and keep fighting the good fight.
THE CRUCIAL TEN SECONDS
The execution of getting up isn’t always as easy as it seems, however. When a fighter has been knocked down, there is a time limit involved. He only has a short ten seconds to get back up on his feet and show the referee that he is fit to continue fighting. If he fails to get up, he is “down for the count,” and the fight is over. His opponent wins.
GET UP QUICK!
The key to winning, both naturally and spirituality, is in learning to get up quick. The devil knows every second that he can keep you down makes you more likely to stay down. Moments turn into days, days into weeks, and weeks into years.
It sounds easy enough. Just get back up. But if you have ever failed God, you know it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is a mental process that begins the moment you realize you have failed God. It is the same thing that happened in Adam & Eve’s minds that caused them to hide themselves from His Presence.
“What’s the use? I might as well stay down.”
Do these thoughts sound familiar? Guilt, shame and embarrassment are overwhelming. Even though these feelings are necessary for true repentance, there must be a PROCESS to get from guilt to victory.
“I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” (Micah 7:9)
CONDEMNATION VERSES CONVICTION
Satan will do anything within his power to keep you under condemnation. Jesus will always bring you under conviction. They both feel terrible, so what’s the difference?
-Condemnation is a destination that offers hopelessness.
-Conviction is a starting point that promises restoration.
If Satan has his way, he will keep you in the place of wretched condemnation forever. How does that feel? Like you are hopeless, without options, and there’s no use trying to move forward.
Jesus will continue to reach out to you through conviction. How does that feel? Like a breath of air to a dying soul. Like your heart will explode in your chest if you don’t try to move forward.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
1st Step: TRUE REPENTANCE
The purpose of conviction is to bring people to repentance. True repentance is accompanied by godly sorrow, which is followed by a change of course, whether in thought, word or action. People often say they have repented of their sins without changing any of their actions. Repentance without godly sorrow and a course correction is no repentance at all.
2nd Step: ACCEPT FORGIVENESS
If you have truly repented of your sins, then you must accept Jesus’ forgiveness. This shouldn’t be difficult, but it often is. This is the point that so many get stuck and never come back to God. The anguish of knowing that we failed Him and our sense of unworthiness keeps us from reaching out and taking the forgiveness that He so willingly offers. Walking by faith involves accepting forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)
3rd Step: WALK SOFTLY
Everyone is susceptible to failure, so it behooves us to walk softly before God. We should never get to a place in our spiritual walk that we feel like we can’t fall. We should spend more time looking inward at ourselves, rather than outward at others.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)
4th Step: SET BOUNDARIES
It is astounding how many people fall into the same sinful habits again and again. Don’t be one of those people. Redeem your failures. Make them count for something. Take mental notes of what triggered the failure, and set boundaries to protect yourself from future temptation.
IN CONCLUSION: Every fighter gets knocked down at some point. Every Christian falls short in his walk with God at some point. This is in no way a license to sin. God forbid. It is simply an acknowledgment that we live in flesh, and are in a continuing fight. If you have found yourself in a place of failure, begin this process now to get from guilt to victory:
-Repent with godly sorrow and a course correction.
-Walk softly before God and your fellow man.
-Get up quick!
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