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"Failures?" some may say; “we thought there were no failures in the life of faith!” There ought not to be, and need not be; but sometimes there are. We must deal with facts. No teacher of God’s Word ever says that it is impossible not to sin. We ALL have at times been overcome by a moment of temptation. When speaking of sin here, I mean conscious, known sin. I refer simply to that which comes within the range of our consciousness.

When a true believer, finds himself overwhelmed by sin, he is either completely discouraged and wants to give up; or he tries to cover up his sin, and refuses to be honest about it. Doing either one of these hinders our real growth and progress in our life of holiness. The only way to face the sad fact is to call the thing by its right name, and discover, if possible, the reason and the cure. Our commitment to God requires the utmost honesty with Him and ourselves. A sudden failure is NO reason for being discouraged and giving up all as lost. Sanctification (being set apart for God) is not a thing to be picked up at a certain stage of our experience, and forever after possessed with no failures, it is a life to be lived day by day, and hour by hour. We may for a moment turn aside from a path, but the path is not destroyed by our wandering, and can be instantly regained.

In our walk of faith, we will have momentary failures, which are sad and greatly hated, but they need not disturb our soul continually. Let us remember when we sin, we must return to God, and the sooner, the better. Our sin is no reason to stop trusting Him, instead it is a reason why we must trust Him more than ever.

Whatever it was that caused us to have the failure, it is certain that there will be NO help in discouragement. When a child who is learning to walk, falls, does he stay down? Does he refuse to take another step? NO! He gets up and tries again. So it is with a believer who is seeking to learn how to live and walk by faith. We CANNOT give up in despair because of having fallen into sin. The only way is to get up and try again.
We must not abandon ourselves to utter discouragement when we have failure in our lives. We must immediately face the evil and get rid of it, and once more, the sooner, the better!

Joshua 7:13 Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. [KJV] “Up, sanctify the people,” is always God’s command. “Lie down and be discouraged,” is what the enemy wants. We must go immediately to the Lord, after having sinned against Him. It might seem to us that we should suffer for our sin first for a while, and let our conscience accuse us of our wrong doing. It's hard for us to believe that the Lord is willing to receive us back into loving fellowship with Himself immediately. He really doesn’t want us to feel sorry for two or three days first. If we linger, it makes our discouragement and remorse separate us further from God.

Jeremiah 3:22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God. [KJV] God knows our yearning love. The fact is, the same moment we feel the consciousness of having sinned, ought to bring also the consciousness of being forgiven. This is essential to an unwavering walk in the highway of holiness. No separation from God should be tolerated even for an instant.

How can we walk in this path? By continually looking to Jesus, moment by moment. If or when we take our eyes off Him, to look at our own sin and weakness, we automatically leave the path. Believers, as we trust in faith, enter this path. If we find ourselves overcome by sin, must run to the Lord with it instantly. We must believe God's Word. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. [KJV]

We must never try to hide our sin, we must never trey to salve it over with excuses, we must never try to push it out of our memory. We must confess our sin, and completely put it away from us. We must believe, then and there, that God is, according to His word, faithful and just to forgive us of our sin, and that He does do it. We must claim His immediate forgiveness and immediate cleansing by faith. We must trust Him more than ever.

We must commit ourselves more completely to the Lord, that His mighty power may work more perfectly in us. We must forget our sin as soon as it is confessed and forgiven. We must not dwell on it, and yield to distress and remorse.
Philip. 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [KJV]

There are times that evil may be hidden in something that looks good. Beneath what may seem zeal for the Truth, may be hidden a judging, condemning spirit, or maybe we lean to our own understanding. Beneath what may seem to be Christian faithfulness, may be hidden a vast absence of Christian love. Beneath what may seem to be strong faith, may be hidden a great chasm of doubt in God. I believe our blessed Guide, the indwelling Holy Spirit, is always secretly showing us these things by continual little twinges and pangs of conscience, so that we are left without excuse. But it is SO easy to disregard His gentle voice, and to convince ourselves that everything is all right. It is this fatal evil that will continue, hidden in our midst causing us defeat and failure in the most unexpected times and places.

In order to prevent failure, or to discover its cause if we have failed, it is necessary that we should keep continually before us this prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any evil way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23).

There is something very deceiving about our sufferings over our failures. We may seem to ourselves to be completely absorbed with the glory of God, but our hearts may be self centered. Self-love is touched in a tender spot by the discovery that we are not as good as we thought we were. The only right way to treat our failures is neither to justify nor condemn ourselves on account of them, but to lay them bare before the Lord.

Our progress is aided far more by a simple, peaceful turning to God, than by all our remorse over our backsliding from Him. We must be faithful, turning quietly to Him alone, the moment you know what you have done. His Presence will deliver you from the horrid snares which have trapped you. We should never forget for a moment, no matter how often we may fail, that the Lord Jesus is well able to deliver us out of the hands of our enemies.

Luke 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, [75] In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. [KJV]
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. [KJV] Let us never be satisfied until we are completely pliable in His hands, and have learned to trust Him with our every breath. He loves us with an abundant, unquenchable love! TRUST HIM!

Col. 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; [KJV]
Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. [KJV]

Archives of past Articles

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Christ Is The Door, book

Comfort From God



How To Live In God's Power


No Respecter of Persons

Submission and Servanthood

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