I caught myself just in time. My foot started to slip out from under me as I walked to my car on our snowy driveway, but I managed to catch my balance before the slip turned ugly.
I live in New England and winter here can often mean slipping and falling on ice and snow. Therefore, after driveways and walkways have been shoveled, we bring out the salt and sand to ensure that people can keep their footing and not take a header due to slick conditions.
I have been fortunate this winter in that I haven’t slipped or fallen even though we’ve had record amounts of snow and a layer of ice underneath that snow. I’m so grateful for the fact that I haven’t fallen and here’s why: I fell three years ago – in my own home, of all places! It took six months, hundreds of dollars and countless hours of office visits to recover my strength and the fitness level I was at when the accident happened.
So why am I blogging about NOT falling? How is that interesting at all? Well, this morning, I was meditating on the Scripture in Jude 1:24, 25: “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” (Underline mine)
God keeps us from falling. That’s really good news! Obviously, the writer of that scripture is talking about spiritually falling, so that makes this even better news! But we have a part to play in cooperating with the Lord as He works to keep us from falling.
Let’s look at the results of falls first and then make the correlation to what happens to us spiritually when we fall.
The first kind of fall isn’t really a fall at all – it’s a slip or a stumble. I’ve heard of people who have tried to keep themselves from falling and in doing so, twisted, strained or sprained their ankle, put their back out or wrenched their knee. That kind of pain will take your breath away and lasts quite a while. Even though the person didn’t actually hit the pavement, the attempt to regain balance after slipping still caused debilitation that often required medical care.
The other type of fall that comes to mind is the kind I had: the total “feet out from under you, Fred Flintstone falling on his head” type of fall. When I slipped on the newly waxed floor in my house, my feet went out from under me, and I went down with all my weight on my right side. I got a bone bruise on my hip that lasted for a month, threw my back out of alignment that resulted in me struggling with a bad back for a year and then frozen shoulder. The frozen shoulder was the worst pain I have had in my life and the recovery time was diagnosed at 9 months! I couldn’t lift a hairdryer or lift my arm to brush my hair. Fortunately, I’m left handed so I adapted somehow to the handicap as I worked feverishly with my chiropractor, my physical therapist and massage therapist to get my shoulder back to full strength and range of motion in 4 months. Miraculously, we did it!
So now what are the correlations to how we fall spiritually speaking?
First let’s look at the slip. Many Christians hit a place in their lives where they are not paying attention to their spiritual footing. They stop praying, reading the Word, and maybe even fall off in their church attendance and fellowshipping with other believers. Life gets busy or the pressures of a crisis seems to suck up all of their time and without realizing it, they have their eyes on the cares of this life and not on the Lord. Their ear is not tuned as it once was to the voice of the Lord and standards of the world become more and more the norm. Sin doesn’t grieve their heart like it used to and sinful thoughts begin to enter through the gate of the soul without contention. That’s a problem. A slip and possibly even a fall is imminent.
That’s how the slip happens. Maybe it’s starting to gossip at work and losing your witness as a godly person. Or maybe it’s allowing a flirtatious relationship or picking up an old habit that was once conquered. Slipping in any area as a child of God is painful. The pain that results from the consequences of losing our footing in the Lord can be severe and cause us to feel handicapped in our walk with the Lord. We may have some repercussions to deal with in order to heal from the effects of not guarding our hearts and watching our footing. However, the injury to our walk with Lord isn’t permanent unless we refuse to treat it. But if we treat the injury caused to ourselves and others, and begin to once again watch what we’re walking into, we can get back on the right path and actually be stronger and wiser.
To be continued…
- Have you noticed that your walk with the Lord has slipped of late?
- Are you less involved in prayer and reading the Bible as you used to be? Have you become lukewarm or apathetic about the things of God?
Slipping in our external lives through behaviors that don’t represent the Father well is a symptom of the fact that we have slipped internally. Be aware that there is a real enemy of your soul whose job it is to gently and invisibly get you off the right path and lure you into deception and sin. If he was obvious in his tactics, you would catch him immediately and throw him out – so he has to be subtle and take his time dampening your zeal.
If you find that you have slipped away from your First Love, you can regain that ground with a season of prayer and getting back into God’s Word. His Word is a sharper than a two-edged sword, the Bible says, and it divides between the soul that has become complacent and lazy and the spirit that has been born to new life and is connected to the Father. Cry out to God to help you get back to your First Love. He will answer. He will not leave you abandoned to the wiles of the devil nor will he break into your heart and do a work you have not invited Him to do.
Ask, seek and knock and the door will be opened to you. (Luke 11:9)
Dear Heavenly Father, I repent before You for my lukewarm heart and for letting this world take my attention off the main thing which is You. I ask you to help me regain my zeal for You and renew my singleness of heart. I want my heart to be full of love for You and renewed purpose. I worship You because you are Holy and Worthy of all blessing and glory. I love you because you have rescued me and brought me out of darkness. I delight myself in you because You are only good and there is no shadow of turning in You. I run to You because Your arms are always open wide to welcome me home. I’m running home, Daddy God! Amen.