Falling and failing in life are scary. They directly affect you. If severe enough, they can devastate you. Because their effect is strong, it is important to do certain things to be on your guard.
It is true that falling and failing are part of life. It is not sin to fall or fail when you are working to move forward and accomplish goals. In fact, it’s human to fall and fail as you learn, grow, and master various life skills. Sometimes, despite planning and effort, falling and failing happen outside of your control. It’s not this kind of falling and failing I’m targeting in this article.
There is an entire scope of falling and failing that can and should be avoided at all costs. This kind of falling and failing does occupy territory of sin. It is the “not innocent” fall. The deliberate fail. The negligent alertness. These should be avoided. The affects of them change your heart. They work against your ability to live your daily life well. They block your fellowship with the Lord.
God is patient with His children. With all people. He knows about falling and failing. God wants you to succeed. But He wants you to avoid unnecessary trouble and to keep your heart from sin. When people decide to make mistakes a deliberate practice, that tests God’s patience and twists it into a weird “permission” – with forgiveness around the corner, if you should so desire. He never intended this. It is not His plan.
God instructs you to guard your heart. (Prov. 4:23) Because He cares deeply about you and wants you to succeed, He can help:
- If you listen to Him attentively, you can actually avoid falling and failing.
- God can train you through falling and failing, if you are willing to learn.
- God can shore you up to prevent similar experiences in the future.
There is a critical step you can make to partner with God in His good intentions for you.
“Be on your guard. . . “ (vs. 17)
This warning joins other warnings from Scripture:
- Do not be deceived.
- Do not be afraid.
These warnings are repeated everywhere in Scripture.
Since your enemy is the father of lies – the deceiver – those warnings put you on alert. Human beings are easily tricked, deceived, and influenced. From Adam and Eve on, this has been a problem.
The enemy throws strategy into deception through:
- Unclear thinking
The only way to avoid those strategies is to – “Be on your guard.”
Be on your guard means you commit to:
- Be focused, alert, aware.
- Be prayerful for yourself and others.
- Purposefully think God’s thoughts, not your own. (Is. 55:8)
- Resolve to obey what He shows you in His Word.
- Desire to increasingly please God.
- Work intentionally to grow in grace and knowledge to gain the character Jesus has.
- Immerse yourself into worshipping, praising, and thanking God in all things . . . even if you are in a really bad place.
God cares about you. Cast your cares on Him. (1 Pet. 5: 7) He loves you with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31: 3) He has a plan to prosper you. (Jer. 29:11)
Jesus wants you to be in a good place as you wait for His return. Stay close to Him. It’s a secure position. Grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.
You can avoid falling and failing unnecessarily.
Article developed from 2 Pet. 3: 15-18.
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