We all have to learn from our mistakes. It is a part of growing up. As much as it makes my heart cringe to think of what the consequences could have been, I realized that falling down the stairs was something my grandchild had to do in order to understand why we continuously told him to be careful. When he rushed for the stairs following anyone who happened to go down them, we jumped, over and over fearing his fall - until the day he actually fell, when no one could possibly get to him. He was so intent on going downstairs, that he would never patiently wait for someone to help him down. But then it happened. His shoe caught in the carpet,. Even though he had been holding the rail, he tumbled, head over feet. His mother scrambled to him screaming from the top, as I ran in terror attempting to catch him before he hit concrete on the bottom. Both of us calling upon God to help. And there it was. By God's grace he landed on the bottom step in a horribly contorted position, eyes wide open in fear, and looking as though every bone was broken...but he was safe. All I could say was, "Well at least maybe we won't have to constantly tell him to be careful on the stairs. That should have scared him enough to know what can happen."
Yesterday, Ryder headed for the stairs on the deck, 13 in all, when I had my hands very tied up with a large tray of things I was taking back into the kitchen after our dinner. His older brother had already gone down and was watering my plants. When Mr. Independent headed to the top of the steps, he wasn't thinking of his fall. But the moment I reminded him: "Ryder, stop, you might fall," he stopped. And he backed up. I called for Dakota to drop the hose and come help him come down, and Ryder, against his ususal character accepted his brother's help. In fact, he wouldn't proceed until he had a firm grip on the rail, and his brother's hand. So different than before his fall.
We continue like this into adulthood, doing what we see other's do, going where others are going, being influenced to move out of impatience and desire, driven by a desire to be independent and accomplished - without even realizing that the path the world is on is totally originated and kept by the devil himself. He loves to see us trip over our own attempts to gain, and grow, to go falling into failure. If we don't learn from our mistakes he will continue to take us to the same path over and over, telling us to just try harder, that we will finally prevail, if we work at it. Now, there is a great deal of good to be gained by being practiced in doing something which God backs us in...but we tend to do the thing God is steering us away from, over and over, with the anticipation of change for good.
This week we are dealing with how to overcome the past. How to break free of its hold on you emotionally, physically, and of course spiritually. It occurs when you realize and redirect your attentions to the one who is in control of your paths. The choice is yours entirely. I cannot emphasize enough that not making the choice means Satan is making your choices for you. He won't reveal that he is, but scripture says he is.
2.Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 6 … hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2 excerpts.
(please note that the author is talking to Christians who are only acting like "children of disobedience" and directs them to see themselves as sitting in heavenly places.)
This very familiar chapter is usually one we look to for understanding on salvation. But if you look carefully, it explains without a doubt that in Jesus we have power to go from constantly having the Spirit calling us back from tragedy and remorse, to living with a listening ear toward the Spirit's direction. The exact opposite of being towed along mindlessly by Satan and the ways of the world.
On Tuesday, Julia explained how Abraham and Sarah lived out their faith, well aware of everything that seemed to be against them, but wholly on a path to recieve the promises of God.But not without failure earlier in life.
Noah built an Ark, in spite of the things people said over the great number of years it took for him to build it. Even Jesus died on a cross declaring the injury would bring blessing to all of us, and his disciples had great difficulty knowing how this could possibly be true. Faith is a separation from everyone, everything, every plan, every belief that has us going back to Satan's paths. I don't mean going back to sin acts, necessarily. We can be doing every good work that we can possibly imagine, and still be on Satan's path. Unknowingly, unwittingly, failing and falling and always rushing headfirst into life that confuses and weakens our faith in God.
Christy is so right! Sometimes it takes severing ties with people to break the power of Satan over our daily walk. Whatever it takes, BREAK HIS POWER. Wake up and don't go tumbling down the stairs of life again. Make an active decision to not go plowing into life without care for the conseqences, like a baby learning why to be afraid. You know why to be afraid. Why are you more afraid of the consequences of doing what Christ calls you to, by faith, than afraid of what Satan leads you to again and again, which keeps hurting you? Why?
When Ryder stopped at the top of the deck steps, he had a very puzzled look on his face. He literally didn't know how he was going to get down those steps. He saw that I wasn't coming to take him down, and his brother had not yet come, and he sort of walked in a little circle of confusion. He even wavered for a second, considering disobeying my call to wait. But he finally chose to stand strong in his well founded belief that he might actually fall, if not helped down.
Sometimes, when God calls us to stop following the calls and prods of everyone and everything around us, to stand still until he makes the arrangements for his blessing and promise, when we are standing, feeling confused or lost or alone in our belief.....sometimes we waver. We have to make a decision to place our confidence in a loving God as a sure thing. It's that great moment of decision that can mean whether we go tumbling down to our greatest harm, or we stand firm until the Spirit comes. When he gently takes our hand, and walks us down the steep and seemingly impossible task.
One thing that Ryder will gain from going down the steeper back stairs hand in hand with one of us, is a subsiding fear of going down those stairs. One thing we learn from the time spent waiting on the Lord is a confidence the he goes with us.
Several precious young women I know are struggling with having relationships fail. There is no sin in desiring a good relationship. So they cannot be condemned for trying to find responsible love. All are Christians. All pray that God will lead them to the right person..basically they are doing everything right. I cannot say how they pray.
But they each will have to come to a point of decision, to not continue on Satan's path to pain. But, rather to seek the face of God, and finding that the promises of God comes by following his path by active faith. They are literally standing at the top of the stairs of the rest of their lives, confused and drawn by that powerful tug, longing for a life partner. While trying to decide how to best find God's leadership. While silencing the draws of Satan's power. They will first need to realize, that the power of God is greater! And the promises of God are worth waiting for. Plus choosing the path, separates them from the past.
Two more quick comments:
1. Abraham's wife Sarah got anxious about not having this promised child she was supposed to have. The way of the world at the time, demanded she provide her husband a means whereby he might have a child. So she provided her servant to her husband to be a surrogate. The only way they knew how at the time. The result: an ongoing struggle between thousands of people for eons of time.(the descendants of Isaac and the descendants of Ishmael) Wars have been fought that involved the whole world over that one decision Abraham and Sarah made before they made the decision to stand firm in faith, on the promise of God.
2. The verse above says that in the future,God looks forward to the day he will "show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." God looks to our future and the fact that we will be able to look back and see his intent of kindness, and in a coming day we will see clearly the richness of his promises. It is not enough that we merely pause at the top of the stairs. It is often necessary that we get a grip on the fact that God in on our side, to look forward to a future, to anticipate his blessing with a faith that includes assurance and richness. We need to expect something better than we have come to expect, rather than set ourselves up for failure and be willing to settle. We need God's vision for our lives.
Father, help our readers, and we ourselves to be ready on this day to make the decision that severs our ties with Satan's path. Help us not go blindly rushing into more harm from living in his world according to its influences, or our own overwhelming desires. Help us, to use the power in Jesus's act of salvation, to wait by faith for the richness of a life lived as if we were constantly aware that we are seated in heavenly places! Help us all make decisions like the Children of God that we are. Not will be, but are. Thankful that you look ahead for our good. In Christ's name, AMEN