Proverbs 24 : 16, For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity. NKJV
At some point, all of us have tried to quit a habit or a sin because we felt the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. Even so, it’s easy for us to become discouraged when we try to either quit something or begin something new, and we fail at it. However, instead of throwing up our hands and deciding to live with the issue or bondage, we should remind ourselves that this isn’t our battle. In today’s scripture, we see that the righteous may fall; nevertheless, they will rise again... but that isn’t true for the wicked. What is the difference between the two? Jesus is.
The wicked person doesn’t have the power of Christ in his or her life because sin has separated them. The unsaved don't have the grace of God to cover them when they fall because they have rejected His love. Since they don’t have Christ dwelling in their hearts, they fail; and they don’t recover because they have no power over sin.
However, this isn’t so for the person that has been redeemed. Christ in us makes all the difference; we know that, in Christ, we are forgiven and accepted in God’s sight. Therefore, if we should stumble and fall, we understand that God won’t abandon us; even so, through our brokenness, He will empower us to get back up once again.
We are made righteous in God’s sight through our faith in the work of Christ. Jesus came to earth and died both for our sin debt and to set us free from the bondage of sin. It is without any works of our own; it is simply us placing trust in what Jesus has done for us that God has forever pardoned every believer in Christ. Nonetheless, once we are born again, it is our responsibility to accept God’s forgiveness of our past sins and to receive His love into our hearts. You couldn’t pay for your sins, neither can you stop sinning apart from God’s help.
When we struggle with accepting God’s forgiveness and unconditional love, we will also struggle with old habits, mindsets, and sinful behaviors. Therefore, we must learn how to delight in the Lord, even though we may still struggle with the truth that He has completely accepted us and loves us. As we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord, He will begin to grant us the desires of our heart. God has always loved us, and we know this because of what Paul wrote in Romans 5 : 8. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Now, we need to learn how to love God. Paul teaches us a very important principle in Ephesians 5. He wrote, “He who loves his wife also loves himself.” When a man doesn’t love himself, he will have difficulties loving his wife. Paul goes on to teach us that the relationship between a husband and wife is a representation of Christ’s love for His bride, the church. Therefore, I submit to you on the authority of God’s Word that we must learn to delight ourselves in God and love Him before we can have total and complete victory over our own flesh nature. We have to give ourselves completely to Christ in the same way that a wife gives herself to her husband, and the two become one.
It’s certain that you and I can’t quit sinning apart from Christ, but if we will “work” on becoming one with Christ, instead of trying to quit on our own or in our own strength, then His power can begin to fill our hearts and set us free. Therefore, let’s focus on becoming one with Christ. We must allow Him to take care of the things that we have no power over. Let the transformation begin.
Being Made New in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery