June 21, 2012
I’ve loved sports and played them all my life … can’t remember a time when I didn’t. Even though athletics are very physical, a great deal of their appeal to me is that they are still 90% mental. Every athlete makes mistakes regularly, like missing a shot, letting an opponent score, or getting tackled. Very early you realize all athletes fall into one of 2 categories. 1. Make a mistake, get down on yourself, follow it up with another mistake, don’t learn from either mistake, continue in a minimal growth process imposing a shallow glass ceiling on your potential. 2. Make a mistake, but instead of wallowing in self-pity or anger, follow it with corrective or atoning action, then learn from your mistake to improve and grow yourself and your skills, and achieve your maximal God-given potential.
Even the most mature Christian’s faith and judgment falters at times … we all make mistakes and sin. But this must not be thought of as failure. None of us are perfect … we don’t have the total functioning mind of Christ now. We will be fully sanctified when we are with Him in heaven. Until then, we will stumble many times because we don’t always believe and act on the truths we intellectually know are true.
Peter’s faith faltered when he was walking on water, even in the presence of the Lord. When your faith does falter, do as Peter did, reach for Your Lord’s hand. Peter was able to use that situation as an opportunity to draw closer to God … to use God’s lenses to examine his heart … to see where he mistakenly placed his trust instead of in God’s teachings, promises, and character.
So too, you will falter when you put your faith or confidence in something other than God … like others’ opinions or approval … your finances or possessions … skills or intellect … looks or status … food, alcohol, or drugs. Confess the sin of worshipping another false god that in that moment.
Which category defines your response to your mistakes? Satan entices you to cower, wallow, or blow up with anger or blame others. God wants you to turn to Him, fix the mistake, and get equipped to enjoy a better chance at victory in the next battle.
Today, receive God’s forgiveness and instruction. Examine how life would be if you put your confidence and faith in God instead of yourself or the things of this world. Growth, peace, and awesome worship of God will be your reward when you seize this opportunity. The alternative is wallowing in shame and self-pity, and wasting God’s power to transform your life. When your faith falters, don’t follow it up with another mistake. Instead, confess your mistake and learn why you placed your faith in yourself or this world. WITHIN REACH helps you use God’s guidance to search your heart and pursue His will. Your response to your mistake is your choice, so choose well.
Father God, my Lord, when my faith falters, remind me that I have not totally failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he reached out to You, Lord, the only One who could save him. When I am afraid, I look to You, my Savior. I take Your hand as You reach out to save me. Thank You, Jesus. Help me remember each second that You are the only one who can really help. I pray that You touch me with Your healing power. Help me, Lord, to maintain my faith when situations are difficult. Help me keep my eyes on Your healing power rather than on my inadequacies or Satan’s masquerading idols. I pray this in the name of my safety net when I stumble, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt” Matthew 14:30-31
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:2-3