I often hear messages or read articles on how to win the Battle, how to experience victory and how to be a winner. I would be crazy to tell you I don’t enjoy a message on how to obtain victory. No doubt that provides me hope and often gives me the boost to make it throughout the week. Today I want to look at losing the battle and what it means to your future.
The Bible promises we will win the war should we walk with the Lord. I have heard many preachers say, “I have read the end of the book and we win!” I agree with that with my whole heart, however, many battles are lost before a war is won.
So often we as Christians love to shoot our wounded. We see someone that has lost a battle in their life and our first reaction is to shoot them and be done with them. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard the phrase, “Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded” I would be a rich man. I hate that phrase, mainly because it’s true. So if we are not suppose to shoot our wounded, what are we to do? I love the passage we find in Galatians 6:1-3 (Msg).
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
So, if we see someone who loses the battle, we should forgive them and help restore them. I love the next part of this verse, “Saving your critical comments.” So many times I have heard about how bad the person is who has fallen or how dumb it was for them to have given everything up. You see very few are willing to forgive even though they have experienced God’s forgiveness. Very few are willing to stoop down and help the person back on their feet. The Bible is so bold to say that if we don’t do this we are deceived. We have missed the boat.
King David lost the battle. We see how David in the quiet of the night saw Basheeba and desired her. He committed adultery, got her pregnant, called her husband back from war hoping he would sleep with her so people would think it was his baby. When her husband wouldn’t sleep with her, David sent him back to war and made sure he was placed on the front line so he would be killed. David lost the battle and yet God chose to continue to use David as King. David had to face the consequence of his sin as we all do. I love this verse.
Act 13:22, “Bu God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about who God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do. God knows all things. It didn’t catch God by surprise that David would lose a battle or two in his life time. At the end of the day David was a man after God’s own heart. That is huge thing to say.
Peter was a disciple of Christ. Peter was in the inner circle. We read about him often in the New Testament. Peter lost the battle big time. Can you imagine denying knowing Jesus three times. How horrible to swear you don’t know Him.
Matthew 26:69-75, All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.” In front of everybody there, he denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: “I swear, I never laid eyes on the man.” Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. “You’ve got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away.” Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”
If I were Jesus and in time of urgent need, I would have turned my back on Peter after he threw me under the bus. Praise God that is not where the story ends. Our God is a God of restoration. Just because you lose a battle it doesn’t cause you to lose your calling that God has placed on you, it doesn’t mean you can no longer be used or cannot be forgiven. Take a look at what Jesus ended up doing with Peter.
Matthew 16:18, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”
Jesus used Peter to be the foundation of the church. Jesus knew what Peter would accomplished with the call that was placed on his life. He wasn’t thrown aside. His better days where not behind him, in fact Jesus was going to use this man to be the foundation of his church.
I saw this t-shirt the other day and instead of feeling pumped my spirit really sank. Don’t get me wrong, we should all have our arms in the air cheering the fact that Christ has forgiven our past. What sank in my spirit was that we don’t have this same image or cheer when our fellow brothers and sisters fall and receive God’s forgiveness. As a matter of fact some even get angry when they watch God restore someone who has fallen. As Christian’s it’s normal to be disappointed when another believer falls. It can even be devastating if one of our leaders fall. However, lets pray for total restoration and believe that God will use that individual in a much greater way than before the fall. Lets cheer when that person gets back up and not only finishes the race but finishes the race well! Lets stop throwing believers out when they fail, lets be part of the process to help restore them.
Perhaps you are struggling with the question yourself, will God use me again? The answer is yes and I believe that the best is yet to come. God uses broken people, God restores the fallen and God always continues the journey with you. Don’t allow those who have turned their back on you to determine if you can get back up again. I heard someone once say you don’t judge God’s Word by peoples actions but you judge peoples actions by God’s Word. I am sorry if someone made you feel that you cannot make a come back. God is ready and willing to restore you and also willing to help you restore someone who have fallen.
I love what Joel Osteen once said, “Your set back has made you ready for your come back.” Today’s a new day, get up and win a battle. Do not let last week hold you back. PLEASE SHARE this with others who need to be encouraged.