Stumbling But Never Falling

 
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25 ESV).

I (nor is anyone else reading this) am not above stumbling and falling back into the life Jesus called me out of. Therefore, I must be all the more vigilant as I continue to trust Christ to keep my feet upon solid ground. I’ve known and have felt the default mode of my heart and feelings, that is to pursue the desires of my flesh and go after the things that make much of me rather than making much of my Savior. In my experience as a pastor, many people believe the notion that things come easier for me because I have a spiritual title. People often say, “We’ll I don’t have things quite down like you do” or “you seem to have it all together.” Honestly, I do not have things “quite down” and I stumble more times than I would like to admit. Things do not come easier for me. The same feelings and struggles are all too familiar for me as well. I have just come to grips that my default mode is to drift away from Christ and never towards him. Because that is true, I have to daily present my heart, mind, and body before the Lord and ask him to keep me from stumbling. Keep my heart only for you Lord, keep my eyes fixed only on Jesus and not on the fleeting things of this world in which moth and rust destroy. Keep me married with my eyes and affections only for my wife. Keep me in the Word as it daily renews my mind so that I can discern what God’s will is for me—His good, pleasing, and perfect will. You are not alone in this battle against the desires of the flesh verses the nudging of the Holy Spirit towards the things of God. Unfortunately, many of us are afraid to admit that there is a struggle going on in our hearts as if it were a solitary issue no one else deals with. We begin to believe the lies: Surely no one else is struggling like I do. Everyone else in the church seems to have it all together. Why am I the only one dealing with this issue over and over?

Again, you are not alone. I am thankful for this verse, “…for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity (Proverbs 24:16). Righteousness is not a matter of never stumbling but it is a matter of rising again and again and again when we do fall. If you find yourself in a place of falling, rise up and look up towards the one that is able to keep you. As I close, I am reminded of my 2-year-old son and his lack of stability as he learns to navigate new terrain (stairs, hills, etc.) There have been several moments where he has literally stumbled but did not fall because either my wife or I was there holding his hand as he dangled to regain his footing. The same is true for you, “Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand” (Psalm 37:24 NLT). In your stumbling, he does not abandon you as we often think he does—he is there to hold us up so that we will not fall.
 
-Pastor Randy Hahne