Are you setting yourself up for Christian failure?
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After I gave my life to Christ, I immediately began examining my own life. I began to pray about various aspects of my life that I needed help to give up, reconsider, or just push aside. But it wasn’t long before the freshness of salvation started to get a little stale and I began to try to work things out in my flesh.
I thought that if my deeds were good, my intentions didn’t matter. My attitude isn’t an issue if I’m proclaiming the words of Christ, even Jesus got angry, right? Compassion is a two-way street, and respect is earned by proof. All things that my ultra-spiritual self wanted to be okay with.
But it wasn’t okay with God. Because I was setting myself up for Christian failure.
No matter what stage you are in your Christian walk, it’s important to remember that you are not above falling. We are still clothed in this robe of flesh, we are culpable, and we are not above failure.“But by the grace of God I am what I am” 1 Corinthians 15:10 It’s extremely important to remember that.
I know this is a sensitive topic. So I really want you to do this with me. Search out your heart and make sure that you are being true to yourself, and to God. Be serious and think about it, are you setting yourself up for Christian failure?
Thinking you’re above falling
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalms 73:26
We were created to Christ-dependent, but we must know that we are still fleshly beings. We are still able to fall. But what makes the difference is what we do when we fall. Even David, one of the most notable men of the Bible, knew that he was not above failure. He knew that he would fail and he would find himself in Christ once again.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18
This is one of the most common ways that Christians set themselves up to fall, they think they’re incapable to do so. It’s human nature to try and work things out yourself, to try to make things work on our own will and way. But here, Christ plainly tells us that nothing good dwells in this flesh. This means we need Him, we are dependent upon His spirit completely to fulfill His righteousness.
Too caught up in the things of God that you lack in the relationship with Him.
“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” Isaiah 29:13
There is such thing as a pure and undefiled religion; but it is not by words or deeds, not by the actions, but in the heart of a man. You can become so involved with the church, with the calling, with the needs, the work that needs to be done, that your relationship with God is lacking.
Our works mean nothing if they are not led by God. Our hearts can be in the right place, but we could miss His will. It may be a good thing, but what if it isn’t what He wants for you? The Bible says not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom. We must keep our hearts tied to Christ. That’s why it is so incredibly important to be in the Word. [Grab our free Read the Bible in a Year Plan here.]
Too quick to speak
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” James 1:19
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.” I read somewhere once that God gave us two ears and one mouth, He wants you to listen twice as much as He wants you to speak. Be careful that the words you say mean something. Don’t be a person who always has an answer.
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
It’s so important to be sure that you know the word for yourself. God gave us people in ministry to be fed, but that’s not where your relationship with God stops. There is a reason that your Bible is referred to as a sword. It’s important to read, understand, and study His word so that you are able to stand upon and declare it.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
Go and read the book of 1 Corinthians and see the importance of being filled with the Spirit., the Holy Ghost. Without it, we are not known by God because He searches for himself within us. And with it, we can understand the things of God.
We’ve covered a few things, but these aren’t the only ways that you could be setting yourself up for Christian failure. As fleshly beings, it can be easy to fall. It’s important to realize that we aren’t perfect, but we should still strive to be.
Yet, one of the best things about Christ is that His grace is sufficient even when we don’t feel like we deserve it.
The most important thing to remember is that you are never too far to be forgiven. You’re never out of reach for God, and your failure as a Christian (which is inevitable) does not define you. What defines you is the way that you react to your shortfall.
Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from what you did wrong, and make a change.
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