Can any of our mistakes mess up God’s will for our life? Can some of our past sins be extreme enough to permanently limit what God can do in and through us?
These questions haunt a lot of people and quite frankly, have haunted me for years. When I became a Christ follower at the age of twelve, I had visions of taking the world by storm for Jesus and living an incredible life for Him so I could be worthy of those precious words from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Then life happened, and some of the decisions I made produced consequences that will linger for the rest of my life.
And I have wondered.
I can’t be the only one wondering if she can ever shine as brightly as she could have, had she had not messed up. We know the truth that God loves us and forgives us, but since we blew it, we struggle to experience that love and forgiveness.
Something has shifted in my heart lately, deep down in the tectonic plate region. I have determined that the root of this particular struggle has stemmed from a misunderstanding about what God’s will means.
His will is not a set of circumstances. His will is an intimate relationship with us.
Yes, sin causes consequences. But once we confess our sin, change our ways, and are walking rightly with Him again, we are back in the CENTER of God’s will again. End of story.
So that jail time? That baby conceived in a relationship that never should have occurred? That marriage started for all the wrong reasons? That divorce?
It did not ruin your life.
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:3: Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…(ESV)
The blessings are in Christ, not a particular plan. And in Christ, we still have every spiritual blessing.
I am finally seeing God’s will as relationship only, not a formulated path. Whoo hoo!
And one more thing. Let’s not be surprised if the very thing we name as having wrecked our chances for being used mightily by God is the very thing God uses most to show himself most mightily. Happens all the time in Scripture:
- Through meager loaves and fishes thousands are fed (Matthew 14:19-20, ESV)
- Through a man who struggled to articulate, the Israelites are led through the wilderness (Exodus 4:10, ESV)
- Through a young boy — the baby of the family — a giant is slain. (1 Samuel 17:50, ESV)
Why might God do things this way? So the world will know God did it, not us. And so we will know God did it, not us.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7, ESV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV)
Is your relationship with Jesus doing well? Then you haven’t messed up a thing.
But what about the mistake that messed up the dream, the sin that changed our lives?
When placed in His hands, He will use that very weakness to display His strength.
So smile. We don’t have to walk a certain path, just walk the path we are on with our Savior.
Picture Explanation: Someone in our home was accepted into graduate school this week for Occupational Therapy! She was inspired to pursue this career path in middle school while watching her little brother receive OT and has never looked back. And the other person smiling at you today? He was the birthday boy this week and our daughter’s acceptance was his best gift.
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