I Am a Spiritual Mess!

How bad do you have to be to go to hell and miss heaven? How do you measure the answer to that question? Do you need to first determine the seriousness of the wrong/sin? What determines the severity? Is it regulated in comparison to what others did or did not do? Is it a matter of YOU doing it versus someone else doing it? Would you want to know of your sin?

Be aware of two great facts: Sin and Christ, the Savior from the sin.

The story of spiritual failure is common with everyone (Romans 3.23). Sin is horrible to see and hear about in others, but it does not compare to you committing sin.

We can fail God BADLY, even when we know better. Consider this: Peter said, “You are the Christ of God” (Luke 9.20), then he said, “I know Him not” (Luke 22.57). Those are opposite statements said by the same Peter. He confessed, “YES,” then under pressure, said, “NO” to a servant girl. He went from faithful to failure within just a few months. Each one of us makes some bad decisions and fail the Lord terribly.

How can a believer, blessed with the privileges Peter enjoyed in walking so closely with Jesus, fall into such terrible sin? The same way a person becomes addicted to drugs, falls into adultery, and leave the Lord and His church - A slow leak, not a blowout!

When we see or hear of Christians whose lives have turned from faithful to terribly ungodly or indifferent, we ask, “HOW? WHAT? WHY?” It looks like they may have been cruising along at 70 mph when, BAM! It appears they have had a blowout! Spiritually, people do not have blowouts. Their lives go flat from slow leaks - slow spiritual decline.

The decline starts in secret, within the heart where no one can see what is happening until it comes out in words, attitudes, and behaviors. They have kept up the outer appearances or have acted the part of a godly person. Within the hearts, their judgments, discretion about sin, and senses are not determined by scripture, but by other worldly influences. Slowly, the air leaks out of their spiritual tires, but others do not see it until their lives go completely flat.

This is descriptive of the seed sown upon the rock and thorny ground (Luke 8.13-14). The seed was planted, the excitement was there, but it soon left. It is the same way James 1.14-15 describes temptation. Although the person who has spiritually failed/sinned may see his/her situation as a “misdemeanor,” it is still sin.

Many are the causes for slow spiritual failure. Yet, how does one repair of “fix the flat” of a spiritual life?

When Peter denied Jesus (as Jesus had predicted), one thing which happened is, “Peter remembered the word of the Lord” (Luke 22.61). Instead of asking everyone else what they thought about what he said or did, Peter knew what God said. If you ask others, they might say: “Don’t worry about it! Everyone slips up occasionally. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” The Word of God is the final authority. It tells me I have sinned, regardless of how others grade what I have done. If you remember what the Lord said, this is one way to begin to resolve a spiritually flat life.

The path of restoration is a conviction of sin.  - Admission, accepting responsibility, rather than casting it into the lap of someone else. When the Lord turned and looked at Peter (Luke 22.61), He was not looking at anyone else. That look penetrated down into Peter’s conscience. Jesus did not have to say anything else. Peter could not make excuses or rationalize it away. Conviction acknowledges, “God is right and I am wrong.”

Godly sorrow over sin. For man, sorrow for sin will come from a hurt pride or getting caught. The truth is, when our consciences realize we have sinned against a Savior who loved us enough to die for us, we will mourn over our sin. We will not shrug it off and quickly and flippantly say, “I messed up.” Instead, we will confess our sins (1 John 1.9).

Restored and repaired to be used in His service. How bad, secret, or minimal the sin is not the issue. What matters is restoration. There are some who believe, “I’ve sinned so bad. I just don’t believe God will forgive me. I’ll just stay out of trouble, and maybe things will get better.” Without seeking God’s mercy, we will never find ourselves being used by God in His service. God restores fully by His grace, through the blood of Jesus, those who are penitent in their confession of sin. God can restore and repair what others may think is impossible. David asked God, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (Psalm 51.12-13). God will abundantly pardon and restore you to fellowship with Him and service in His kingdom.

Do not let Satan sift you anymore. Do the right thing. Be reconciled to God. Failures can be forgiven!