Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
A lot of people go through life without enthusiasm, joy, or excitement for the future. They have made mistakes, gone through setbacks, and now they are full of guilt. Many people say, “I have done this mistake. I messed up my marriage. I ruined my career and now I am uncertain about my future.” Yes, our mistakes do not qualify us from having a bright future, but remember our God is not just a man. He punishes and he forgives. He closes doors and then opens them. He makes all things new. So the key is to realize our condition and return back to God. No mistake you made is too much for the mercy of God.
Today I want to speak to you how God never forsakes us even when we wrong but how he wish to bless and lead us if we return to him.
So first let’s look at the mistakes we make. For our devotion, I have taken some mistakes of the Bible heroes and compared with some of my own mistakes and have reached the conclusion that there are at least 4 major categories of mistakes people make and the consequences of that is guilt, failure, and feeling distant from God. Let’s go through them:
These are the mistakes that are made because we are in too great a hurry. Many times we get impatient waiting for the promise. At other times we are afraid that something is going to happen, we got a bad news or someone is against us or there is a the fatal sickness in the family. We often feel we do not have time, so we handle it ourselves, take quick action, & the result is that we have made a mistake.
Illustration : Remember the story of Abraham. God told Abraham to leave his home and go to a land that God would show him. Abraham would become the father of a great nation, and all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. When Abraham finally got there he built an altar to God, & God said, “This is the land I promised you. Stay here, & don’t leave this land.”
Time passes and in Genesis 12:10, there is a famine in the land. Abraham panicked and went down to Egypt to live there for a while, because the famine was severe. Now that is a mistake. Abraham had promised God that he would stay there. But when a famine arose, Abraham was afraid that he and his family would starve. So he panicked, took his family & moved down to Egypt. That is the first mistake.
The second is found in Genesis 12:11-13 11As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ’This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13Say that you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake & my life will be spared because of you.”
This is the second mistake. One mistake led to another and the first thing you know Abraham & Sarai were in danger in Egypt. It was only the direct intervention of God that saved them.
Move forward to Genesis 16, time was running out for a child. It has been 10 years since God promised Abraham and still no sign of a child. Soon Sarai had an idea that Abraham can have a son through their maid Hagar. Abraham consented because they panicked that time was running out. You know the story, Ishmael was born and this caused so much of unrest in a once so happy family. All these could be avoided had they not panicked but trusted in God.
Now let’s bring it down to us today. How many times we panic because of our circumstances and commit mistakes that we otherwise would not? It can happen in our relationships, it can happen in our workplace, it can happen in our finance. You see, panic prompted mistakes often starts out from stressful circumstances which leads to simple mistakes, but it has a chain reaction pattern and gets out of hand, & the result can be disastrous like Abraham.
I do not know what stress you are going through this morning. The devil may tell you “Do this, do that, speak out your mind and so on.” No do not panic. See what God says: Isaiah 41:10 Message Don’t panic. I’m with you.
Remedy when you are stressed: Stay Calm.
When things are beyond your control, when you cannot do anything, don’t panic, Stay Calm.
Second is the mistake of neglect. It is a ‘take is easy’ attitude or to neglect the resources, position, or the blessings that God has given us. One very clear example of this is King David. David, as you know, was a very special person. He is called a “man after God’s own heart.” But King David made just as many mistakes as anyone of us.
1 Kings 1:5-6 5Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6 him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?”
Actually, the Hebrew word is “David never pained him.” What it means is that David had never physically punished him, had never spanked him nor disciplined him at any time!
The result was that Adonijah developed a selfish & rebellious nature that one day led him to say, “I want to be king. I can take the throne away from my father. I want to be king now!” And one reason that he was that kind of son was because of David’s neglect. David made the same mistake that many have made, & maybe are still making. He became so busy being King, being important, being an administrator, that he neglected his family.
Neglect is not just limited to the family. Our lives are caught up with so many things that if not careful we can tend to neglect the urgent things and go after the important things.
Areas we can tend to neglect.
- a. Studies.
- b. Career.
- c. Ministry.
- d. Spiritual life.
- e. Health.
The neglect of our spiritual lives affects our Sunday attendance too. Hebrews 10:25 Neglect not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
It is so easy to get involved with other things & completely neglect our spiritual life, & our fellowship with the church isn’t it? I pray that no one here neglect anything that God has blessed you with.
Remedy: Take Charge.
1 Timothy 4:14-15 1 , which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15”Take charge of all what God has given to you. Show progress in sight of God.
Uncontrolled curiosity can be a mistake that leads to sin.
Illustration: In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul had been rejected by God as king over Israel. He has disobeyed God time & time again, & God is no longer with him. The battles are going against him and Saul is beginning to lose his confidence. He feels a desperate need to talk with Samuel, the prophet of God who once was his closest advisor. But Samuel is now dead. He is very curious to hear from God but God is silent on the other side.
So what does Saul do? On the basis of bad advice, he consults a spirit medium who claims that she can communicate with the dead. The result is shocking. The dead evil spirit talks like Samuel and entices Saul to go in for the battle. Sadly, King Saul and his 3 sons are dead within 24 hours. His unrestrained, disobedient curiosity resulted in his death.
Unrestrained curiosity could very well be the primary sin of many young people today. In the teenage world and early adulthood there is so much emphasis and pressure on that which is evil things that curiosity can pull you in. It may begin as a foolish mistake or do it just once and it can become a sin that will rob you of your soul.
I believe that anything that is out of the principles of the Bible is influenced & controlled by Satan. And if you are playing with that, you are playing with a spiritual world that can grip your soul & squeeze it to death.
It may be trying that drug once. It may be going out once with friends to the pub. Maybe you are in love with someone and you plan to get married and suddenly there is a suggestion, let’s kiss. Soon you are caught into a web of lustful passions and young people say, “Why not try sex?” Others say, “Let’s stay together for some days and see if this marriage will work out?”
Remember, the world support such acts. They do it and they tell you that it is perfectly okay. But I caution you to be aware of the dangers that are there; eventually it can kill your soul.
You may say pastor, “You do not know my temptation.” Let me tell you:
You will never face a that is impossible to . 1 Corinthians 10:13
God is willing to give you the you need to reject your . Heb. 4:16
God promises to give you , but ask for it in . James 1:6-8
Remember uncontrolled curiosity is not exclusive to young people. I have seen older folks fall into adultery, habits, and other sins just because they are curious. Remember, Eve was curious about the fruit and both man and woman lost their place in the garden.
Remedy: How to overcome curiosity? Self-Control.
Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.
How to have self-control? Romans 8:2 I am now controlled by the law of the Holy Spirit. That law gives me life because of what Christ has done. It has set me free from the law of sin that brings death.
4. BLIND SPOT.
These are mistakes we make but we are unaware of it.
Example: Ink marks on the back of my shirt which I cannot see. The rear of a car where the mirrors cannot support is a blind spot.
Once someone tells me I can take corrective measures. We all have blind spots in our character and attitude that we are unaware of. Then we have blind spots in our spiritual life.
Illustration: Once Apostle Peter had a blind spot. When he was among Gentile Christians in Antioch he mingles like one of the group. Jews & Gentiles were worshiping together. But when orthodox Jews from Jerusalem came to Antioch, they still had their own Jewish prejudice against Gentiles. So they wouldn’t associate with the Gentiles who had become Christians. Peter, in his eagerness to welcome the new Jewish Christians into the church began fellowshipping only with the Jews and no longer had anything to do with the Gentile Christians there.
Peter had a blind spot. He didn’t realize the hurt that this was causing in the church. When Paul saw the division that this was creating, he confronted Peter & said, “What you are doing is wrong!” Suddenly Peter realized the result of what he had been doing & immediately made it right in the church.
We all have and make “blind spot” mistakes in our character, behaviour, personality, and spiritual lives. We go out of church and say to ourselves, “I sure hope so & so paid attention to that sermon,” or “I wish that so & so had been here. He (or she) really needed to hear that.” The sermon may have been speaking right to you or me, & we weren’t listening because we have a blind spot. We need to realize that there can be blind spots in our lives, too!
Listen to your spouse, parents, and friends, you will get it, correct it. For spiritual blind spots – Listen to God, Word of God, sermons. God will reveal it to you.
Now I pointed 4 areas of mistakes that we generally do. We can see ourselves in these areas. Friends, we all make mistakes but the important question is, “What are we going to do about them?”
Turn with me to Psalm 31. Here David pours out his heart to God after committing a bunch of mistakes. Psalm 31:9-10 9Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. 10My life is consumed by anguish, and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my sins. Guilt or affliction.
Do you hear that? David is saying, “I am laying it open to you, Lord. Here are all the scars of my life. Here are the sins I have committed. I can fool others, but I can’t fool you, Lord. So here it all is.”
God sees the mistakes of David, but He doesn’t say, “David. If that is what you really are like inside, I don’t want anything more to do with you.” David realizes that God isn’t doing that. So David praises Him: Psalm 31:8 You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
David says that “God picked him up & put his feet in a spacious place.” If you return to God, he will bring you to a spacious place. He will bring honour, joy & singing back into your life.
Psalm 31:19-20 How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in You. In the shelter of Your presence You hide them…” God hides, & forgives, & protects.
In his sin, David looked unto God for forgiveness. We’re not perfect, but because of Jesus we can be forgiven! Despite all the mistakes, & all the things we do wrong God still says, “Come, I want to forgive you.”
Maybe you have failed and have now settled for mediocrity in life and saying, “I will never be a success.” No God still has a plan. You can come to him with nothing but broken pieces; broken dreams, bad marriage, a messed up life. God can still make something great out of it.
God has never abandoned you even in your darkest phase of your life. Even when you do not get answers for your prayers, God has not left you. He has great plans for your life.
Mistakes can happen, but do not just sit there, come to a true realization of your shortcomings, receive forgiveness, and proclaim mercy by faith. You do not have to live in guilt and condemnation, confess your mistakes to God. He makes all things beautiful in His time. Tell God, “God I believe even though I do not deserve it, because of your mercy I receive my forgiveness.” Come with repentance, stay full of hope, God will make your life something beautiful again. Amen.