Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
James 1:19 ESV
as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 ESV
And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
Acts 13:22 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalms 51:10-12 ESV
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 ESV
I messed up. I said (well, actually texted) something I shouldn’t have. And although my intent was not to hurt the recipient, I did. Guilt. Sorrow. Frustration. Those inevitable self-deprecating thoughts immediately began to plague my thought life.
But I stopped them. I arrested them. I took them captive. I followed the instructions found in 2 Corinthians 10: For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV)
And as I meditated on the passages above from God’s Word, my thoughts began to shift. My countenance began to change. The burden began to lift. No, I couldn’t change what had occurred, but through the power of God and His Word, I was able to get back up and keep moving forward.
It was actually this morning as I woke up still free from the burden of guilt God reminded me of the key to victorious living: His Word. In 2 Timothy we read the following: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV). Psalm 119:11 reads, I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Hebrews 4:12 reads For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
God’s Word is indeed powerful. Its power was evident last night in those initial moments of recognizing my own selfish frailty. For as I confessed my sins (knowing according to 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness) God began to flood my mind with His Word. The verses listed at the beginning of this post are just some of those passages God’s Holy Spirit brought to mind. Each one played a part in enabling me to get back up, dust myself off, and to keep moving forward.
No, none of the above verses justifies my sin. But they do cleanse me. They do remind me who I am and whose I am.
And this is why I write all this to you today. I want to remind you God’s Word is powerful. God’s Word is life. None of us is perfect, but God’s Word is. So read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Daily dwell in His Presence and in His Word. No, you will not achieve perfection, but you will be whole. You will be able to get back up after you fall and keep moving forward. You will be victorious knowing “…he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). For The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward (Psalms 19:7-11 ESV)