Relapse is Real

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Don’t be destroyed by the thing trying to devour you instead destroy what is damaging you. 

During my journey of spiritual, emotional, and physical healing I began regeneration, often referred to as Celebrate Recovery. For those of you that don’t know, Regeneration is a biblically-based 12-step program to guide people through life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups and find freedom in Christ’s healing and grace. During Regen we always mentioned 1 Corinthians 10:12, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” You would think after saying that verse every Monday, I would be on my guard constantly. This verse is a great reminder to, in non-biblical terms, check myself before I wreck myself. At least that’s how I translate it. But what if I don’t check myself? What if you wind up wrecking myself in what seems to be a big way? I thought once I accepted Christ, that I would never be disobedient to him in such a blatant sin again. How could I hurt my healer? The one who rescued me from the pit and placed my footing on firm ground? I didn’t want to cause more pain for myself or my creator. But, hurt happens. Relapse is real.  In my naivety, I sinned in a way I thought I had been delivered and distanced from. Although not intentional, sin has a way of snowballing itself. If I heeded the Holy Spirit’s warning signs I could have spotted the potential path to sin and avoided it. But I can’t live a life of should of, could of, would of so I’m here to tell you you are not defined by your relapse. I could have made the choice to let the relapse wreck me and rob me of all God’s blessing he has for my life. Or I could just be like David, a man after’s God’s own heart, and say, “I have sinned against the Lord.” I need to call my sin out and turn away from it immediately otherwise it will fester into unfaithfulness and unfruitfulness.

Regen, didn’t exactly supply me with a verse if I did fall. At least not one that came to mind. I knew I had to be careful not to fall as 1 Corinthians 10:12 states, but I had already fallen and desperately needed to take my mess and turn it into my motivator? So, I searched. I sought God’s word to help me in my time of despair. These are what I call moments of impact. Moments in life that will cause a movement. When you fall, or really every day you wake up alive, you have a choice to make – either you move toward God or away from him. God’s word supplied me with exactly what I needed to lean into the lord and FIGHT for my faith instead of FADE away.

What I love about this verse is
1) It tells the devil off
2) Instead of saying I CAN rise or The Lord CAN be my light it says WILL meaning it WILL happen
3) It’s not referring to a stumble-type-of-sin where you just scrape your knee and press on. It’s talking about a fall-on-your-face-you-might-need-stiches-and-surgery kind of fall. But those are the kind of falls that make you stronger, more alert and more equipped to do better!

So, I understand you might not take my word for it. Honestly, you shouldn’t. But you might want to take God’s word for it. Let’s take a peek again at David who I mentioned earlier in this post.  He would agree that relapse is real.

David, a man after God’s own heart, not only committed adultery, but then tried to cover up his sin by committing another sin – murder. Remember, this is a man after God’s OWN heart and he caved in to his sinful nature. I know I used to cover one sin with another one and let me tell you from firsthand experience, the more sin you allow in your life the messier it gets. Don’t let your sin sabotage you or set you back. Instead use your fall as a turning point instead of a tether to your old patterns in life that bring temporary happiness.

There will be a voice that will tell you to give up, give in, and give your life back to constant sin. I encourage you if you give up – give it up to the Lord, if you give in – give in to His grace and if you give your life back give it back to passionately pursuing the savior that satisfies.. Relapse will make you want to reject the road to righteousness, but I encourage you to cling to your catalyst – your creator. He will propel you into His promises.  Don’t let the fear of relapse keep you from recovery. Fight for your faith. Fight for God not against God. Fight for what matters most in life. Even if you fall. Even if you fail in your eyes. You can at least say you went down fighting and you will RISE up reignited, re-energized and redirected.

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