For the umpteenth time, I asked God to forgive me for the sin I fell so quickly back into. I was horrified at how many times in the past few days I found myself going backwards instead of forwards. Ouch. So I did what I knew to do. I sought the Lord for forgiveness. Nothing wrong with that, right? Absolutely not. But there is something terribly wrong with licking my wounds. When I get caught up in, “I’m sorry,” and get stuck there, and fall into condemnation instead of receiving the Lord’s mercy, I am missing the point.
What point? God spoke to me quite plainly just minutes ago. “Rise up and walk.” Oh, yes. That’s right. God doesn’t want to forgive me so I can stay in the mess I made and lick my wounds, banging a hammer over my head and making even more of a mess, and sounding like a broken record with “I’m sorry” when He has already extended His mercy. He wants me to receive the forgiveness I have asked for and rise up and walk. How many times does He tell those who need healing in the Bible, “rise up and walk”? How many times does He tell those He calls to live for Him and to serve Him to rise up and walk, to get up and go? Countless times.
God doesn’t want me to stay in my mess, nor does He want you to stay in yours. His throne of grace, His mercy seat, is not so people like me can come running to Him for mercy, fall at His feet, and go home and hide under the covers and convince myself I am not worthy of rising up and walking and continuing to learn to follow Jesus. What would be the point of mercy, if only that I might dwell in the sorrow of what I have done? Without His mercy, I am not worthy. Without Christ, without faith in Him, I am nothing. But through Christ on the cross, I receive mercy. He wants me cleaned up to be useful. Rise up and walk, He reminded me.
What is He telling you today? Have you been licking your wounds like I have? Have you been replaying your mistakes in your mind over and over, hammering yourself over the head with condemnation? Or, have you gone to the Lord in confession to receive His mercy – and risen up and walked?
I encourage you to examine your heart before the Lord, to see if there is anything that needs repentance. I encourage you to confess your wrongdoings to Him, whether your wrong actions, wrong thoughts, wrong words, wrong attitudes, or anything else. I encourage you to receive the Lord’s forgiveness. And I encourage you, once you have received His mercy, to rise up and walk.
Where is He calling you? Where is He calling me? Isn’t it high time we stop licking our wounds and rise up and walk?