The Bible is full of episodes of godly men and women who have failed. Past failures can really do a number on your mind. Can you imagine how David felt when he sinned with Bathsheba and then implemented his ‘cover-up’ plan? How do you think the apostle Paul dealt with those times that he consented to Christians being executed? What do you do when you fail? Do you try to cover it up or justify it? In the case of David, we read in the 51st Psalm how a child of God should respond when convicted of sin. David asked for forgiveness and cleansing.
When we confess our sins (hiding them is foolish – Prov 28:13), Jesus, as our faithful High Priest, has promised to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession is really a form of humility because it’s an admission of failure and a recognition of our need to be forgiven by God. God forgives our failures, and even people who ‘blow it big time’. Noah got a little ‘tipsy’, and Abraham ‘fibbed’. Aaron led Israel in idolatry and even insinuated that it was God who ‘created’ the calf! Jonah tried to flee from God’s command to him, and Elijah ‘got busted’ in a cave. How about Peter in Galatians 2:11-13? There’s not a hero of faith in Hebrews 11 who didn’t miss the mark and need God’s forgiveness.
Along with forgiveness, cleansing is also needed. Two things cleanse us when we fail. One is the blood of Jesus Christ, which is more powerful than any sin or failure. The second instrument is God’s Word, which will clean you up.
Be assured that God does forgive, but the problem is that we have a tendency to hold on to our garbage. He has cast our sins into the depths of the sea, so don’t go fishing! Meditate on these three passages of Scripture, and let God’s Word saturate your spirit – Isaiah 44:22; Col 2:14; Eph 1:7. Paul said that he forgot the things of the past. The past may be 20 years ago or it could be an hour ago, but our enemy the devil will try to use our past failures to keep us out of fellowship with God. When sin does destroy fellowship, confessing it will bring restoration.
Perhaps you did something in the past and it failed. Maybe you’ve let another saint down. Whatever it is that may be causing you “spiritual paralysis” today, take it to Jesus. He understands. He personally discipled twelve men who often ‘missed the boat’. Forgive yourself. God even uses failure (read Psalm 37:23,24). Jesus wants you to return to Him and rest in Him.
Yes, God has a remedy for failure and His name is Jesus. Confession returns us to fellowship with Jesus and restores the soul. His blood and His Word cleanse the soul. So press on, child of God. Only redeemed sinners are at the finish line.