Try Again, or Must Move On?

LifeLink Devotional

Monday, May 6, 2019

Missed opportunities. It’s the story line of our lives. The story is much larger than we know. We remember with regret the times we should have gone right instead of left or the times we should have stopped instead of proceeded.  But there are so many other missed opportunities of which we are not aware. We know that we have spent many days listening only to self and have missed untold numbers of opportunities to listen to God’s direction. We are by nature sheep that have gone astray, and to compensate we have become fixers. We attempt to go back to where we went wrong and create another opportunity for correctness, hoping that this will soften or eliminate the consequences.

Numbers 14:39-45 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. Early the next morning they went up toward the high hill country. “We have sinned,” they said. “We will go up to the place the LORD promised.” Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’S command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’S covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

In today’s story, going back doesn’t work when it is our own attempt to make up for sin. Our attempts to correct the consequences of sin are futile. Sometimes God directs people to try again under His direction. Other times God wants us to grow in our faith by enduring the consequences of our mistakes. Mature faith always listens for God’s direction, even if that means suffering the consequences of a previous disobedience. Two wrongs never make a right.

This is why daily fellowship with God is so important. Several things are accomplished when we daily spend time with God:

  1. We train our heart and mind and spirit to listen to God and not the world, thereby becoming servants rather than self-serving.
  2. We come to a deeper understanding of God’s involvement in every detail of our lives.
  3. We move to a deeper level of love and trust as we see God’s heart of good in all that is done.
  4. We experience the thrill of being a partner with God in accomplishing His purpose, which motivates more listening and fewer missed opportunities.

If you’re going through a time of hardship and suffering right now because of a missed opportunity or a disobeyed direction, do not go back and try to do it over – unless you know from your intimate time with Jesus that He has asked you to. There may not be any going back, but there is definitely a future based on the forgiveness of God. The strength of the Lord is His patience, love, and forgiveness. Fall on your knees before Him right now and ask to be restored. He will do it, and He will show you the direction to take today to get you back on His path. There may be consequences to endure, but there is fellowship to enjoy, and His Presence gives peace and strength.

Pastor John

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