The phrase “Rise Up” has been uttered around our town a lot lately since it is the Atlanta Falcons’ football team catchphrase and they will be playing in the upcoming Superbowl.
But that phrase is also what I want to tell people when they say, “I failed.”
When most people say that, I know it won’t be long before two other words follow that:
But what if a baby had that mindset in learning how to walk? Picture this:
The baby is crawling. She sees other people walking and thinks in her heart, “I want to do that too!”
So she decides to do it.
She crawls over to the coffee table, grabs hold of it.
She rises up off her knees. She struggles to stand on her baby feet.
But oh no!
She starts wobbling and the next thing you know, she falls down on her baby behind.
The baby feels just awful. “I failed,” she says to herself. She shrugs her baby shoulders, “I’m not meant to walk. It’s safer to keep on crawling. I’ll just stay down here.”
The baby grows up. She is now 50 years old, still crawling…
WAIT A MINUTE.
Have you ever seen a normal 50-year-old crawling as their primary transportation?
Of course not.
Why? Because as babies, most of us knew within our hearts that we were destined to walk.
At first, our baby legs were too weak to support us. We didn’t yet know how to balance on two feet.
But we grabbed hold of tables, chairs, walkers, whatever was handy to keep rising up.
Our legs got stronger with each attempt.
One glorious day, we were able to stand assisted.
But that wasn’t enough for us.
We wanted to go farther. So we took the next step, learning how to balance on our own feet until we could walk!
You get the picture. Most of us can walk today because we never gave up on that vision of ourselves as walkers.
Proverbs 24:16 says,
For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again…”
If you are struggling with rising up after a fall, you’ll discover 3 things to help below.
Plus, you’ll review a shocking parable Jesus told about the dangers of settling for a low level of living.
Here are 3 things to help you rise up after a fall:
- Know your Destiny. In case you didn’t know, Christians win in the end! You must know that permanent truth so that temporary falls don’t get you off track.
Are you living each day with this destiny in mind?
Jesus told a parable about a faithful and an evil servant in Matthew 24:45 – 47. Here is the example of the faithful servant:
A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns (NLT).”
The faithful servant realized that the master was coming back, so he kept His master’s priorities in mind in his absence. These priorities shaped his daily actions. He would not forget them, even if he fell.
Because the servant knew he had a duty to his master, staying down after a fall wasn’t an option. He had to rise up to fulfill his master’s will.
- Know your Weaknesses. Since you have a destiny as a faithful child in your Father’s house, doesn’t it make sense to avoid those things that make you fall?
Here is how Jesus contrasted the evil servant with the faithful servant:
But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:48-51 NLT).”
The evil servant’s downward slide began with a thinking error:
My master won’t be back for a while.”
The servant thought that the master’s absence should make a difference in the daily choices he made. So he used the master’s absence as an excuse to forget his stewardship and focus on gratifying his flesh.
However, suppose that evil servant had corrected his thinking error instead: “It does not matter if my master is here or not. I will do the right thing even if nobody is watching.”
Suppose that evil servant had humbled himself and prayed to the Lord for a heart change, wanting to please his master above pleasing himself.
Suppose the evil servant had admitted his tendency to get mean when he drinks and put that away so that it was not a temptation for him.
Suppose the evil servant had limited his association with his partying friends if they were tempting him to forget about his stewardship.
I’m sure you would agree that his story would have had a happier ending!
If there is anything standing in the way of your destiny, resolve today to get it out of the way.
- Know your God. Your knowledge of the Lord should make difference in how you respond to failures.
Let’s suppose the faithful steward made a mistake in his stewardship. Would he use that as an excuse to quit and abandon his master’s priorities?
I’m sure he wouldn’t. Why? Because it was in his heart to obey his master. If he fell, he was willing to keep rising up for as many times as necessary until he got it right.
But the evil servant would have used the fall as an excuse to quit.
Why? Because his heart was already set on gratifying his flesh.
He just used the circumstances to justify doing what he already wanted to do in his heart!
But if your heart is to obey God, then you will seek Him for wisdom on what you can do to recover from falls as many times as it takes.
Remember: As long as you are breathing, you have the hope of overcoming. Never let that go.
Be blessed in health, healing, and wholeness,
Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program