“You haven’t let God down. You weren’t holding him up in the first place.”
— Jeremy Bourdon
Many, many people feel, or have felt, that they are not good enough for God; that they have let God down. Such a prevalent view of life, in the midst of a life that insists there is a God, is highly problematic—many upon many lives are derailed because there is no way back in a person’s mind to a relationship with God.
Of course, it is a lie.
It is a lie that the devil sows into our minds and hearts, that we are so deeply sinful we do not deserve a second or a 122nd chance. Part of that is true; we are deeply sinful—every single one of us. But we quickly forget that our sinfulness has been forgiven, and there is nothing that could separate us from God through belief in Jesus Christ.
We cannot let God down; we only let ourselves down, and, I guess, others. I was reminded very recently that no matter how far we are from God we are only one step from returning; from enjoying the intimacy we can have with God anytime.
This is, of course, a great practical help and encouragement.
God has destined that our faith is to be kept simple, and, besides complicating it as we often do, we are blessed in knowing that condemnation is of the devil. God has no part in it. As far as God is concerned we could only ever condemn ourselves by refusing a relationship with the Lord Jesus; by refusing entry of the Holy Spirit into the cabinets and compartments of our mortal bodies.
God cannot be let down. Or, another way of looking at it, if a major thing could let God down, why then would not a minor thing equally let him down? God considers every sin to be sin. There are no ‘levels’ of sin in God’s sight. Sin is sin. And whilst we add our value judgments, God sees none of our sinful natures as any better or worse than the next one.
If I have failed God, and I have, and I will in the future—yes, indeed, tomorrow as well as today—then I have only failed God to the same extent as the next person. No matter how good or bad a life I live I am never beyond an arm’s reach of the Lord.
God can always redeem a life, whether that life has already been redeemed or not.
We cannot let God down, because we never held him up in the first place. We are only ever one step away from the loving embrace of the God, who seeks us; who loves us; who died for us; who wishes to restore us to replete fullness.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.