“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13Has you ever tried to do the right thing only to have it turn out all wrong? It happens. It can also happen in our spiritual life. Maybe you took on a responsibility that you thought God wanted you to do or maybe you avoided a situation God wanted to use in your life to accomplish His purpose. Even when we sincerely want to follow God, we may and often do unknowingly veer off course. That’s why it’s so important to seek guidance from God before we try to maneuver our way out of a difficult situation or rush in to fix a problem. Our plans often seem logical, reasonable, or compassionate, but if they don’t align with the Lord’s will, we are potentially just getting in His way.
Samson often veered off course. And worse, he never made a course adjustment back to God when he made the mistakes. But God was still working in his life to fulfill His purpose whether he realized it or not. The same can be said of each of us. It doesn’t matter what you can see or understand. Faith requires that you trust God that He is at work in your life, even in the failures. God can use our mistakes and our failures to prepare us for some future success.
It is hard to view Samson as much more than a failure. But God was positioning him right where God wanted him to be so he could do what the Lord wanted him to do. It may not seem like God is leading you, but He is. When you feel like God isn’t there, that’s not the time to trust less, but more. Some of the most convicting and uplifting testimonies are when people rise above their failures to succeed. We all need God to help us recover when we make mistakes and temporarily lose our way. Like Samson, you may have wrestled some lions such as loneliness, addictions, financial issues, and broken relationships.
When you fail, it’s not time to run from God but to God. When at the end, Samson too sought God. Remember the story of the Philistines basking in their victory over Samson. They asked that Samson be brought out to entertain them. Samson asked that he be put between the pillars that support the temple. Thousands of Philistines were in the temple. “Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.”
At this point, Samson was a shell of his former self, or so it seemed. He was defeated, blinded and forced to entertain his enemies. We too must overcome our tendency to run from God when we fail and instead substitute it with a habit of running to God. We can approach God boldly, just like Samson did, even when we fail: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:15-16).
Is it possible to live a mistake-free life?
What should we learn from the mistakes we make?
What is God’s role when we make a mistake?
What can we do this week to run to God rather than run away from Him?